Read The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst Online

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The brilliant new novel from Jenny Blackhurst , the #1 eBook bestselling author of HOW I LOST YOU , which Clare Mackintosh called 'utterly gripping' and BEFORE I LET YOU IN . If you love Louise Jensen's THE GIFT or SK Tremayne's THE ICE TWINS you will love this. When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listeThe brilliant new novel from Jenny Blackhurst, the #1 eBook bestselling author of HOW I LOST YOU, which Clare Mackintosh called 'utterly gripping' and BEFORE I LET YOU IN. If you love Louise Jensen's THE GIFT or SK Tremayne's THE ICE TWINS you will love this.When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she's just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.But Ellie's foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger......

Title : The Foster Child
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 34751037
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Foster Child Reviews

  • Matt
    2018-08-30 20:09

    Jenny Blackhurst is back with another captivating thriller that grasps the reader’s attention from the opening pages and does not let go until the final sentence. Imogen Reid has been put through the professional wringer. As a psychologist, she was a hard-working thirtysomething toiling away in London. However, an event with one of her patients has forced her and husband, Dan, to flee to Imogen’s grandmother’s home back in the rural English town of Gaunt. Imogen is still not sure how she will be able to reinvent herself, or if there will be work to keep her occupied. Little does she know, but Gaunt is also home to young Ellie Atkinson, an eleven-year-old foster child, whose entire family died in a horrific house fire. Ellie has been vilified by the locals for reasons that Imogen cannot understand, but witnesses first-hand during her first day back. When Imogen is hired to work as a counsellor-liaison with the local school, she is asked to tend specifically to Ellie. The previous counsellor left town under a mysterious shroud of controversy (the party line being “she left to get married) and the notes related to Ellie are both scattered and incomplete. As time progresses, other strange happenings occur in town and Ellie seems loosely tied to them, though there is nothing to put her at the scene. Imogen holds out hope and a soft spot for Ellie, wishing she could understand why everyone has created a monster out of this sweet girl. That said, Ellie has begun to notice that her own thoughts and dreams are not as innocent as she might have hoped. While Imogen harbours a secret of her own, can she keep her suspicions about Ellie’s antics to herself, thereby placing the entire community of Gaunt in more danger? Blackhurst has created a wonderfully dark and captivating story here, sure to leave chills up the spines of those who venture to read it. Those who enjoy a good thriller, full of twists, will surely flock to this one, likely offering much praise for the effort.This is my first experience with Blackhurst and her writing, leaving me unsure what I ought to expect. My current position in Child Protection left me drawn to this book, wondering how the story might depict foster children and the entire social services industry. Choosing to develop the narrative through the eyes of both Imogen and Ellie proved to be a wonderful idea. Their characters differ greatly, but are able to complement one another in ways that pull the reader deeper into the narrative. Turning first to Imogen, the reader is left with numerous threads dangling during the early portions of the story. Her unspoken childhood in Gaunt and the events in London that left her without a job are keys to keeping the thrill aspect high and the mystery sustained. Imogen’s naïveté as it relates to Ellie and her ongoing harbouring of the great secret in her life help keep the reader wondering how innocent and positive she might be. This contrasts nicely with the Ellie character, who appears innocent on the surface but whose apparent anger-fuelled antics leave the reader to wonder how she could have caused such havoc without lifting a finger. The reader must follow these two protagonists throughout to hash through the many layers of the narrative. There is a strong supporting cast who shape the flow of the story and give the reader much to consider. From a protective foster sister to the girl who vows revenge for being caught in Ellie’s crosshairs, through to the school teacher who begins to stir up trouble, there are a handful of individuals who seek to portray both Ellie and Imogen in various lights. The story itself is strong and develops at a wonderful pace. The reader can form their own opinions in regards to the events around Gaunt. The abuse that Ellie suffers throughout and the vilification for being different flows through the story, balanced only by Imogen’s attempt to justify the need to accept and understand the already difficult life of a foster child. There are many twists throughout that may leave the reader curious about where Blackhurst is taking things, but this only adds to the strength of the novel. The story’s delivery is decent and short chapters keep the reader pushing forward to reach the ultimate reveal, a shocker in an of itself. Blackhurst certainly as a wonderful handle on the story and keeps the reader enthralled through to the end. Kudos, Madam Blackhurst, for such a great piece of writing. I am intrigued to see what else you’ve penned, hoping it is as captivating as this story. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  • BIBLIOMANIAC MJ
    2018-09-19 19:04

    Spooky, intense and oh so uncomfortable, this one ticks all the boxes of a creepy psychological thriller, one you'll find difficult to put down!In The Foster Child, we get to meet Imogen, a discredited psychologist who takes on the case of Ellie, an orphan living in foster care, as a result of a fire killing her parents and her baby brother. Terrible things start happening to people when Ellie gets upset with them, and the small-town residents soon begin to make the connection. Are there dark forces at play here, or, are these occurrences coincidence and Ellie is simply the victim of narrow minded townsfolk?With themes of bullying, manipulation and small-town discrimination, you won't help but feel sorry for 11 year old Ellie, but should you be?The short chapters ending in many a cliffhanger and the book's twists along the way had me flipping through the pages with much anticipation to get to the bottom of the mystery of Ellie. I was swaying back and forth and back again in my opinion of what the truth could be. Although I eventually figured out which direction this one was going in, I certainly didn't see that final twist coming, but did I like it? Was it the perfect ending? I'm undecided. I prefer to be left with a warm fuzzy feeling when I get to the end of my books. Did I get that? No! Was its ending apt for this type of book? I would say so!This disturbing, unsettling and eerie book had me thinking of it long after I lay my eyes on its final words. Well done to Jenny Blackhurst on achieving all of the above qualities, making this a bewitching thriller. Many thanks to the author, Headline and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.

  • Louise Wilson
    2018-08-28 15:12

    Imogen Reid is a child psychologist and takes on the case of 11 year old Ellie Atkinson. She refuses to listen to the warnings that Ellie is dangerous. Ellie was the soul survivor of the fire that killed her family. But Ellie's foster family and teachers are starting to fear her. When Ellie gets upset, bad things seem to happen. As Imogen gets closer to Ellie, is she putting herself in danger....The book actually gave me goosebumps with it's creepiness. It has a good plot line with many twist and turns right to the very end. I did see where this story was going but the final twist I certainly did not. The characters are a mixed bunch of likeable and unlikable. The pace is fast and gripping. I enjoyed everything about this book.I would like to thank NetGalley, Headline and the author Jenny Blackhurst for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
    2018-09-21 19:11

    🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2 STARS The Foster Child By Jenny Blackhurst was one hell of a spooky book, having never read anything by this author before I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I really didn't need to worry from the first page this story captured the reader building the atmosphere gradually and hooking its audience so subtly that before you knew it you were so emotionally invested in what was playing out before our rapt eyes.So The Foster Child tells the story of Ellie Atkinson a foster child placed in the system after the death of her family in a house fire.Along comes child psychologist Imogen Reid who upon returning to her childhood town after a big blip in her illustrious career inherits Ellie's case.From day one on the job, it's apparent to Imogen that things in her old town are not right.Everybody seems afraid of the quiet eerie eleven-year-old and Ellies only supporters are Her fifteen-year-old foster sister Mary and Imogen herself.So, my god, this was creepy.I actually found myself questioning everything I thought I believed.You could feel the mass hysteria building as it was fueled by what people thought was real.Taking on a life all of its own, like a snowball building its momentum.Then BAM!!!!everything came to a head and you were left feeling a trifle dim questioning yourself, did I really think that ?.You as the reader have been swept along in the mass hysteria along with everyone else in this small community.I loved this story, the characters were so real and interesting, this could be set in any small town around where I live.The Foster Child was a fascinating insight into small-town dynamics and also a creepy atmospheric chiller.Do you know what I liked best, it was how one young girl can start a rumour that actually takes on a life all of its own.fuelling its own journey along the way.Or did it!!! that twist at the end Man, didn't see that coming.It left us the reader with a whole host of new questions to ask.So I end this review in a bit of a quandary.What do I actually take away from this as the truth, I think in this instance only Ellie is aware of the bigger picture she is the puppetmaster of this chilling tale.That is the only reason I deducted 1/2 a star from this as I was left feeling slightly confused, wondering what to actually believe.I would like to thank Netgalley, the publisher and the author for providing me with a free ARC of The Foster Child this is my own free and honest opinion.Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm.https://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/www.beckiebookworm.com

  • Jules
    2018-09-12 17:19

    Having loved both previous books by this author, I was dying to read The Foster Child. The only reason I left it this long is because I got it on NetGalley and was tricked into believing it wasn’t published until 16th November, when in fact the eBook version was published in September. I’m a fool for falling for such trickery!So, after giving Jenny Blackhurst’s previous two psychological thrillers 5 stars, was her third book able to live up to my expectations? Yes, absolutely! I LOVED this book!This is rather a creepy thriller. Honestly, I think I may have a phobia of children, and books like this really don’t help. There was a hint of Stephen King’s Carrie to this story, and having loved Carrie ever since watching the film as quite a young child, I happily devoured this dark and emotional tale of quirky foster child, Ellie, who was struggling to settle into her new school, bullied by other school kids, and treated rather unfairly by some adults too.Looking back at my scribbled notes while reading this book, I’m reminded that I had a giggle at Ellie watching A Nightmare on Elm Street as a kid. I watched it when I was eleven years old while I was at my friend Sara’s 12th birthday video night. A few of us girls always watched horror films on her birthday, so there was plenty of screaming and hiding behind cushions on those nights. The reason I make a point of this is because that’s the only time I giggled, as the story became darker and more intense as it progressed. This book has actually left me feeling rather uneasy and somewhat haunted by the whole experience.At first I was suspicious of Ellie, but then I grew to love her. Due to being able to relate to her bullying experiences, I really felt for her. Then I think I felt suspicious of her again, but also felt sorry for her at the same time. Somewhere amongst all that was feelings of tension, confusion, not knowing who to trust, shock and occasionally relief. By the end I didn’t know what to think as I was so emotionally disturbed and exhausted by all my guessing and worrying myself sick over the welfare of certain characters. This story and its characters had my mind in a spin. Ooh, don’t you love that?!I was completely absorbed by this story and found it really hard to put down. This is definitely one I highly recommend if you love creepy thrillers and psychological thrillers. Also, if you enjoyed this, definitely check out this author’s other books, as all three are brilliant.My review is also available on my blog here:https://littlemissnosleep.wordpress.c...

  • Pauline
    2018-08-27 21:08

    The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst is a psychological thriller about a psychologist trying to help a child in foster care. Strange things happen when someone is unkind to this child and it turns into a modern day witch hunt. I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Liz Barnsley
    2018-09-10 19:07

    Wow well that was creepy as all heck. Love it.The Foster Child focuses in on Imogen, a disgraced psychologist with problems of her own, who takes on the case of Ellie, a child who has lost her family in a fire and is living in Foster care. Strange things keep happening around Ellie though - annoy her and terrible things occur.This was a beautifully layered psychological thriller that was genuinely disturbing, utterly eerie throughout with a sense of palpable danger lurking within every chapter. Imogen is a compelling main protagonist, a disturbed childhood means she looks at things in a certain way - level headed and determined to help Ellie initially she soon gets affected by the attitudes and fears of those around her.Jenny Blackhurst does a terrific job of keeping things unpredictable, completely engaging the reader into Ellie's and Imogen's world - anyone who has ever been targeted as "strange" will sympathise with both of them. The story twists and turns in a very compelling way, emotional trauma, themes of mass hysteria and manipulation, plus a darkly beautiful writing style makes this a real page turner with a wonderful denouement. The last little bit is honestly chilling as well as thought provoking.Yep very good. I'll be thinking about this one, about Ellie and about Imogen for a good while to come I imagine. Sign of a damn fine read.Recommended.

  • I read novels
    2018-08-29 21:18

    My review [email protected] If you're looking for a Christmas present, this is it. Ellie Atkinson is classed as an evil witch. When Ellie gets angry and says something bad wishing evil things that would happen to someone it really happens. Does Ellie have evil powers to cast spells on people? Psychologists Imogen Reid takes on 11 year old Ellie to talk about her problems, but Imogen refuses to listen to the warnings that Ellie is dangerous. I was super glued to every page. Loved the twist at the end. I very highly recommend buying The Foster Child as Jenny Blackhurst never fails her fans. I do hope you all will enjoy reading The Foster Child as much as what I did. My advice put it on your Christmas list or to read list.

  • Hans
    2018-08-27 21:01

    A lot of strange things happen. The story unravels slowly but beautifully. It's easy to relate to Imogen and her problems.

  • Joanne Robertson
    2018-08-27 15:24

    I do love a creepy child don’t you? And from the beginning it became obvious that this book was going to be one to make me question every action of both the main protagonist Imogen and Ellie, the strange, introverted foster child that Imogen becomes involved with.Having left her last job, under a cloud that we have to wait for an explanation for, Imogen dreams of a new start in the town where she was brought up. Her husband is supportive but his desire for a family seems at odds with her own feelings about having children and her career is the focus of her ambition for the near future. When she is given the case files for her new position, she becomes entangled in the life of Ellie who has lost her whole family in a house fire. But Ellie seems to attract trouble wherever she goes-could this quietly watchful young girl really be a jinx?Oh what a twisty tale Jenny Blackhurst weaved here! I was seriously creeped out by Ellie but those feelings were conflicted with my desire to just give her a huge hug and make everything better for her. My maternal feelings took over and I became as passionate as Imogen regarding the issues Ellie faced. But then unexplained events begin to make me question everything that had gone before! The tension was built up to an unbearable level at times and I seriously began to doubt every single theory I had about what had happened and why. And most of my frustrations were directed towards the adults who should have known better! I was determined to support Imogen in her single handedly unorthodox attempts to support this sad and lonely young girl but around every corner was another mountain waiting for Imogen, always trying to hinder her attempts to help Ellie.I loved Jenny’s first two books and this is a worthy successor to them both. Her writing style seems to have developed a maturity and confidence so that she was able to pull off the ability to keep her readers guessing what the outcome would be here. I had serious chills throughout this disturbing storyline, compelled to continue until the very end without putting it down, convinced something awful would befall the characters if I stopped giving them my full attention!Although aimed towards an adult readership I do think a teenage audience would also appreciate the issues raised here of not fitting in and feeling outcast by their peers often for no other reason than just being “different”.There was a sublime finish to this cleverly crafted psychological thriller that left me feeling unsettled and thoughtful. This is one that will be haunting me for some time to come! Definitely her best book so far!

  • The Book Review Café
    2018-08-26 14:22

    I do love a creepy and disturbing psychological thriller and The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst fits the bill perfectly. When a child is portrayed in a book as someone evil and not to be trusted I always find the read somewhat more creepy, I think it’s because children are seen as sweet and innocent you never expect them to scare the life out of you, but Jenny Blackhurst has created a character who gave me the heebie-jeebies. From the start this book made for a chilling and genuinely disturbing read that took me by surprise at every twisted turn.Rather like the book description for The Foster Child I’m not going to go into plot details I think the vagueness of the description helped to make this book all the more thrilling as you weren’t sure what to expect. From my first introduction to Ellie I wanted to believe in her and I found myself hoping that “the bad things happening” to the people who upset her were a coincidence rather than something far more disturbing. As the story progresses you can’t help but feel for Ellie, a child who is bullied relentlessly and “whispered about by children and adults alike.Malice and discord bubble away throughout making every chapter chilling, I found myself becoming very anxious and increasingly unsettled as the author weaved her twisted tale. I’m very impressed by the author’s ability to create an imaginative and throughly creepy novel that messed with my over active imagination to such an extent that every creak, every noise in the house made me jump! The market is saturated with Psychological thrillers at the moment, but personally I think Jenny Blackhurst has done a fantastic job in making sure The Foster Child stands out, it’s unpredictable, compelling and genuinely disturbing. Definitely a book I would highly recommend as it kept me guessing right up to the last thrilling, heart stopping chapter.

  • BIBLIOMANIAC MJ
    2018-09-12 15:08

    Spooky, intense and oh so uncomfortable, this one ticks all the boxes of a creepy psychological thriller, one you'll find difficult to put down!In The foster Child, we get to meet Imogen, a discredited psychologist who takes on the case of Ellie, an orphan living in foster care, as a result of a fire killing her parents and her baby brother. Terrible things start happening to people when Ellie gets upset with them, and the small townsfolk begin to make the connection. Are there dark forces at play here, or, are these occurrences coincidence and Ellie is simply the victim of narrow minded townsfolk?With themes of bullying, manipulation and small town discrimination, you won't help but feel sorry for 11 year old Ellie, but should you be?The short chapters ending in many a cliffhanger and the book's twists along the way had me flipping through the pages with much anticipation to get to the bottom of the mystery of Ellie. I was swaying back and forth and back again in my opinion of what the truth could be. Although I eventually figured out which direction this one was going in, I certainly didn't see that final twist coming, but did I like it? Was it the perfect ending? I'm undecided. I prefer to be left with a warm fuzzy feeling when I get to the end of my books. Did I get that? No! Was it apt for this type of book? I would say so!This disturbing, unsettling and eerie book had me thinking of it long after I lay my eyes on its final words. Well done to Jenny Blackhurst on achieving all of the above qualities, making this a bewitching thriller. Many thanks to the author, Headline and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.

  • Tracy Fenton
    2018-09-11 17:05

    This is Jenny Blackhurst’s third standalone psychological thriller so I was very excited to get the chance to read an advanced copy of The Foster Child – thanks to Netgalley and her publishers Headline.As a huge fan of psychological thrillers it’s always a pleasure to read a story which is different to all the others and keeps you guessing throughout. Any book featuring a creepy, spooky and troubled child is guaranteed to make me turn the pages, bite my acrylic nails and double lock the windows and doors.Imogen Reid is the psychologist who has returned to her childhood hometown after a serious incident regarding a child under her care in her previous job. Full of remorse, guilt and determined to move on, her hometown of Gaunt brings nothing but unhappy and traumatic childhood memories.Ellie is the 11 year old child whose family were killed in a house fire and is the “Foster Child”. Alienated, teased and bullied by the children of the town because bad things seem to happen around Ellie especially when she gets upset.This is a really atmospheric, spooky and tense thriller which creeped me out and kept me guessing until the final chapters. Read this with the lights on and stay away from young girls chanting incantations.

  • Misfits farm
    2018-09-11 16:06

    Imogen, following the death of her estranged mother, has moved back to her old house with her husband and started new employment monitoring foster children. She left her old position in child psychology under a cloud- but we don’t know quite why. On the way to their new life they have a close encounter with one of the children she is later set to monitor- Ellie. Ellie was the only survivor of a house fire that killed the rest of her family and has already has a reputation around the village as someone rather strange. This is a well written book that you quickly get into. What happened to Imogen and why the intrigue around Ellie? Short snappy chapters keep you turning the pages to find out that little snippet more of the jigsaw. A fast paced novel that keeps you turning. I voluntarily chose to read this ARC and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased

  • Richard
    2018-09-25 19:07

    Given the missing 7 days in hospital when I lost the calm and tranquility to read, this was always set aside as the first serious novel to read in 2018.Not that this is a book to treat as a page turner though the text is driven and builds tension. No, for me it is a novel to become engrossed in and saviour as you read. Jenny Blackhurst is a wonderful writer who doesn’t introduce an unfamiliar world to her readers, rather, she takes the straightforward, the common elements in families and what we appreciate but with a twist.For we are caught up in a parallel existence, doubting our senses and realising we know nothing.The facet of the precious stone, that brief hint of multicoloured sparkle that causes us to blink and then see things in a whole new light.How a young author can have the confidence to stand back and await the reviews to arrive is hard to comprehend as someone who dislikes any criticism. But, as in her previous books, when so much work has gone into a project it must be daunting when so much effort has been invested in a story. A real pleasure to read, writing grounded in what we know and have seen but as unsettling as much as if she wrote the aliens have landed.The book is multilayered and packed with rooms to explore and get lost among. Part of Jenny’s skill is that although no words are wasted they are applied like rich oils on a canvas. So we have Imogen and Dan journeying “Home” to where Imogen grew up to inherit the family property upon the death of her Mother. Imogen is also fleeing a professional disaster where she became too close to a child she was supporting. When she cried abuse, her team felt there was insufficient evidence. When she breached client confidentiality her employers had to let her go on the promise she no longer practiced. This is a whole wing in the building of this story that is slowly revealed in time. Since Imogen still wants to work with children, not in a professional role but as a support worker her boundaries need clear definition and yet she can’t fully share her past. Dan doesn’t fully understand his wife or her damaged upbringing but it is clear she yearns to save just one child where her own self was lost.None of this is confusing as the narrative slowly spins out into this amazing tapestry of loss and pain, family and the need to belong.For even before she finds her new property she meets and needs to defend Ellie a young girl in foster care. She can’t comprehend the gossip over her as an evil presence. She sees herself in Ellie and when we learn she is the new case worker for Ellie we are wondering where this will go. Even your best guess won’t be close. I’ve just read it and I’m reeling still.I loved the everyday subject matter. Changing schools, incomplete school uniform identifying poverty or difference. The need to fit in and be accepted; the cost of standing out and being a target for bullies and suspicion. The changes in family dynamics and sibling jealousy. With Imogen a lack of confidence and personal grief. One’s own parenting casting doubt on your ability to be a good parent yourself. The closing of professional bodies to maintain the status quo. The book also highlights possible dangers of believing the child and being led by their needs. How, under stress and enough chatter thrown into the mix rational thought can be set aside.Above all it speaks to me of the need to support and accept children for themselves, embrace feelings of anger and hatred to remove blame, show balance of emotions that a new sibling may seem a threat but without communication and shared love negative feelings can fester. If you believe some of these scenarios Jenny cleverly poses along the way think what it must seem for a 12 year old child caught up in the reality.A book that reaffirms our need to love and care for our children and another masterpiece that confirms this author’s place in psychological mysteries.

  • Lavender
    2018-08-30 16:03

    3,5 Stars„The Foster Child“ is a disturbing psychological thriller about a creepy child.Child psychologist Imogen Reid returns to her hometown after the dead of her mother. She has to build a new life for her and her husband. Something happened in her old job in London and they have to make a new start. One of her first cases is elven year old Ellie. Something is odd about the girl. She has a reputation to cause bad things to people who get cross with her. But Imogen takes a liking to that poor girl. She defends her and crosses the lines of what she is allowed to do - again. There are a lot of creepy thinks going on and I found myself pitying Ellie and a moment later I was scared of her. I got an idea of what was going on while I was reading. It turns out I was almost right. But not entirely. I think it is better not to know too much about the plot. A lot of the story is transported through the characters involved. And I think it is for the best when you just get to know them yourself. I had some problems with the main character Imogen. I found her extremely unprofessional. She is a complicated character and very changeable. I understand she had a troubled childhood (I would have loved to learn more about that and the reason) but I could not connect to her. Everybody in her surrounding is revolving around her but it is obviously not enough for her. She is very self-centered. For my taste the story stays too much at the surface. A lot of things don’t get explained deeper. And some characters are really plain. This book is an easy and creepy read although it is a bit superficially. But it is entertaining. And Ellie is a remarkable character. I received an ARC from NetGalleyin exchange for an honest review

  • Sarah
    2018-09-16 21:25

    You can always tell a good book when the first thing you think about is when you are going to be able to pick it up again and carry on reading. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had to go to work and needed sleep, I would have easily finished this in one sitting.As soon as I started it and read of little Ellie, I was well and truly hooked. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of her. She pulled me in but made me want to keep my distance also. The only nice relationship she has is with her foster sister Mary who keeps an eye out for her. Everyone else either doesn’t seem to like her or for some reason they seem scared of her. Either way Ellie is a very troubled and mixed up little girl who has an awful lot to deal with. There were some bullying scenes that nearly had me in tears as I wanted to give the other children what for, for being so cruel to Ellie when she is so desperate to make friends.Imogen has a bit of a troubled past herself. She has returned to her childhood home which holds demons for her and she wants to get on with her life. It isn’t long before she very much gets caught up with what is happening in the small village and trying to help Ellie.The book has been likened to Stephen Kings Carrie and having read it I totally understand why. Ellie is some one who will have your heart breaking whilst giving you goose bumps.The Foster Child is a truly gripping read that I couldn’t read quick enough to see what the outcome would be and boy it didn’t disappoint! There is plenty within the pages to keep you hooked with a few twists and turns, which by the end, left me needing something warm and fuzzy as I felt like someone had walked over my grave. Brilliant!My thanks to Headline and Bookbridgr for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

  • Sylvia
    2018-09-21 14:18

    Well, I am not really sure what to make of this book. It seemed a little confused and unsure if it wanted to be a thriller or a supernatural book. I had to go back to it a couple of times. Ellie is a foster child who everyone is scared of and convinced she can make things happen by being angry. Her new social worker Imogen is even scared of her, what is going on and is everyone who goes against Ellie in danger? A good read in parts but a bit confusing in others.

  • Shawna P.
    2018-09-14 17:05

    Having read this author's books and loving them, I was eager to get my hands on this one. It sounded pretty creepy. Imogene is a psychologist who takes on the case of a young girl named Ellie. Ellie's foster family is at loss with what to do with her. When Ellie is around, weird things happen, and it doesn't help that she is the sole survivor of a fire that killed her family. Much to Imogene's husband's disliking, Imogene gets close to Ellie and is quick to come to her aid, even when horrible things begin to happen.I have no clue why I just couldn't get into this one. It was a little creepy at times, but also pretty predictable. I feel like the plot of a weird child (usually a young girl) has been done a lot lately. Also fires. Just like Bad Little Girl. Sigh..not a win for me.

  • Maggie
    2018-08-30 19:18

    Ellie hasn't had a great start in life. She lost her family in a fire where she was the only survivor. She is now with a foster family but is struggling to fit in at home or at school. Her foster sister tries to take care of her but she isn't around all the time. Sometimes when Ellie get upset, strange things happen resulting in rumours that she is to be feared- this is not helping her adjustment to her new life!Imogen Reid returns to her hometown where she was never very happy. She has her own issues, but when she is assigned as case worker to Ellie's school and hears what is being said she is determined to protect this poor child- but is Imogen the one that needs protecting?I had read reviews of this book describing how chilling & scary it was. That intrigued me, as an avid reader of early Stephen King I haven't had a good scare for a while! The Foster Child soon saw to that! This is a gripping read where you are on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next & mentally saying, "Don't go there/ do that!" Definitely five stars.Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for giving me the chance to read this haunting book. I think I need something a bit lighter after it!!

  • Janel
    2018-09-03 15:27

    4.5 stars - Ms Gilbert should be fired instantly! That was my first overpowering thought I had reading this novel. I won’t elaborate on the plot but for my first thought to make any sense, you need to know, Ms Gilbert is one of the teachers at Ellie’s school. My second over powering thought was – wow, kids can be so cruel. Early on in my read, I felt immense empathy for Ellie, this poor girl, who lost her family in a fire is being shunned by adults and children alike – the victim of awful bullying. The short chapters in this novel had me turning the pages furiously because I had to know if I was right to feel empathy for Ellie or if everyone was just in their fear of her.Interestingly, I didn’t really like Imogen and never took to her throughout the entire novel, but this didn’t dampen my read at all – I just couldn’t abide by how drastically she broke the boundaries of her role in Ellie’s life. But seeing her get closer to Ellie, I just knew it wasn’t going to end well and this excited me. The further into this novel I got, the stronger the emotional elements became and when emotions are running high, anything is possible – and that kept me guessing right up until Blackhurst was ready to reveal her master plan.The Foster Child has this almost, but not quite, paranormal atmosphere to it – Blackhurst’s writing, combined with the plot, created this creepy aura that gave me a real sense of unease. Not in a horror-novel kind of way, but initially I felt there’s no way bad things could happen just because Ellie got upset, but then I wasn’t so sure. This unease, the notion that something is not quite right but I can’t put my finger on quite what was one of the things I found so captivating about this novel. This is an intense read; the characters believe what they believe so strongly that you get caught up in their emotions and it skews your own beliefs to the point where you’re not even sure what you believe any more.I’m a lover of novels set in a small-town, everything is intensified ten-fold and that just served to heighten my reading experience. I have to say, I really enjoyed this novel, much more than I anticipated I would, and I’m so glad I didn’t overlook it. I absolutely recommend The Foster Child, it’s subtly disturbing in a way that only child protagonists can deliver – no one wants to believe a child is evil, but sometimes you just can’t shake that unsettling feeling…*My thanks to the publisher (Headline) for providing me with a copy of this book via Book Bridgr*

  • Teresa
    2018-08-29 17:08

    This book follows the story of Ellie, a child who lost all her family in a tragic house fire and is now living with foster parents, and Imogen, who is a psychologist that has returned to Gaunt to live in her family home, and has been assigned the case of Ellie in her new job. From the first time of meeting Ellie, Imogen knows she has her work cut out getting through to this vulnerable little girl, but she can sympathise with her as she had a tough childhood herself. Ellie is different though, when she gets angry or upset, bad things happen and even though Imogen is warned that Ellie is dangerous, she is determined to prove them wrong.This is the 3rd book by Jenny Blackhurst and, while it is slightly different to her other two, it is just as good. The author, in her usual style, draws you slowly into the story like a spider drawing in its prey and once captured, you can't escape and to be quite honest you don't WANT to! It has a touch of paranormal about it and is very creepy. I was convinced from about half way through the book that I knew what was happening and even though I was partly right I was not prepared for what was to come. I am a massive fan of this author and cannot wait to see what she has in store for her readers next time! I would like to thank Headline for approving me to read this book and will post my review on Goodreads now and on Amazon and Twitter on publication day.

  • Claire Mawdesley
    2018-09-14 19:07

    I absolutely loved this book. I only ever read psychological thrillers and have become a master at figuring out plot twists. Not with this book, which I relished. I loved both of Jenny's other two books, but in this one, you can feel her confidence growing as a writer, which is fabulous to experience. Highly recommended.

  • Donna Irwin
    2018-08-29 20:14

    It is not often that a book leaves me lost for words but this one certainly did. The writing was sublime and left me feeling uncomfortable from beginning to end. The story of Ellie and Imogen and of the bad things that seemed to happen when they were around left me chilled to the bone. I don't want to say a lot more as It might give the game away - just wow!

  • Anne
    2018-09-06 20:30

    Relatively speaking, Jenny Blackhurst is still a 'new' author, this is her third book, but despite that, I've been looking forward to it for a long time. I was very impressed with her first book; How I Lost You, which I reviewed here on Random Things back in 2015. Before I Let You in followed in 2016, again I reviewed it on this blog, and I was absolutely blown away by it. So, The Foster Child had a lot to live up to.I may have sworn a few times whilst reading The Foster Child. There are characters and plot details that are so excellently created and I'm more than a little in awe of Jenny Blackhurst's imagination. OK, maybe I'm a little frightened by how her mind works ..... This is an eerie, spine chilling story that never, for one moment, lets up. The reader is carried along a very twisty path towards a reveal that is totally unexpected, but oh so very clever .... very very clever.The Foster Child takes an age-old theme; that of the 'Devil Child'; think Damien in The Omen or Stephen King's Malachai from Children of the Corn and places it in an entirely modern setting.Imogen Reid is a child psychologist who has recently returned to the town of Gaunt; the place where she grew up. It's clear from the outset that Gaunt does not conjure up memories of a happy, carefree childhood. In fact Imogen seems scared of the small town's streets and is especially fearsome of her own family home. As the story progresses, Jenny Blackhurst cleverly reveals tiny details about Imogen's past; both her recent history and her childhood. This makes for interesting reading, and the reader cannot help but compare Imogen to Ellie; the child whose case she is given to work on.Ellie is just eleven-years-old and living in foster care after losing her entire family in a house fire. Things happen when Ellie is about, and woe betide anyone who may cross her as their fate is probably sealed. As a reader, it is sometimes uncomfortable to read how Ellie is treated by the people of Gaunt. Whilst one can almost understand, if not condone, the bullying from fellow children, Ellie's treatment by some of the supposedly responsible adults is horrific at times.Jenny Blackhurst shows incredible insight into the human psyche; her accounts of the bullying behaviour of very young children toward Ellie are brutal and stark and leave nothing to the imagination. The Foster Child is deftly plotted and entirely believeable, it is meticulously crafted with a gradual unfolding leading to a jaw-dropping ending that delivers more than one shocking reveal.Jenny Blackhurst's writing get better with each novel; she really is up there as one of the best authors of her genre. I look forward to seeing what she thinks up next!

  • Angela Smith
    2018-09-25 16:26

    The chapters in the book are fairly short but it gives it a sort of a punchy, switching back and forth between characters that works. The story is told from the POV of mainly Imogen Reid who is a child psychologist who has had to relocate to her childhood home with her husband. Her home is not a happy place as it is the memories of her own childhood that haunt her. Her experiences have also made her want to help other children, perhaps a little above and beyond the call of duty. The village of Gaunt is rather like it's name, cold and cruel. Imogen is given the case of Ellie, a young girl whose entire family perished in a house fire. She is living with a foster family and friends are few and far between. It doesn't help that the local children think she is a witch because strange things always happen around Ellie. Whether accidental or deliberate, most of the town has decided that she is bad. Her case worker Imogen is the only person that tries to see things for what they are and not judge Ellie, but as things start to escalate it is hard for her to even remain impartial to what is going on. At least Ellie has her foster sister Mary...I quite liked that the chapters were short as I think in a strange way it added to the atmosphere of the book and the tone of the story.

  • Christine Owens
    2018-09-23 15:27

    Great book. I was a little confused at first and it took a little while for it to get going for me but once it did I couldn't put it down. Takes you in all sorts of directions until you don't know who or what you believe any more. Great storyline, liked the way all the characters were portrayed, even when some of them are not that likeable, and love the author's style of writing. I definitely think it's a story to keep your interest throughout and highly recommend it.

  • Annette
    2018-09-14 19:18

    A wow book only comes along every so often and this is most definitely one of those times. The build up and suspense is off the scale, one minute you have it sussed and the next minute you have no idea who to believe and what path to follow. The end is no exception with an absolutely mind blowing twist. It is a book I didn't want to finish thank you for the ARC.

  • BookwormCatLady
    2018-08-29 19:18

    Creepy, cleverly written, dark & twisty - perfect ingredients for a damned good read!Thanks to Headline for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Sara Cox
    2018-09-22 14:03

    I love Jenny Blackhurst's books and have read 'Before I Let You In' and 'How I Lost You,' so I was super excited when Netgalley approved my request for 'The Foster Child.' Settling down for a familiar dose of Blackhurst's brilliant characterisation and compelling narrative, I was immediately surprised at how different this book is to her previous ones. In saying that however, I found 'The Foster Child' refreshing, compelling, full of suspense and unexpected twists and turns and thoroughly enjoyable. I've read so much in this genre recently and am getting adept at guessing twists and endings but with this one, just as I congratulated myself smugly that I had guessed what was going on, the book turned on its head and led me down a different path entirely. What this succeeded in doing was hooking me in, right up to the very last word.Without spoilers, here is a brief synopsis. When the main Protagonist, Imogen loses her job as a child psychologist for caring too much and going above and beyond the call of duty, she decides to have a fresh start and she and her husband Dan, move back to her childhood home which her deceased mother gifted In her will. As we learn more about Imogen's relationship with her mother, it unravels an interesting back story about the mother/daughter relationship and fits in perfectly with the themes and motifs weaved into this plot so cleverly. These themes are authentically and convincingly written and are fine tuned without cliche and with great care and attention to detail.So as Imogen secures a 'lesser job' in her old home town, she is determined that this time, she won't get too involved and 'just do her job,' without drama. However, this is of course immediately scuppered when, she is given 'problem foster child, Ellie' as one of her cases.. As Imogen starts to ask questions of Ellie and those around her, she soon uncovers an apparent 'witch hunt' against foster child Ellie, and incensed by this, vows to stand up for her. However despite Imogen's insistence that the treatment of Ellie is unfair, Ellie's foster mother, teachers and school friends continue to believe she is evil. They insist Ellie is causing mayhem through telekenisis, thus making horrible things happen to people who have crossed her. Horrified by this blatant bullying of an innocent chikd, Imogen pushes on against her better judgement and unravels a nasty can of worms ( or spiders). The cause and effect of this interference by Imogen and the close relationship she begins to share with Ellie, taints Imogen's life, health and well being. As the tension and terror escalates, Imogen puts her job at risk, pushing professional boundaries as well as those of her marriage. We also discover the secrets Imogen has fought to keep buried for so long both past and present. I don't want to say anymore about the plot than this, because I want you to be as surprised and delighted as I was as I huddled under my duvet until 3am this morning, desperate to get to the end. I also have to say this book was very creepy at times, laced with a slab of darkness and a sprinkling of goose bumps so be warned if you're reading alone late into the night like I was!This new novel is a brave change of direction for Jenny Blackhurst and one which she pulls off effortlessly. The narrative and characterisation pull you in immediately and I became so engrossed in the characters, I was quite sad to see them go when I finished the book. Although the novel was scary, surprising, sad, funny and poignant all at the same time, it was addictive and beautifully written. All of the above is a great achievement and hard to pull off, particularly in the modern world we live in, where nothing surprises us anymore, and where often the news is more shocking than fiction. In addition to this, the fiction and particularly the psychological thriller market seems currently saturated by similar storylines and copycat versions of 'Girl on the train or 'Gone girl. So I am delighted to say that 'The Foster Child' felt like a breath of fresh air and a much needed diversion. I can't wait to see what Jenny Blackhurst does for her next novel but rest assured I will be queuing up to get my hands on a copy, In summary, I would thoroughly recommend this book particularly if you enjoy a page turning read and want something that will keep you interested. I am a huge fan of Jenny's writing and this book is her best yet.Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.