Start reading The Crying Child on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


The Crying Child [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Michaels
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $7.59
You Save: $0.40 (5%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 74%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $7.59  
Hardcover, Large Print --  
Paperback --  
Mass Market Paperback $7.99  
Hero Quick Promo
Year-End Kindle Daily Deals
Load your library with great books for $2.99 or less each, today only. Learn more

Book Description

Joanne McMullen's fears for her sister's sanity have brought her to remote King's Island, Maine. Mary's grief over the loss of her child is threatening to send her over the edge—and her insistence that she has heard an eerie, childlike wailing in the woods fuels Joanne's anxiety. And now Mary's taken to disappearing at midnight in search of the source of the heartrending moans. But it's not just her sister's encroaching madness that is chilling Joanne's blood—it's her own. Because suddenly, impossibly, she also hears the crying child.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elizabeth Peters (writing as Barbara Michaels) was born and brought up in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. Peters was named Grandmaster at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986, Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar® Awards in 1998, and given The Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic in 2003. She lives in an historic farmhouse in western Maryland.

Product Details

  • File Size: 208 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (October 13, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000VYX8QS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,330 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the best June 17, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Barbara Michaels is the high priestess of the mystery/ghost story genre, with her restrained spookiness and sense of atmosphere.
The book takes place when a young struggling artist visits her wealthy sister and brother-in-law. Jo's sister Mary just had a third miscarriage, and the loss of her baby is affecting her mentally - she's clinging to the idea of a child out in the woods, who is crying for her and begging for her help. Jo begins to wonder if Mary really is crazy -- but then she hears the crying too.
Jo teams up with her brother in law Ran, and the handsome (but woman-wary) doctor Will Graham, to find out what the crying is. But when the ghostly apparition of a beautiful, sad woman appears, Jo begins to dig into the past of Ran's family, and discovers a web of lies, murder, and terror centering on a lost child...
Quite honestly I had difficulty sleeping after reading this novel -- the climax is intense and terrifying, as is the revelation of who committed those murders. There were plenty of suspects, but at the same time no one would suspect the guilty party.
Jo is an excellent heroine: smart, wry, brave, and loyal to her sister, who is a rather nebulous presence once it's discovered that, while unstable, she's not totally delusional. I thought Ran was something of a controlling fink, but he was very human in his flaws and strong points (loves his wife, wants a child, etc). I disliked Will initially, because of his rather hostile stance toward women, but began to warm to him as the novel progressed.
A delightful ghost story/mystery. Just don't read it after dark!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BOOK, GOOD AUTHOR! September 17, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'll have to admit out of all Barbara Micheals' books that I have read so this one is the most chilling/scary one I have ever read. When you start reading it. It seems a bit slow at first but gets better because you can almost feel that erie coldness and chill down your spine. It a while to walk off the feeling of uneasiness after reading the book even after I read a second time. I recommend this book to all fans of Barbara Micheals and those that love books that send chills to your bones.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine ghost story November 16, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A genuine ghost story which made for an entertaining read. Often Michaels opts for a more logical conclusion leaving the supernatural events to be explained by a nefarious slight of hand by one of the characters. In this book the ending is as gothic as the house in which the story takes place.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling December 27, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this to be a very chilling tale. I couldn't put this book down and I look forward to reading other titles by Mrs. Michaels. The suspense is amazing as you find there are more than plenty of suspects, but that you never suspected the actual evil doer.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A chilling gothic read! July 6, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Supernatural fiction is one of my favorite genres, especially those that are focused on hauntings and ghosts. I have read many such fiction over the years, and Barbara Michael's "The Crying Child" is one of my all-time favorites. I actually read this book years ago, and then recently watched a LMN screening of the tele-movie and decided to re-read the book. It is as chilling and atmospheric as I remembered it.

The story centers on a couple who are grief-stricken due to the loss of their child in a miscarriage. Mary and Ran then go to an island retreat off the Maine coast, living in a sprawling house. Jo, Mary's sister joins them and initially fears for her sister's sanity as Mary keeps talking about hearing a baby's cries, but then Jo herself hears the cries and tries to figure out the mystery of the 'crying child'.

Jo together with Ran and the island doctor, Will try to solve the mystery, but then Jo unearths some unsettling facts about Ran's family history that is permeated with deceit, murder etc.

The story moves along at a good pace. It is atmospheric and creepy and is one of the few supernatural thrillers that I like to re-read. Some of the other titles that I would recommend in the genre are "Naomi's Room" by British horror master Jonathan Aycliffe, "The Dwelling" by Susie Moloney and "The Seance" by John Harwood.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy! May 29, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition
A big house and a cliff. A mysterious child crying, a locked door leading to a nursery in a tower. A cemetery in the woods. A mysterious gravestone. Someone out there, in the dark, on the lawn...proceed with caution as the author guides you, the reader, to each of these points of interest.

I enjoyed this book, and am looking to see what others by Barbara Michaels I haven't read. I like the way her books keep me up late at night, and looking forward to picking up her book again in the morning.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Authentically Creepy September 22, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is deft suspense writing -- really atmospheric, with a well-wrought plot that still reads well despite a couple of dated cultural references here and there.
Michaels' heroine is down-to-earth and skeptical, and it's compelling to read the ways in which the supernatural goings-on begin to prey on her nerves despite her best efforts.
The gradual unpeeling of an old family's well-kept secrets is paced just right, with lots of twists and turns but no red herrings. A real keeper.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've Loved this Book for Years May 8, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't know what it is about this book. I fell in love with it the very first time I read it, at least 20 years ago. I've borrowed it from my library at least once a year ever since, and finally got enough sense to buy my own copy. It haunts you, and the more often you read it, the more details you notice. It's one of the few books I return to over and over.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Patsy Pitts
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cry in the Night Leads to a Haunting Family Secret
This has got to be my most favorite Barbara Michaels' books. It has the perfect amount things that go bump in the night and Maine Coon Cats
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book. Barbara writes her usual suspense-romantic books
A great book. Barbara writes her usual suspense-romantic books
Published 2 months ago by Karen
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Loved it
Published 4 months ago by catherin
5.0 out of 5 stars Michaels-- as always-- did a terrific job of loading on the spooky...
Barbara Michaels' books nearly always give me the shivers but this one was particularly creepy. The idea of being haunted by the ghost of a child-- perhaps a malevolent one is... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Melanie Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and interesting
This is definitely one of the better Barbara Michaels books I've read. It was close to being 4.5 stars. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Barbara's best.
I purchased this book as a replacement for my copy which is falling apart. It is a great read! Of course, to me, anything from Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters is terrific. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars E-book
I love Barbara Michaels stories - they have the right amount of supernatural. This was a great ghost story! It's one of my Barbara Michael's favorites!
Published 21 months ago by Jezebel Ida
5.0 out of 5 stars Old favorite
I've loved this book since it came out many years ago. I bought it for my Kindle as I enjoy re-reading old favorite. All Barbara Michaels'/Elizabeth Peters books are old friends.
Published 24 months ago by Carole E. Maguire
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Handling of the Supernatural
I've read LOTS of mysteries by this author under her pseudonym 'Elizabeth Peters' but am just getting to know her 'Barbara Michaels' books. Read more
Published on July 4, 2011 by J Davis
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category