MixedThe Financial Times (UK)Oates contorts language in her descriptions of characters, creating unease as you second-guess who these people truly are, and who to trust ... Despite the horror of the story, Oates’ skill with narrative and her mastery of prose create a compelling study in the most ugly aspects of human desire. The brutal descriptions of violence against women and children can be unsettling and, arguably, unnecessary. Guessing the identity of the titular Babysitter does not require much in the way of investigative skills, but this is not the thrust of the narrative. The true horror of the novel comes less from the perverted child-killer than the torture endured in the futile search for connection.