by Fiona Barton
4.6 of 5.0 stars
Jean Taylor is the widow. She was not yet the widow when the events that create this story took place, which makes the premise so unique.
Without creating spoilers, I couldn't put the book down. Fiona Barton's writing is wonderful. The words she uses, the way the book is broken down in chapters concentrating on each character (with even a "surprise" character at the end). The chapters alternate between dates; be aware or you will end up re-reading to get the chronology correct. But it's amazing how the author is able to switch between time and person so perfectly.
Definitely a well put together psychological thriller. And up until the last few chapters, I literally had a list of suspects that barely fit on one hand; not just for the kidnapping but also for the "murder", if there was one of a different character all together.
My favorite character was the "copper" known as The Detective, Sparkes. All he wanted was the truth and he probably gave up his marriage to find it. He was so hurt as a man by the end of the book, and I felt for him. Least favorite character? Pick one...Dawn was a self-serving jerk, but of course she was suffering. Glen seemed like he possessed at least enough qualities to be labeled NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). I did not love (or even like) Jean. I did not feel sorry for her. She was responsible for everyone's downfall around her yet she couldn't realize it...maybe she's the NPD?
All the characters were so well defined and I am now a fan of Fiona Barton. Yesterday, I got 'The Child' and I am excited to put that as the next read on my list!
So why not 5.0 stars. Not really spoilers, but don't read this last paragraph if you're on the fence about reading the book. I just felt that there was nothing shocking. And now as I'm saying that, I would credit the incredible writing style of Barton to deliver the twists slowly. She did, didn't she? I felt almost let-down at the end, but truly it's how the book "should" have ended. And what a book.
Note: I did come back and change my 4.4 to 4.6.
Born Cambridge, England
Genre Suspense, Thriller
My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist - senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.
But through it all, a story was cooking in my head.
The worm of this book infected me long ago when, as a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the wives of those accused really knew – or allowed themselves to know.
It took the liberation of my career change to turn that fascination into a tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the man suspected of the crime, the detective leading the hunt, the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.
Much to my astonishment and delight, The Widow is available now in the UK, and around the world in the coming months.
However, the sudden silence of my characters feels like a reproach and I am currently working on a second book.
My husband and I are living the good life in south-west France, where I am writing in bed, early in the morning when the only distraction is our cockerel, Sparky, crowing.