Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Widow

The Widow by Fiona Barton
Berkley Publishing Group: 2/16/16
eBook review copy; 336 pages
ISBN-13: 9781101990261

The Widow by Fiona Barton is a highly recommended debut novel of suspense that begs the question: "How well do you really know your spouse?

Jean Taylor is a widow. Her husband Glen was recently killed when he stumbled and fell in front of a bus. Really, the accident was for the best because their lives have been a living hell lately. Glen was a suspect in the 2006 abduction of a two year old girl, Bella, the daughter of a single mother, Dawn. Jean has resolutely stood by Glen and supported him for years, through it all, even as the police are questioning both of them and watching their every move. She is there for him through the trial. And she has listened to Glen's advice and has endured the press hounding them, the public hating them.

Now that Glen has died, Jean should feel free to speak her mind. When reporter Kate Waters wrangles her into agreeing to an exclusive story and whisks her away to a nice hotel so they have the privacy to talk, Jean seemingly has been conned into disclosing her secrets. But Jean may have her own agenda, one that no one really understands or suspects.

DI Bob Sparks had been working on the case of missing Bella for months until he gets a tip that leads him to Glen Taylor. He is pursuing the case with a no-holds-barred focus. Could his resolute determination to make a case against Glen be too intense and single-minded?

The majority of the story in Barton's novel is told through these three characters in alternating characters:  the widow, Jean Taylor; the journalist,  Kate Waters; the detective, Bob Sparks. The story unfolds slowly. Jean stands steadfast by Glen, trying to ignore what she calls his "nonsense."

You are going to suspect that there is more to the story, and the details are slow to be revealed but the promise that you know they are coming will keep you reading. Barton does a great job with character and plot development. This is no huge surprise here (No Gone Girl as the cover suggested), but as the novel progresses more and more information is revealed and the suspicions begin to slowly add up, the questions will begin to multiply too. Everything culminated in a very satisfactory ending.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Berkley Publishing Group for review purposes.

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