The Widow - Fiona Barton

Posted by Sunny Quitzon
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The Widow - Fiona Barton

The Widow by Fiona Barton is supposed to be a suspense/mystery novel but it does not succeed. The book starts out in June of 2010. Jean Taylor’s husband was hit by a bus. Jean is sorry to lose her husband, but the scandal before his death was overwhelming. Glen Taylor was accused of kidnapping and killing a little girl (Bella Elliott). The police (especially Detective Inspector Bob Sparkes) could not prove that Glen committed the crime and now they may never find the out the truth. Kate Waters is a reporter with the Daily Post. She wants to get Jean’s story for their newspaper. Kate gets through the door and convinces Jean to sell her story to the Daily Post. We get to find out what Jean actually knew about Glen’s activities (the book then goes back to 2006). Did Glen kidnap and murder Bella Elliott? Can Jean lead the police to the body to give closure to Bella’s mother, Dawn?

The Widow is a slow moving book. It reminded me of oxen pulling a covered wagon across the open prairie (a long, slow journey). The writing itself is okay, but I found it lacking. The book is very dull with no action and a lousy ending. The first 17% of the book is just about Jean and her life with Glen. There is no action or mention of Glen’s crimes. The book goes back and forth from the present to the past. We get to see how Glen and Jean met, their life, etc. We also find out about Bella and her mother, Dawn. The police investigation into the crime. There is no suspense (not a page-turner). The book does not hold your attention. I give The Widow 1.5 out of 5 stars. The basic concept (the crime) is interesting, but the writer did not do a good job developing it.

I received a complimentary copy of The Widow from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.