THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“A twisted psychological thriller you’ll have trouble putting down.”—People
“If you liked Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, you might want to pick up The Widow by Fiona Barton. Engrossing. Suspenseful.”—Stephen King
Following the twists and turns of an unimaginable crime, The Widow is an electrifying debut thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife.
There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.
Now her husband is dead, and there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.
The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything...
An NPR Best Book of the Year
One of The Wall Street Journal’s 5 “Killer Books” of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
Includes a Readers Guide and an excerpt of Fiona Barton’s The Child.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Fiona Barton's much anticipated psychological thriller will leave fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train on the edge of their seats. Widow Jeanie Taylor is being hounded by the press—her late husband, Glen, was suspected (but never convicted) of abducting a child years ago. Bouncing between the present day and the years around the crime that disrupted the couple's lives, Barton makes us question Glen and Jeanie’s involvement at every turn. A suspenseful mystery told from multiple (and often unreliable) perspectives and packed with red herrings, The Widow kept us turning pages well into the night.
What would you do if your spouse suddenly became the prime suspect in the kidnapping of a two-year-old girl? That's the stomach-churning prospect that confronts London hairdresser Jean Taylor in this exceptional debut from British journalist Barton, who circles her story as if it were a lurking panther, unseen but viscerally sensed. The main action occurs in 2010, with flashbacks to little Bella Elliott's headline-dominating disappearance from her home in Southampton in 2006. Multiple narrators maximize suspense, with perspectives switching among tough-to-read Jean, whose husband, Glen, has just been fatally hit by a bus at the book's start; haunted Det. Insp. Bob Sparkes, the lead investigator, whose career the case jeopardizes; and tabloid reporter Kate Waters, most resourceful of the frenzied journalistic pack chasing the story. Though Barton stumbles slightly down the homestretch, tipping what should be her biggest bombshell, she tells her tale with a realism and restraint that add to its shattering impact. Author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Novel lacks suspense!
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.
Often hard to follow
There were slightly too many viewpoints and too many timelines in the structure that made it difficult to follow. Many parts were also too disturbing to enjoy, even for the mystery. The resolution also was not satisfying and I still was unclear on how it’d been resolved. However, the first half of the book was quite strong and engaging. Worth a read nonetheless, if you enjoy the psychological thriller genre.
Lots of handwringing, little character development
One of those books I forced myself to finish because I paid for it. Wished for “more” the whole time I was reading: more plot development (don’t tell me you didn’t figure all of it out within the first 20 pages) , more character development (I couldn’t connect with a single one), more. . .twists? Intrigue? It read like it was supposed to be suspenseful when you actually knew what happened right from the start.