THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton

Publisher: NAL
Released: February 16, 2016
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★

For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, an electrifying thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife.

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen…

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

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 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…

Fiona Barton’s debut novel THE WIDOW is a dark, unsettling story – not exactly a thriller as it’s billed – but an intriguing page-turner nonetheless. I enjoyed it very much.

The book begins shortly after Jean Taylor’s husband Glen dies in an accident. Four years prior, Glen was accused of kidnapping a two-year old girl who disappeared without a trace. Jean’s support for her husband was unwavering despite the horrible things that surfaced about him. But why? And now that he’s gone, and his weird hold over her is broken, will she come forward and tell the real story?

This book was well written, with a cast of unpleasant yet compelling characters. Perspectives alternate between Jean, the widow, Kate, the reporter, Bob, the investigator, and Dawn, the missing girl’s mother. Of course, the most interesting of them all was Jean. As the wife of the accused, what did she really know?

THE WIDOW was a hard book for me to put down, as I was itching to know how the mystery of the missing girl played out. Nice blend of suspense, crime noir, and good story-telling. Impressive debut!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher though NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.