Title: The Widow Author: Fiona Barton Published: February 16th 2016 by NAL Format: eBook, Hardcover, 336 pages Genre: Suspense Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin Group for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this
I need to stop believing hype about books. From the very beginning, the reader could see the road that this book was going down and by midway through, I had actually put it down to go read others. Feeling an obligation to finish what I had started, I picked it up again only to find myself trudging to the end. Granted, the last twenty percent of the book was good, but it is still not a book that I would recommend to anyone else.
Young Bella was taken from her front garden while her mother was distracted and to this day Detective Bob Sparkes has not let the case go. Glen Taylor was brought up on charges but the case was not proven. Now that he has died and no one is grieving, his widow Jeanie Taylor, a decent woman totally dominated by her husband, is left to tell the story. Throughout the book, the reader is not fully sure of what that story will be. There are crumbs left and false trails for the reader, but in the end, there is only one case to follow and either you are completely on board with what you are being told or you have lost faith in the story.
Each chapter is told from differing perspectives – The Report, The Detective, The Mother, and changing time frames and grittier parts, which might turn the stomachs of sensitive readers. By the end, you begin to wonder if Jeanie will have a chance to be her own person, or if her own slow unraveling will leave her with no other choice.
The Widow is another in the long list of Gone Girl / Girl on a Train type of books. The current marketing trend seems to be pushing unreliable narrators and that is what you get with this book. A cat and mouse game from the beginning that will appeal to some and bore others.