Fiona Barton: The Widow

Yet again, a book I had heard good things about on Twitter due to the amount of publishing companies that I follow on social media. And they weren’t wrong! It’s compared to The Girl on the Train which, being that I hated that book and never completed it, I feel is a bad comparison.

The Widow is psychological thriller about Glen and Jean who are caught up in a kidnapping, murder, child rape case of a young girl, Bella Elliott. Glen is the supposed culprit and both him and Jean face much backlash on his part. But what is the truth? Did Glen commit the act or didn’t he? Does Jean know the truth or is she none the wiser?

I really loved the concept of this novel and it suited perfectly to Fiona Barton’s style of writing. Barton writes so impeccably that you find yourself questioning the events and information put before you and she slowly sifts the information out so that you don’t find out too much all at once. I frequently found myself questioning Glen and Jean when other characters, such as Detective Sparkes, were confused about the case. It is this way of writing and providing the information needed to progress the narrative that I found the most interesting as it kept me hooked throughout.

The characters are also immensely realistic. Glen is presented as an emotionally manipulative husband that just wants what’s best for his wife, whilst Jean plays the ditsy woman who falls under his spell and believes every word that he says knowing that he won’t be too happy with anything shes says or does that goes against him. This I found very relatable and contemporary, an issue that is becoming more and more common in our day and age when woman find themselves stuck in relationships with men who manipulate them but feel inclined to stay within the relationship for fear of the consequences. The way these two act together within the narrative really adds to the puzzlement presented through the evidence in the case to prosecute Glen and this really adds to the enjoyment of the novel.

I wouldn’t classify it as the best thriller I have ever read, much preferring The Ice Twins, but is definitely up there amongst them. If you’re looking for a good thriller with lots of ups and downs and a could mystery about whodunnit, then it is worth a read.

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