Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton

Publisher: NAL
Pub. Date: February 16, 2016
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4 Stars

 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…

I didn't expect The Widow to be quite so dark but that's what I got. Fair warning, this is about a woman standing by her husband after he's accused of kidnapping a beautiful little girl, Bella. It's also about the disgusting but very realistic look at predators on the Internet. The reason I want to give you a fair warning though, is because the husband, Glen, not only is he accused of the kidnapping but the guy is into disturbing images of child pornagraphy. He likes the type of porn where a woman will dress up as a child... No other commented needed. It all speaks for itself.

Throughout the novel, we get to see most of book through the eyes of his wife, Jean, who knows something is wrong but let's herself get charmed out of it when Glen blames everyone but himself for the deplorable images he likes to see and watch. But see that she truly believes he's innocent. Is he? Could her husband truly be this big of a monster? To prey on baby girls? More importantly, if this was your husband, would you be able to stand by his side every step of the way despite the fact that the world thinks of him as a child killer; a pedophile?

I was on the edge of my seat pretty much through the whole book. At one point I believed I knew what had happened. I was wrong, in a way. But some of my suspicions were confirmed towards the end of the book. To say I was beyond disgusted is an understatement. This kind of stuff isn't really that eye opening to me but with the internet you just never know. It's the perfect place for child predators to hide behind and do the things that they do. Things I won't allow myself to imagine.

The early reviews are saying the book is an equivalent to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train; The Widow definitely delivers but in its own right. I will say that the tone does match those two books in which they all will keep you reading until the very end. I liked the fact that we also got see things from the reporter, detective, and Bella's mom's point of view. It let us see all different kinds of angles of the book.

I, one hundred percent believe, that The Widow will be a fan favorite. You'll get to delve into the human mind and see the darker parts when it comes to sex, marriage, and deadly desires.

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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About the Author:
My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist - senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.

But through it all, a story was cooking in my head.

The worm of this book infected me long ago when, as a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the wives of those accused really knew – or allowed themselves to know.

It took the liberation of my career change to turn that fascination into a tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the man suspected of the crime, the detective leading the hunt, the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.

Much to my astonishment and delight, The Widow is available now in the UK, and around the world in the coming months.

However, the sudden silence of my characters feels like a reproach and I am currently working on a second book.

My husband and I are living the good life in south-west France, where I am writing in bed, early in the morning when the only distraction is our cockerel, Sparky, crowing.

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