2016 Book #64: THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton

The Widow by Fiona Barton
ISBN: 9781101990261 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781101990469 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780147525178 (audiobook)
ASIN: B00Z8VT8AE (Kindle edition)
Publication date: February 16, 2016  
Publisher: New American Library

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…   

In 2006, a young toddler girl, Bella, disappeared from her front yard. The police investigation zeroed in on several suspects, including Glen Taylor. Now it’s 2010 and Glen has died, reporters and the police are trying to get Glen’s wife, Jean, to talk about what she knows in The Widow by Fiona Barton.

Jean met Glen Taylor when she was only seventeen years of age. She married him at age nineteen and fell into a life where Glen molded her into his version of the ideal, subservient wife. When Glen is questioned in a child abduction case and then arrested, Jean stands by her husband. Initially, she believes him when he says the pornographic material accidentally made its way onto his computer. He then confesses to being addicted to pornography. Throughout the arrest, trial and years after, Jean has stood by her man and protected his secrets. Now that Glen is dead, it might be time to release those secrets. Enter Kate Waters, a reporter determined to learn as much as she can about the wife of the man many assumed to be a pedophile and a child murderer. Kate appears to befriend Jean in an effort to get her to reveal all. Everyone wants to know why she stayed in a marriage with such a monster. People want to know if she knew what her husband did and if so, why she didn’t turn him in. Can Kate get Glen’s widow to talk and if so, will she finally be able to tell the world what happened to that missing child?

The Widow is a fast-paced and captivating read. Jean comes across as an unwitting victim of her husband and now she’s a victim of journalists . . . or is she? The more I read, the more questions I had about Jean, Glen, and the missing child. Jean comes across as a sympathetic character and it was easy to feel for her. Glen is highly skilled at manipulating his wife and the truth. He’s a man that is never at fault for any of his actions, and there’s always someone else to blame. This story delves into some dark areas, such as child pornography, pornography, and pedophilia without being gruesome or providing graphic details. The Widow is much more than a behind-the-scenes look at a dysfunctional marriage, it is a taut psychological suspense-thriller that provides enough twists and turns that the reader is never quite sure where or how the story is going to end. I enjoyed the gradual build of tension within the story. This story is told alternating between the past and the present, and I especially enjoyed how the author went back to the year of the crime and gradually moved forward to the present. Did I enjoy reading The Widow? Yes, so much so that even though I was dealing with another migraine episode I couldn’t wait to get back to this book. I didn’t read it one sitting simply because of the migrainus interruptus and that was the only reason I set this book down. Yes, you guessed it, I encourage you to grab a copy of The Widow to read. Reader be warned, if you start reading this in the evening you’ll probably end up reading all night.  

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Author: thebookdivasreads

I'm a reader, an avid reader, or perhaps a rabid reader (at least according to my family). I enjoy reading from a variety of different genres but particularly enjoy fiction, mystery, suspense, thrillers, ChickLit, romance and classics. I also enjoy reading about numerous non-fiction subjects including aromatherapy, comparative religions, herbalism, naturopathic medicine, and tea.

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