Title: The Widow
Author: Fiona Barton
A loving husband or a heartless killer…she’d know, wouldn’t she?
There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with accusing glares and anonymous harassment. Now her husband is dead, and there’s no reason to stay quiet. People want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them 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. For the reporter who has secured the exclusive interview, this is the scoop of a lifetime. For the detective who has lived a half-life since he failed to get justice for the victim, it is a chance to get at the truth that has eluded him for so long. For Jean, it’s a chance to defend herself, what she knew–and when.
This is the tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the main suspect, the detective leading the hunt, and the journalist covering the case. It’s a brilliantly ominous, psychologically acute portrait of a marriage in crisis–perfect for fans of The Silent Wife and The Girl on the Train.
The Widow was my Thriller pick for October’s Colour Me Read Challenge. I’m not a frequent reader of this genre so while I was up for taking on the challenge, I didn’t really look forward to it. I did love The Girl on the Train when I read it, so part of me also missed that experience.
The Widow is the perfect book for people curious enough to dabble in this genre but know in their heart of hearts that they would rather start with something mild. I’m one of those people by the way, so this book was right for me. There was nothing graphic or gory in the book and I was able to read it without being concerned about nightmares.
My favourite thing about this book was the changing perspectives from the widow, the reporter, and the detective. I’m normally not a fan of books written in this format because they typically end a character’s chapter with a cliffhanger, but the great thing about The Widow is that it continues cliffhangers from the perspective of another character. I loved this part of the story because I was hopping from one mind to the next, looking at the case through the eyes of people who have very different motives.
This book was a faster read than I anticipated and while I don’t think it’s as thrilling as The Girl on the Train, it’s interesting and captivating in its own right. I will say that it felt like a wild goose chase in parts and it kept building to a climax that didn’t quite deliver it.
Overall, I would recommend The Widow to new readers of this genre and while seasoned readers may still enjoy it, they may find its thriller factor underwhelming.