First Line: I can hear the sound of her crunching up the path.
When the police began showing up at the door... when they began asking questions... Jean Taylor was circumspect, a woman standing by her wrongly accused husband. When her husband dies, Jean doesn't have to be that woman any more.
There's a lot Jean could say about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She's no longer busy being the perfect wife. And believe you me, there are people who would do almost anything to get Jean to tell her story. What was it like to live with Glen Taylor? Jean could tell them that there were secrets-- just like there are in any marriage.
But is Jean Taylor actually going to tell any of those people the truth?
I am glad that I didn't see all the Gone Girl and Girl on a Train hype before I decided to read this book. If I had, I wouldn't have read it. Gone Girl may be flavor of the month, but it left a very bad taste in my mouth, hence my reluctance to fall for any hype linking a new book to it. Fortunately The Widow is not Gone Girl, so if that's been making you nervous, you can relax.
This is the story of Jean Taylor, a woman who has tried her best for a very long time to be a perfect wife for Glen Taylor, a man who is less than perfect himself. As a matter of fact, readers slowly learn that Glen Taylor is one of the lower forms of pond scum. Orbiting around Jean like twin asteroids are Detective Inspector Bob Sparkes, the police officer who desperately wants to bring closure to a victim's family, and journalist Kate Stone, a woman with a knack for prying headline-grabbing stories from reluctant people. Just what does Jean know? What really happened? Is she going to tell Sparkes and Stone what they want to hear? These are questions that follow the reader throughout the book.
Jean Taylor's voice is a compelling one, and she gains sympathy very early on. This story is a gradual-- often mesmerizing-- unraveling of events, and the author often held me right in the palm of her hand. Barton made only one misstep: there is one important fact that Jean Taylor is withholding, and Barton telegraphs it too early. This takes away some of the power of the ending, but even so, this debut novel has me wanting to get my hands on the author's next book!
The Widow by Fiona Barton
NAL © 2016
eBook, 368 pages
Psychological Thriller, Standalone
Source: Net Galley