Review: ‘The Widow’ is compelling psychological thriller
“The Widow” (NAL), by Fiona Barton
A woman loses her husband in an accident and must confront his past with both the press and police in Fiona Barton’s psychological thriller, “The Widow.”
Comparisons between “The Girl on the Train” and “Gone Girl” are rampant in reviews of Barton’s novel. While thematic elements are similar, the ultimate pay-off provides a vastly different outcome. The story line jumps back and forth in time and requires special attention to keep things straight.
In 2010, Jean Taylor is visited by Daily Post reporter Kate Waters, who is interested in the death of Jean’s husband, Glen. Four years earlier, a little girl named Bella disappeared from the front of her home and was never seen again. The police investigation led authorities to Glen, a delivery driver in the area. He was exonerated at trial, but the general public believed he was responsible.
Now that Glen has died, Waters sees this as an opportunity for Jean to tell her side of the story. While Jean slowly opens up, readers also follow detective Bob Sparkes as he investigates the disappearance of little Bella.
Barton’s writing is compelling and top-notch, which is rarely seen in a first novel, but the story line provides few of the surprises expected in a thriller. The plot is basically straightforward, but the main focus becomes not whether Glen Taylor is guilty or innocent but how well does Jean truly know her husband?