Monday, January 28, 2019

Review - The Widow by Fiona Barton

The Widow by Fiona Barton
Narrated by Hannah Curtis, Nicholas Guy Smith, Mandy Williams, Jayne Entwistle, and Steve West
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group / Penguin Audio
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Date Read: January 16, 2019
Length: 336 pages / 10 hours 18 minutes
Source: NetGalley / 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…
My Review

I thought this book was really well done.  I have had this book for several years but never got around to reading for one reason or another.  When I noticed that a copy of the audiobook was available and it featured a large cast of narrators, I decided it was time to see what this book was all about.  I was hooked by the story right away and there were times that I didn't want to put it down.  I really did enjoy this book in the end.

This is a book that jumps around in time a bit with several different points of view.  I think that the way the book was set up helped to add to the mystery.  From the start of the book, I had an idea of where things might go but I was never quite sure.  This is a rather sad book in a lot of ways largely because the story felt so realistic and a crime against a small child is at its core.  How many little boys and girls go missing every year without a lot to go on?  It happens all too often based on what I see on my local news.  I wanted a happy ending in this book (don't I always?) but I got a more realistic one instead.

Much of this story is told from Jean's point of view.  We hear from her both during her marriage to Glen and after his death.  I wasn't quite sure if she was hiding something or covering for her husband.  Was she the clueless wife, was she involved, was he an innocent man?  I can't really say that I really liked Jean but I did feel somewhat sympathetic to her at times.  Then there's the reporter who was probably one of the more likable characters in the book.  She wants the story but is pretty competent in her quest to find answers.  The detective was determined to solve this case.  It was the one that kept him up at night and he was willing to do what needed to be done to get some resolution.  We do hear from Bella's mother and Glen and while those points of view are short they are powerful.

There are quite a few narrators that lend their voices to this audiobook and I thought that they all did a great job with the story.  The bulk of the work fell on just a few narrators since most of the story was told from their character's point of view.  I found all of the narrators to be easy to listen to and I believe that their performances added to my enjoyment of the story.

I would recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers.  I think that this story felt very authentic and the way the story was presented kept me guessing.  I wouldn't hesitate to read more of this author's work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.
About the Author

Fiona Barton, the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow and The Child, trains and works with journalists all over the world. Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

19 comments:

  1. I want to know what the mystery is now! It is killing me

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  2. Oh dear, this one has me curious.

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  3. I read this a while back and have relatively enjoyed it. She's starting to have a reputation in suspense reads.

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    1. This is the second book of hers that I have read and I enjoyed them both.

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  4. The blurb had me curious and I love that you didn't spoil my curiosity with your review but only increased it. Great job.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  5. I always love a good thriller so I'm curious

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    1. I hope you get the chance to read this one, Melliane.

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  6. Oh if I can get the audio it's on - Steve West!!! And I enjoy mystery thrillers, although this sounds sad. Does Fiona Barton do mostly stand alones? I'm seeing the Suspect all over the place right now. Anne - Books of My Heart

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    1. Steve West only narrates one small section of the book so I wouldn't grab it just for that but I thought it was worth the listen. I do believe that her books all work as stand alones.

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  7. Wonderful review! I'll have to check this one out!

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  8. It does sound quite interesting. I might need to check out a few reviews before I decide!

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    Replies
    1. It is always good to check out several reviews. This one may not be for everyone.

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  9. So what did he do??!
    You've really got me intrigued now! Great review

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  10. Yay for reading from your backlog! I am a bit worried I am going to get a bit confused though. I don't mind different POVs and I don't mind time jumping, but both combined is not something I am usually faced with!

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  11. I'm in the middle of this one and am enjoying it. I think I liked The Child a bit better (also a great audio listen) but this one is making me think more about just what is really going on. This is one I have to make myself stop listening to. So far I just want to know more and more!

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