The Widow -Fiona Barton

The Widow - Fiona Barton

I am really getting tired of publisher announcing their new books as „The New Gone Girl“ or „The Next Girl on a Train“. I thing it does not good for the new books. They are judged bevor reading them and the expectations are high. And you expect twists and turns and most of the time therefore you see them coming.


But now let’s talk about the book: little 2year old Bella got abducted. She simply disappears from the front garden. The whole country is interested in this story and every newspaper and tv channel wants to make money out of it. Police officer Bob Sparkes is on this case. He works on it meticulously, never stops to search for the culprit. He gets haunted by the case and little Bella. It’s a difficult case, there are hardly any evidences. So it lasts a while until he can present a suspect: Glen Taylor. Bob is sure that Glen is his man. But the trial fails to nail him down.


Glen’s wife Jean stands by his side. They married when they were very young. Jean never really got the chance to evolve. Glenn seams to love her and he takes care for her. But he also keeps her small. But Jean likes it this way. So she has not to take care of things herself. There is just one thing Glen can’t do for her: he can’t get her pregnant.


After the trial and the knowledge that Glen likes child porn she stands by him. She prefers not to see what she doesn’t want to see. She wants to keep her life as it is even if she can’t leave the house because of all the press hanging around in front of the house. Jean is of course the “Widow”. Right from the beginning we learn that Glen was hit by a bus and died. Free of Glen Jean then decides finally, 4 years after Bella got missing, to talk about what she knows.


“The Widow” is not a bad book. In many ways it’s quite good, I liked how it was told and the story. It just develops the story too slow, it focuses a lot on the police work Bob is doing to find a suspect and then the effort it took to nail Glen down. You see how involved Bob is and how he gets haunted by this case. There is also a lot about the relationship between Jean and Glen. For me there was a lack of tension, it was also, as we say in German “undercooled”. Maybe you get what I want to say with this expression. I did not get close to the characters or even liked them. Jean is a very passive character, she seems dumb and dull and I always thought of her as being older than 39.So the story drags a bit and something was missing, something gripping and special, that sparkle that makes a book unputdownable.


Thanks to the publishers via Netgalley for the review copy.