Friday, February 26, 2016

#Friday Review - The Widow by Fiona Barton (Psychological Mystery)

Series: Standalone
Format: E-Galley, 336 pages
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: NAL
Source: Publisher
Genre: Thriller

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…

The Widow, by author Fiona Barton, is the story of one woman's struggles to survive after finding out her perfect husband, wasn't so perfect after all. The story itself is actually told over the course of 4 years, and features (5) different individuals who all have parts to play in the story. There is Jean Taylor, Glen Taylor, Inspector Bob Sparkes, Reporter Kate Waters, and Dawn Elliott, the mother of the missing girl Bella whose disappearance triggers a nation wide call to arms to find the girl.

"Never Take Sweets From A Stranger!"

The Widow is primarily narrated by Jean Taylor. Taylor isn't necessarily a bad character, but she's allowed herself to become subservient to what she considers to be her perfect match. Yet, when the house of cards start to crumble down around her, she still maintains her husbands innocence right up until the day he dies. She's definitely an odd duck. She's a hairdresser who adores her husband, and becomes entangled in a nightmare when he is suspected in 2 year old Bella Elliott's disappearance. One could honestly say that Jean lacks any sort of emotion throughout the book, not even when Glen dies. She is cold to the point where you wonder if she was involved alongside Glen, and just covering all her bases in case she is called on the carpet.

Jean, remaining solid and faithful to Glen, never once considers leaving him and getting out before she loses everyone in her life. When neighbors shun the couple, and they both lose their jobs, Jean more or less accepts the inevitable that she and Glen will be alone with their own miseries. The creepy part is Jean's own are so passive and non-digressive, that you have to wonder where her head is at. Jean is a study in cognitive dissonance, selective amnesia, and Folie a deux. 

From the very onset, readers will ask themselves lots of questions not only about Jean Taylor, but about Dawn Elliott as well. How can a mother turn her back on her own child, even for a moment when the world has gone to hell? How can a wife stand by her husband even after she finds out the disgusting and repugnant things he has been up to behind her back? How much patience can the authorities have when their key witness refuses to speak to them? How far will a reporter go to get the story that might make her career?

I think that this book is a must read for parents and children alike. It is also a must read to those teenagers who feel that they must publish all of their personal information including phone numbers, the address where they live, and anything else that a stalker, or pedophile, or murderer might use to gain their trust. Cybersex is a real thing. Cyber cafe's for men looking at children is a real thing. Pedophilia is a desperate call for help and a major sickness that can be cured with sterilizing medications. Don't believe me? Do your own research and spread the information to your children, and your children's friends. 

In closing, if you are expecting another Girl on the Train, or Gone Girl, you will find yourself a bit on the disappointed side. This really is the story of one woman's search for her soul and a police officer's determination to find the truth before it's too late. 

No comments:

Post a Comment