[617]: The Widow by Fiona Barton


The Widow is a mystery that centers on one particular crime. A toddler disappeared in the front lawn of their house creating a vacuum of events that will lead them to Glen and Jean Taylor – a  couple seemingly content in their childless suburban life. But the more we delve into their story, the more we see what’s really behind the curtain. Jean Taylor was a devout wife to Glen Taylor’s old-fashioned, patriarchal disposition. They are routinely British as marriages go. The book opened with Glen already dead, so the sequence of events threw me off a little.

Throughout the novel, we’re given privy to relationship between media, witnesses, suspects, and the police. I enjoyed trying to decipher everyone’s motives and degree of participation to the crime. As each revelation brought me closer to the truth, the more conflicted I felt. Don’t get me wrong, there is a clear perpetrator here – that was given from the very start, but the whole time, I felt a bit of sadness for a devoted wife who longed for a child for years. Ms. Barton brought these characters to life not to be endeared or revered. Certainly, not all of them are all that likable. But they are all perfectly flawed in their weaknesses.

The Widow also offers a few perspectives –  with each chapter headlined from the point of view of the speaker: The Widow, The Detective, The Reporter. So the story was told as they saw fit. Obviously, the main focus of the story is Jean Taylor and the demise of a relatively quiet and comfortable marriage. And with the death of her husband, a joyous but guilt-ridden relief.


The Widow is nowhere near the twisted tale of Gone Girl, but it offers a different kind of nightmare altogether. Fiona Barton cleverly flayed every dark niches of a crime investigation without losing the story’s suspenseful momentum.  Disturbing to say the least. A revelation in more ways than one. The Widow was like getting a peek at how your neighbours actually live. Their secret lives that we never see. And in the end, it makes you wonder if you’re truly better off knowing or if you could’ve gone on  your whole life not knowing. Either way, you can’t unsee/unknow it.

GOODREADS SUMMARY | Penguin Random House Canada | February 16th, 2016 | Chapters | Amazon

  • THIS ONE LOOKS AMAZING. I’m glad to hear that this is different than Gone Girl. I feel like because it has gotten so popular, many publishers have tried to compare other psychological thrillers to it! If you’re up for more thrillers, you should give In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware a go if you haven’t already! Fabulous review, I am more convinced to grab a copy of this one!

  • This is really fascinating with how you can take a peak at your neighbours lives, and it sounds kind of twisty and compelling. I haven’t heard of this one but it definitely sounds up my alley! Thanks for the review Joy.

  • How your neighbors actually lives? That sentence gave me chills! I have a strong suspicion that I need to read this book in my life. 😀 I was even about to buy it at the book store the other day…

  • Wow Joy, this sounds like a twisted and addictive read. Glad that you enjoyed it so much.

  • Gorgeous review Joy 🙂 Thank you for sharing about this one. <3 Glad you liked it a lot. It do sound pretty exciting 😀 Not yet for me, but ahh, I do like stories like this even so. Seems a bit awful and interesting.

  • I’ve been reading the hell out of Adult lately, and this one sounds so good! I’ll definitely add it to my TBR, especially since my mom has been complaining about me not having books to share with her. (She’s not a fan of YA lol) I’ve noticed that quite a few books are going for that ” Gone Girl Vibe ” which is annoying, yet intriguing. Or it could be that I was pissed for that stupid ending of GG lol. Either way, I’m in the mood for a good thriller!

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    I haven’t read Gone Girl Joy, so I don’t think the fact that this one doesn’t quite deliver the same kind of twists and turns will bother me. It sounds like a super fascinating read (in that morbid, train-wreck kind of way). Definitely going to recommend to my mother in law too, this is right up her alley!

  • Haven’t heard about this one, but def intriguing premise even if not my usual kind of read

  • RO

    Yes, this sounds like a novel I can really sink my teeth into, and your review is fantastic! Gotta pick this one up! Hugs…

  • Melliane

    the story sounds really well done there! it’s the first time I hear about this one

  • Ohh .. huh. This is actually very intriguing. Sounds like an interesting set up.

  • Hm. Not my usual thing, but I may have to pick this one up!

  • Jazmen

    Sounds like it might be worth reading. I’ll have to keep my eyes on this one!

  • Melissa (Books and Things)

    This sounds intense and engaging. I might have to read this one. I also think I know someone who would love this book. Brilly review.

  • For a long time I just couldn’t read any child kidnapping stories. My kids are a bit older now so maybe I should think about giving one a try. Maybe…

  • Hmmmmmmm

  • shootingstarsmag

    Thanks for sharing! This does sound like an intriguing novel; I’ve seen a few reviews around for it.



  • kindlemom1

    This does sound like it would be a bit jarring in the beginning but I’m glad it all evened out in the end. It is strange to think about not really knowing the people we live ext too isn’t it?

  • It seems the sequence of events here was originally a little throwing, but in time you get to know all the characters and the depth of them as well. I feel like this one is a gripping character driven one where you get into everyone’s minds. Sounds pretty interesting 😀

  • Great review! I’ve been seeing this one a lot lately, and with mostly good reviews. I’m definitely going to try it. It sounds intriguing.

  • Excellent review, Joy! This one is high up on my TBR, I’ll be reading it soon, when the March 8 madness dies down!

  • This sounds really interesting, Joy! I have seen it around the blogosphere and I’m certainly intrigued by it. I like that you get these different perspectives too.
    I’ll be on the look out for this one at the library!
    Great review!

  • This sounds like a mystery wrapped in tragedy, and it sounds unsettling. I hope the wife got some sort of happy ending. 🙂