Book of the week: The Widow by Fiona Barton


Book of the week: The Widow by Fiona Barton

The psychological thriller is pegged to be this year's Gone Girl

By Mamta Mody  March 4th, 2016

CliffNotes: After Gone Girl and Girl On The Train, the domestic noir chain continues with The Widow. Jean Taylor plays the perfect wife to her husband Glen, who’s accused of kidnapping a two-year-old girl. But when Glen is killed in a freak sidewalk accident, does Jean let her guard slip? Told from the perspective of the widow, the police detective and the investigative journalist covering the case, the story takes it’s own course, depending on who you trust. 

Get a taste: After the death of her husband, Jean Taylor is wrapped in personal conflict: 

You see, my husband died three weeks ago. Knocked down by a bus just outside Sainsbury’s He was there one minute, giving me grief about what sort of cereal I should’ve bought, and the next, dead on the road. Head injuries, they said. Dead, anyway. I just stood there and looked at him, lying there. People were running round finding blankets and there was a bit of blood on the pavement. Not much blood though. He would’ve been glad. He didn’t like any sort of mess.

Everyone was very kind and trying to stop me seeing his body, but I couldn’t tell them I was glad he’d gone, no more of his nonsense. 

Author 101: The debut author and former journalist has written for the Daily Mail as a senior writer, Daily Telegraph as news editor and The Mail on Sunday as chief reporter. In 2008, she gave up journalism to work with exiled journalists from around the world. She first thought of the book while covering several crimes during her days as a journalist and got thinking about the family of the accused – the ones who really knew the whole truth.

ELLE Verdict: If you’re hooked on to the recent surge of real-life crime dramas, The Widow will satiate your need for a well-rounded investigation (the cops and reporters zoom in on every gruelling aspect of the crime). But if you you’ve had your fill of domestic noir then sit this one out. 

Similar reads: Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris, The Good Liar by Nicholas Searleand and the short story The Grown Up by Gillain Flynn.