Book Reviews

Book Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton


The Widow is a psychological thriller that captivated me from page one. It begins with a meeting between widow Jean Taylor and reporter Kate Waters. Kate is the first reporter Jean has ever agreed to speak with regarding accusations against her recently deceased husband, Glen Taylor. The whole world wants to know: Now that Glen’s dead, is Jean willing to reveal what she knows? Did she know about Glen’s habit? Did she know whether he did what people say he did? Did she lie for him? How could she live with him after what he was accused of? And Kate wants to be the the one to deliver Jean’s side of the story to the world.

But this brilliantly complex story isn’t told by way of Jean simply sitting down and spilling her guts to Kate. Glen’s alleged crimes are slowly revealed through alternating points of view (The Widow, The Reporter, The Detective, The Mother, and The Husband) that weave back and forth through time. The time hops and multiple perspectives were pieced together perfectly to create one heck of a suspenseful tale. My only gripe with the narrative is that I had to double-check dates several times to clarify the timeline.

Barton did a marvelous job of fleshing out all of the key players in this story so that I understood their behaviors and motivations. In fact, they became so real to me that I couldn’t sleep when I finished the book. It was nearly 3 a.m. and I was dead tired, but I could not stop thinking about real-life court cases that have been publicized to no end. I thought about the families of the accused individuals and about the accused themselves. And I got chills when I thought about the fact that people like Glen Taylor really do exist.




Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy via NetGalley.