Fiona Barton – The Widow

What happened to little Bella? The 2-year-old girl vanished from the garden and has never since been seen. Soon a man comes into the focus of the police: Glen Tayler. He recently lost his good job at a bank and now earns his living as a delivery man. From the outside he seems to live the perfect life: small house, nice wife, good job. But behind the scenes, a lot is going wrong: Jean Taylor is under constant surveillance of her husband and there are many things he hides from her. Only when the police knock on their door she becomes fully aware of whom she is married to – and suspicious of what a crime he might have committed.
I had very high expectations but admittedly I am a bit disappointed. The novel lacks the suspense and thrill I had anticipated. Yea, of course, throughout the story you can never be completely sure who was responsible for which crime, which character is not telling the truth and how all the small pieces, narrated in discontinuity, integrate into one story. What irritated me the most was the protagonist, the widow, Jeanie. At first I had the impression of a very clever and canny woman who knows exactly what she is doing and who is a perfect actor at the same time playing with the press and portraying the image they want to have. I thought she developed into that strong woman from the grey mouse, but while reading she did not become cleverer but duller and naïve – it just did not make sense. The woman of the first few pages is not the one we meet at the end – and those parts play at the same moment. Also her antagonist, journalist Kate, sometimes seemed to be a very battlesome character, but then again she is rather stupid and weak. All in all, a good story, but some aspects just do not fit together and from this type pf novel I expect a bit more thrill.

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