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We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the woman who stands by him?

Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.
Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.
But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.
Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

Thoughts : The biggest problem with marketing books as the next ‘Gone Girl’ or the next ‘Girl On The Train’ is that it does a great disservice to these books. Instead of expecting what the books is going to give us we expect a Paula Hawkins or a Gillian Flynn and we end up disappointed. No book is the next Gone Girl! That’s what I told myself when I was disappointed by The Widow and hopefully it’ll prevent me from getting pulled in by more marketing stunts.

The Widow is not a psychological thriller, it is not even a thriller, it is just crime writing about what happens much later. After a crime is committed, when the parties affected have had their say, the things that remain are what this story is about. It isn’t a fast paced action packed story. It’s more like a slow boil that never boils.

The problem with the story is that we expect a rush like the aforementioned books, unfortunately this has led this book to get low ratings. It isn’t a great book but it doesn’t deserve as low ratings as it got. For my part, I’m rating it 3 stars because it did have its moments. For instance, the story jumps between character POVs and timelines and there wasn’t a single hiccup anywhere. It flowed smoothly from timeline to timeline and ended up being an absolute pleasure in that aspect.

At the same time, I do think some perspectives were unnecessary, like for example the perspective of Dawn, the little girl’s mother. She was an annoying unlikeable character and it just wasn’t worth reading. You don’t feel sympathetic towards her because she’s so irritating, you end up skim reading her sections instead because you want it over with. (I assume the point of writing about the victim’s family is to gain sympathy from the reader, this isn’t the case here. You blame her for the loss of the child and end up ticked off.)

The thing to note with this book is that the only nice people are Kate (the journalist) and the Cop (Bob). The rest are so grey or pathetic that you are left with a bad taste in your mouth. That is the only thing this has in common with the other two books. Apart from that it is Barton’s say all the way. Since I was in the mood for a crime thriller I can’t say that i enjoyed this. But if I hadn’t been, maybe I would have.

To sum up, read if you enjoy a slow boil, avoid if you enjoy crime thrillers. As for me, I think my mum will like this a lot. She likes slow stories about the characters more than the plot.

Buy on Book Depository or Wordery if Intl or Amazon.

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