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July Book Review: The Widow

My Reasons For Reading This Book

While searching Pinterest for books in the triller genre I found The Widow by Fiona Barton. I was instantly intrigued by the book description and knew I had to read it. If you read my last book review, you will know that I had built up high expectations for that book as a result of the reviews the book had. For The Widow I learned my lesson and did not read any reviews before reading it.

Content of the Book

As viewed by the outside world Jean and Glen Taylor had a seemly normal marriage. Jean was the perfect wife, she never left Glen's side even. That all came into question when Glen was suspected to be involved in the kidnapping and possible murder of Bella Elliot. The book picks up with Jean's life as a widow following the death of her husband. Jean is no longer under the control of her husband and is ready to share all the secrets she has been keeping. How will these secrets become public? Will these secrets aid in solving the case of Bella Elliot? Will justice be served for those involved in the kidnapping/murder of Bella Elliot?

What I Liked About This Book

I really enjoyed the pace of the book and the length of the chapters. I felt as though there were not too many parts of the book that seemed to drag on. The book progressed along at a pace where there was enough suspense to keep the reader interested. One of my favorite aspects of this book is that the story was told by various characters from the book. The sections of the book were the widow, the detective, the reporter, the husband and the mother. I have read and reviewed books in the past where the books were told from the point of view of more than one character and it was not done successfully, and I would have to say Fiona Barton successfully wrote a book that was told from alternating perspectives. I liked that Barton left one character's chapter off on a cliff hanger that left you wishing she hadn't chose to switch characters. I also appreciated that Barton chose to add additional characters perspectives into the last half of the book because it aided in the conclusion and piecing together what happened to Bella Elliot. The final thing I would like to say in regards to what I liked about this book is that I am a fan of how the author chose to end the book.

What I Disliked About This Book

One thing that I thought the book was missing and really did not include at all was physical descriptions of the characters. The author gave brief physical descriptions of the main characters, but did not always give enough physically descriptions of new character to where I could create an image in my mind of what that character was intended to look like. For example, the book could have benefited from decrypting of the men/suspects who were interviewed by DI Sparkes. Even just a few descriptive words or there age would have been helpful. I would have to say that I was able to determine who was responsible for the disappearance of Bella Elliot from pretty early on in the book. This is something that I am not able to do for every book I read. I am neutral when it comes to whether or not I like or dislike that I was able to do this for this particular book. On the back of the book this book is compared to Gone Girl or Girl on the Train. As someone who recently read Gone Girl, this book does not live up to the high level of intensity or suspense that I had while reading Gone Girl. I would also like to say that even though the book's main focus is on Jean Taylor, I would have loved to hear more from the husband, Glen Taylor. If you ever read this book you will know why. I was also left with some unanswered questions. I am just allowing myself to imagine what the answers to the questions are and I am okay with that, for now at least. 

Would I Recommend This Book?

I would recommend this book to anyone who is and isn't a fan of thrillers. I would categorize this as a thriller not a physiological thriller, which it is promoted to be. It is not as intense as Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, but does have all the necessary pieces to make it a worth while thriller to read. I also think this is the perfect book for someone who only has 30 minutes to read every day like I do. As a slow reader I was able to get about 3 chapters read in 30 minutes. I really enjoyed reading this book and looked forwarding this reading it every chance I got. 


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