Jean Taylor stood by her husband’s side when the police came by to question him as a suspect in a missing child case that had taken place. Now her husband is dead and people want Jean’s story. There’s a lot that Jean hasn’t said over the years and the police and the press are at her door wanting the truth.
The Widow is pitched for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, and I know that comparison is used a lot lately but if you enjoy reading psychological crime thrillers, you will enjoy this new book by Barton. The narrative alternates between characters, and jumps to different points in time as the full picture of the crime is revealed. The story takes on the point of views from not only the widow, but also the detectives, the press and others involved.
While the main plot is the investigation of the missing girl, I found the sub context of the surrounding characters equally interesting. It’s a poignant look at the hunger of the media to get a good story, the price people will pay to exploit a tragedy. It also shows what an open case can do to the police who are investigating it, the ones who have every detail consuming their lives in an effort to solve the case. The Widow explores the fallout from all angles.
Barton keeps readers wondering about the truth to the very end, and I certainly thought at many points that I had figured it out only to have to readjust my theories. It can definitely be an unsettling read for some, especially to those who are uncomfortable about crimes involving children, but the full story is well plotted and extremely compelling.