The Widow by Fiona Barton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was recommended to me by a friend. While I liked it, it didn't blow me away.
The "widow" is Jean. Jean is married to a man named Glenn who has lost his bank job and become a delivery driver, a big step down in status. Jean is a hair stylist. A little girl goes missing from her garden (meaning yard, if you are American instead of British). It's all over the news. Jean blamed the mother, saying she would never have let that happen if she were the mother. The one thing she desperately wants is a child. Alas, Glenn is unable to father a child.
Glenn is one of three men under suspicion for the crime. They all were driving vans in the area the day Bella went missing. He gets arrested for the crime and goes to trial. Throughout this time, from the original suspicion until he is tried in court, and even after, the couple is hounded relentlessly by the press. Jean stands by her man, proclaiming his innocence and protecting his secrets, until...
The story is told in chapters based on different points of view. Glenn, Jean, the reporter, the mother, and the detective. The book also jumps around in time, for example, there is a chapter about the events of the trial, then a chapter about the days leading up to the crime. I don't mind the chapters being told from different points of view, but the hopping around in time can be confusing. I would have preferred chronological order.
I was not fond of the anticlimactic ending. Yet, there were parts of the book where I found myself riveted; others moved slowly. The author almost made it seem like the main character had multiple personalities, Jean and Jeannie, but I don't think that was intended. And since the book was set in England, you will need to get used to different terms they use such as tin, lift, biscuits, post, and so on.
Overall, I give it 3 of 5 stars.
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