Rating:

the widow book coverReviewed by Bethany Kelly

The Widow by Fiona Barton has been compared to thrillers such as Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. Although I loved this book, I think this comparison was a bad move by the marketing department because The Widow is nothing like those books.

When Jean’s husband, Glen, is accused of a heinous crime, Jean becomes the dutiful wife, standing by her husband through thick and thin. Although she finds some awful and disgusting things out about her husband, she shows the world a united front and supports him through the investigation and trial.

Now that her husband is dead, is she going to tell the world the many things about him that she knows? Will she tell the press and the police about what she suspects her husband did? Or will she choose to let him control her even from the grave and keep her mouth shut?

This book gives the reader a look into the complicated relationship between a husband and wife when one of them is accused of a crime. It isn’t really much of a thriller in my opinion (and is nothing like the aforementioned books), but it is a very well-written look into the psyche of a dutiful wife who doesn’t know whether or not to believe her husband’s claims of being innocent. This book does not have the twists and turns or elements of suspense that thrillers usually have; in fact, there really aren’t any surprises at all. The Widow focuses mainly on the fall-out of the crime committed.

With that being said, I was very pleased with the depth of this book. It lets the reader experience many of the different perspectives involved in solving a crime such as the one involved in this book. We get the viewpoints of the wife/widow of the accused, the police officer in charge of the investigation, a reporter trying to get the ‘inside scoop,’ and the mother of the victim. Although I was a little worried about having so many viewpoints, they were fantastic to have. Barton does a great job putting the reader in the head of each of the parties involved. All of the characters are fleshed out and are relatable to some extent.

If you are looking for a thriller, this book is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for a well-written, psychological journey, this could be a great book to add to your reading list.


Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by NAL. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.