Audio Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton

Posted April 18, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 4 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audio Review: The Widow by Fiona BartonThe Widow by Fiona Barton
Narrator: Hannah Curtis, Jayne Entwistle, Mandy Williams, Nicholas Guy Smith, Steve West
Published by Penguin Audio on February 16, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Length: 10 hours, 24 minutes
Source: Publisher
Audio | Goodreads

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…


icon mystery  icon twisted  icon HEARTBREAKING

Toddler Bella Elliott goes missing from the front yard of her home on an otherwise uneventful day. When the ensuing investigation leads to a seemingly unlikely suspect, everyone involved is put on display in the search for the truth and the missing child. And to say much of it is unflattering is an understatement, especially after the primary suspect is killed in a bizarre accident. 

The story is told in alternating points of view from the lead detective, a key reporter, the mother and the wife of the suspect (there are a couple of others who only have one scene). It’s also presented using flashbacks, a device I normally enjoy but here it was confusing, primarily because of the multiple points of view and it didn’t follow a coherent path. In spite of this, I found the story interesting and many of the characters equally disagreeable and compelling. The role of the media in these circumstances is also an important part of the plot, leaving the reader to decide the merits of what they do. 

The narration was very well done and I found the use of multiple performers essential, especially given the alternating points of view and flashbacks. Each performer seemed to perfectly capture their characters and helped me digest the story more easily. I think my experience would have been less enjoyable if I’d read the book. 

This was an interesting and disturbing story, not just because of the subject matter but the disappointing behaviors of most of those involved. It cuts too closely to reality.




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About Fiona Barton

Fiona Barton trains and works with journalists all over the world. Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards. Born in Cambridge, England, she currently lives in southwest France.

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I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

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4 responses to “Audio Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton

  1. I’ve found that thrillers that are very close to real life are the creepiest. I think it is one reason that many horror movies have never scared me, they aren’t even remotely realistic. But something like Silence of the Lambs is scary as hell because it could totally happen, just like this story. Nightmare on Elm Street is never going to happen.

    Flashbacks are something I think are overused in storytelling, both in books and movies/TV shows. They have their place and can be useful, but used too much or in the wrong manner and I think it can take away from the story’s flow. Great review, Jonetta.

    • Thanks, Melanie! I love flashbacks as a device when it’s linear to the story and the story moves in a logical direction. Here it wasn’t as well coordinated…not bad but a bit confusing. By the end, it all came together, which is why I gave it a half star.