The Widow by Fiona Barton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by Penguin Canada
Source: Received a review copy from Random Penguin House Canada
This was a quick read for me; very engaging and a unique psychological thriller. Not exactly a mystery as we're privy to who the killer is from the beginning just not the details or hows. The story much more concerns the perpetrator's wife and unravels her (and our) slow reveals of the whole sordid, ugly truth. This is written from different points of view, a device I particularly like and Barton has done it splendidly. She also goes back and forth in time from a unique angle, only covering a period of four years. Admittedly this keeps the reader on their toes and I had to keep looking at the dates to see what perspective we were taking the case from each time. The story starts off in the present 2010 with the widow, next it goes back to 2006 when the crime first happens, then alternates between various years and points of view. I find this kind of storytelling very quick to read when done well and Barton had me transfixed. While there are no graphic scenes the subject matter of child pornography is hard to take at times but Barton takes an interesting perspective by looking at the case from a wife's point of view. What if she is completely unaware? Should she believe her husband? Can and should she support her husband? Can she ever really be totally unaware? Must she know at some point? Does she become complicit? Perhaps she is even a part of it? Even responsible for it? Many questions and more to ponder throughout which lead to a perfect ending.