You want a thriller?I’ll give you a thriller! ‘The Widow’ is a perfect example of a modern-day crime novel dedicated to leaving the audience full of suspense and wonder. As the title suggests, this book is not about fluffy bunnies sitting down for afternoon tea, or it would be if you replaced the words ‘fluffy bunnies’ with ‘detectives’ and ‘afternoon tea’ with ‘searching for a missing girl with paedophiles as their main targets.’ It’s a dark book I will warn you, it does deal with very adult themes but does so not to disrupt the plot line.
Okay, so the plot line- It’s great! NO SPOILERS! As you may have recognised, I quite like books with an odd timeline, switching between past and present to keep the cliff-hangers coming! The story follows a missing girl named Bella, a detective, a plucky reporter and Jean and Glen, a couple whose lives are turned upside-down. The interchanging timeline starts off after Glen’s death (hence the title of the book making jean ‘The Widow’) and with him gone, Jean can tell her side of the story…to the press. then the timeline changes to the time Bella went missing and the investigation that follows. The interesting thing about the perspectives in this book is that in the ‘present day’ with Jean, her story is told in first person where as everyone else’s story is told in third person. This, in a way, makes it Jean’s story. However, it’s up to you whether you feel sympathetic towards her or not, after all, her husband may or may not be the paedophile behind Bella’s disappearance and she stood y him… till his death.
The book focuses more on the characters and the plot rather than the setting. Similar to ‘The Missing’ by C. L. Taylor, if a book can have a huge atmosphere with just the plot and characters, then that’s real writing. I’ve always admired authors who can create a tense atmosphere just by describing the characters’ facial expression. GENIUS!
This book with quite chunky- here’s me thinking ‘oh it’ll last me a while’ 2 days. It lasted 2 days. I just HAD to read it! With themes surrounding social media and the darker side to technology, it’s easy to be drawn into a world where actually, it’s happening in real life. I really feel that if thrillers and crime novels are your thing, read this book. If you also liked ‘The Missing’ or ‘The Lie’ (aiming to read that one soon!) by C. L. Taylor, you’ll love this book too- Taylor even commented her praise on ‘The Widow’. Let me know what you think!
P.s- as you can see, this edition has the book club questions at the back and a little interview with the author- I’d honestly recommend this addition as even after you’ve finished the story, it’s always nice to revisit themes with the questions at the back- something to think about! And it’s interesting to read a little bit about the authors and their impression on their novel!
Happy reading! Lx