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The Widow

(Kate Waters #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  94,746 ratings  ·  8,984 reviews
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 b
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by NAL (first published January 14th 2016)
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Davis Gone Girl has surprising points of view. The Widow is well written, but I never felt engaged. To compare it to Gone Girl is a mistake.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  94,746 ratings  ·  8,984 reviews

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Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: eh, mystery
Does anyone want to start a letter writing campaign or club to ban misleading book jacket summaries? Cause I will provide snacks at all the meetings and get cutsie t-shirts made on my own damn dime.

The book jacket for The Widow by Fiona Barton would have you believe that you are about to read a psychological thriller all about the widow of a man accused and found guilty (in the court of public opinion at least) of kidnapping and murdering a two year old girl who's remains have never been found.
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it
congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best mystery/thriller category 2016!

The Widow is being set up to be the next Gone Girl and the publisher and reviewers are very excited about it.

so i'm frustrated to be somewhat less enthusiastic than the crowd this time. as a psychological suspense novel, it's very good. factor in the debut author component, and you can add an additional "very" onto that assessment.

but reading this i just never had that moment you have as a reader when a book clobbe
Wendy Darling
Meh. This is...fine, but not particularly outstanding as thriller, as character study, or as dissection of a marriage; really, it feels like it just doesn't have much to say. It doesn't take long for readers to know one of the primary narrators is seriously unhinged, but even that POV didn't provide much interest--and it should have. (You could have lost the frequency of some of those other POVs without much impact, too.) It's also remarkable how lacking in tension this felt, and how facile the ...more
Jul 16, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

I've now listened to a quite a few audio-books and I'm starting to enjoy them more and more. There have been one or two that I didn't care for, but that may have been the same if I had read the book.

I was intrigued when I read the description for this book. However, of course it had to be touted as the next GONE GIRL or GIRL ON A TRAIN (I really hope they stop doing that). I guess I should just be happy that the title didn't have the word GIRL in it. I thought it sounded pretty interes
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Firstly let me say that I am beginning to tire of publishers who pump out books with the following description, as it seems to come with every new Thriller on the market of late. My opinion is that if a blurb is good enough a book will sell regardless and doesn't need the hype of Gone Girl or Girl on the Train in the description.

Example: For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, an electrifying thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife.

Liz Barnsley
Oh dear. I SO wanted to love this one. The one everyone's going to be talking about apparently. Well yes, that's actually entirely possible - it is a novel of the type very much in the public eye at the moment, domestic noir, unreliable narrator, girls, sisters, daughters, wives or whatever and secrets.

Fiona Barton writes extremely well in places, I have no problem whatsoever with that, knows how to pull you into a story yes, pootles around the reveals yes - The Widow has a high readability fact
Elyse  Walters
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton is a gripping debut psychological thriller that deals with the premise of the story-How much does the widow of a suspected kidnapper/ paedophile know about what he is alleged to have done?

What secrets are hidden inside a marriage? When one is suspected of a crime, can the other person really not know what was going on?

The story opens with a 'Dear Reader' section before the story has even begun. Fiona Barton talks about her past as a journalist and how this career, which
Always Pouting
The Widow is a psychological suspense novel about Jean whose husband has died recently and now she has to decide how much to reveal about the crimes he was being investigated for. The books is a good read for when you just want something light and it kept my attention but it wasn't anything special. The characters were okay and you kind of know where the story is going to go as soon as you start reading it. There aren't really any surprises.

Susanne  Strong
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Jean Taylor's husband was accused of a crime... and for a while she wasn't sure if he was guilty or not and has to pretend that she doesn't suspect him and doesn't notice his strange behavior. Then she finds out the truth. When he is gone for good, she no longer has to pretend and she can tell the truth to the press or make up her own version.

Unfortunately, I wasn't grabbed by the story, didn't find it suspenseful, immediately grasped what Jeans' husband's "nonsense" was and was not invested in
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
It came as a surprise to me that this book was the author's first. Despite the flaws, I think there are promising signs. The writing was assured and each character voice had its own positives, even if the people were quite unremarkable. I'm certainly not convinced I'd like the police in this novel to investigate my disappearance. I'd give them 2/10 for intelligence and effort.

The plot came from a very interesting concept and, as a hook, really made me think the book was going to offer something
Felice Laverne
This debut novel hit the ground running. No doubt the packing, publicity and (yet again) comparison to Gone Girl—I mean, how many Gone Girls can there be! (But I guess we do keep falling for it, so it works)—have helped to propel it onto the NYT. It’s often a bit like watching a toddler on a tricycle when you buy one of those novels, you know. It’s like, can the work ride on its own right out of the gate, or will it be wobbly on the training wheels that the publisher and public expectations have ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it
The Widow is not a book filled with twists & turns so I wouldn't consider it a thriller. The Widow just has a simmering sense of dread through out the entire book. The reason I didn't give it 4 stars is because the characters weren't very deep. I didn't really feel connected to any of the characters in the book. The one character I felt closest to is Bella and we never actually get to meet her.

If you like psychological thrillers I would recommend it but there are way better ones out there.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, mystery
3.5 stars

This was a mixed bag for me....sometimes I loved it, other times not so much. Giving it 4 stars versus 3 though, so that says something.

First, there is the ever annoying references to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. I really wish publishers would stop doing this. Yes, it piques my interest, but I find myself looking for the correlation and it's typically lacking like in this case. This is a good read, but really not comparable to those two.

Second, I didn't like one single character
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT:....."He was there one minute giving me grief about what sort of cereal I should've bought, and the next, dead on the road.....Not much blood though. He would've been glad. He didn't like any sort of mess."

ABOUT THIS BOOK: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 Je
This book touched me so deeply that I simply cannot talk about it. Anything I say will destroy the feelings I am left with.

I don't even want to fall back on clichés such as magnificent, wonderful, brilliant, unbelievable

My emotional reaction to this book astounds me.

I urgently need to take a walk ...

Later then.
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
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
2 1/2 stars. So I’ve already written a review recently about the bumper crop of child abduction themed books I’ve read in the last year. And here’s another one. I swear that I didn’t know that The Widow focused on another disappearing child. I probably should have read the blurb more carefully, but the title in fairness does not suggest child abduction. Anyways, as I point out in my review of What She Knew, I’ve quite enjoyed some of these books although I swear it’s not a theme I seek out. But ...more
Katie B
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I jumped at the chance to read an arc of the third book in this series, The Suspect, even though I hadn't read the previous books in the series. Fiona Barton has been one of those authors I have wanted to read for awhile. I really enjoyed the third book and decided to go back and catch up on what I missed. Definitely love her writing style and can't wait to read the second book.

Jean Taylor and her husband were thrust into the spotlight after Glen was suspected of committing a crime. Des
Jul 11, 2016 added it
Shelves: debut, audio-books
The Hook I believe the publisher compared The Widow to The Girl on the Train and of course, in turn, to Gone Girl.

Do not expect either.

What convinced me I wanted to read or listen to in this case was the question of how a person can stay in a marriage when the spouse has committed an unspeakable, appalling act.

The Line(s) “The simple lies are the hardest, funnily enough. The big ones seem to just fall off the tongue:”

The Sinker – 2 year-old Bella disappears. Jeanie, do not call her Jean, has t
Once I finished this book, I had to let it settle in my mind for a little while. Now that I‘ve had time to reflect on it all, I believe the plot is well written and very crafty. It’s a stinging rebuke, an accurate illustration of society and its underbelly, but is also a clever mystery. The characterizations are so vivid, they are hard to accept at times, and no, you probably won’t care for most of the characters, except perhaps the detectives working the case, although they too have their foibl ...more
Jun 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-challenge

3.5 stars

As the story opens fortyish Glen Taylor has recently been killed when he tripped in front of an oncoming bus.

As it happens Glen was the prime suspect in the disappearance of a two-year-old girl, Bella Elliot, who was kidnapped from an English suburb several years ago (and never found). Arrested and tried at the time, Glen got off because of a flawed police investigation. Glen's death reminds the public of his alleged misdeeds and his widow, Jean Taylor, is once again hounded by the p
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley, thrillers

When I started to read this book, I hadn't read any previous reviews. I didn't realize that this is the authors debut book.
Ignorance is bliss....

Until I started reading it and got messages like..
"You are going to enjoy this Sue"
"Its an amazing read"

When I hear that, I think....hhmmmm I hope so.
But if its from some reviewers who I know is 'spot on' then it makes all the difference and I got some of those, so I thought.....yes!

I have to honestly say that I am gobsmacked this is Fiona Barton's
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
I really liked the premise of this read and had high hopes for it. It is the story of Jean Taylor whose husband Glen is the suspect of a horrific crime. We have all seen women like Jean on the news, standing beside their husbands on the court steps, looking supportive, being their rocks. But, what is going on inside their minds? Do they really believe their husbands’ cries of innocence or are they covering up for them, or indeed are they the masterminds behind the crime? It seemed like a pleasan ...more
Jx PinkLady Reviews ♡ @bookwormthoughts
3.5 - 4 Stars

The widow is a fast paced thriller that opens with the female protagonist telling the reader her husband has just died in front of her eyes. A husband who was suspected of committing a deplorable crime some years ago. As the story unfolds showcasing the past and present, the reader learns more about more about the relationship between husband and wife, the crime he was accused of and the actions of Jean Taylor and her character. Despite the rapid page-turning aspect of this novel, I
3 Stars

Told in multiple POV, both in 1st and 3rd person, it’s the first installment in the "Kate Waters" series but it can be read as a standalone. It's alternating between past and present and contains short chapters. This was my first read by this author and I went blind, unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as I would like and didn’t surprise me. Not because of the subject matter, it just it wasn’t like a mystery to me and it didn’t even thrill me! Overall, it was an okay read and hope you like i
3.5/5 stars

I can't seem to muster up much excitement about this book. It was decent, it kept me listening, but somehow it was not fulfilling. There were twists and turns but most of them I saw coming.

I did enjoy the alternating chapters and the voicing by the cast, but really? As far as thrillers go, this just wasn't that....thrilling.

*Thanks to my local library for the audio download. Libraries RULE!*
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, thriller, debut, english
I wish booksellers and reviewers would stop comparing each and every thriller with a slight twist of plot to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. I've read both and this book doesn't resemble either of them, remotely.

It's a debut book for Fiona Barton. Interesting that she chose to focus on the wife (and then widow) of the accused child kidnapper and perhaps killer. The point of view flipped between the widow, the cop, the journalist, the mother of the missing girl, and the widow's husband. Stil
The Widow is a standalone, psychological thriller written by seasoned journalist and now fiction writer: Fiona Barton. The inspiration for this debut novel stemmed from all the people on the edge of high profile crimes: the wives, the parents, the children of the perpetrators. Ms. Barton recognized that these individuals are often just as affected by events, but all the focus is elsewhere. She often wondered what they knew and what they should have known. So she gained further inspiration from d ...more
Nov 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I really wanted this one to live up to my high expectations - I bought the hardback, after all! Unfortunately, while the writing was good, the story felt a bit slow paced, considering the gripping premise, and I never really connected with the characters. The conclusion, too, didn't come as a surprise. Still, this did not read like a debut novel, Barton can clearly write, and I will keep an eye on her future work.

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My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist - senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over t ...more

Other books in the series

Kate Waters (3 books)
  • The Child (Kate Waters, #2)
  • The Suspect (Kate Waters, #3)

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“I remember looking at him lying there in a small pool of blood and thinking ‘oh well, that’s the end of his nonsense” 22 likes
“The simple lies are the hardest, funnily enough. The big ones seem to just fall off the tongue:” 12 likes
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