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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

A mystery that isn't quite a mystery

A mystery that isn't quite a mystery as a man is accused of abducting a toddler and his wife sticks up for him while turning a blind eye to all the signs that he did it.

The Widow book cover image over snowy tree photo by Terrie Purkey

The Widow (#1), Fiona Barton

Genre: Mystery

Published 2016, 324 pages

This is Barton's first book and a good effort I think. Alternating between different participants in the drama, we get different perspectives - the detective, the reporter, the mom, and, of course, the widow.

We learn of the detective's methods to settle on who took the toddler and his obsession with catching him. The reporter comes in a bit later and wants to break the "big" story. The mom of the abducted toddler has a small and annoyingly repetitive role. The widow starts out being a wimpy doormat of a wife, then seems to stand up for herself a bit, then seems a bit crazy.

The child is taken early in the story and much of the middle is supposed to be suspenseful I think - did the husband take the child or not? (not much of a mystery actually). When the widow actually becomes the widow, it's a tad more suspenseful as she leads the detective and reporter on a merry chase of "tell", "don't tell". But, for all the time spent in leading up to it, the climax was somewhat ..... anti-climactic.

While there were some elements of suspense, I pretty much knew the resolution from early in the story, it just took a long time to get there. It's well written enough, just could have been shorter as the back and forth with the doormat wife got a bit tiresome.

I listened to this book on my commute and the narration was excellent - there were actually several narrators, men and women, who made the listening more interesting. There was no trouble with accent or clarity or speed of speaking. Good audio. Average story.

#mystery #fionabarton #UK #3stars (click hashtag for similar books)

top photo Terrie Purkey, bottom photo via

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