"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

06 April 2018

2018 Book Review #13: The Widow


Totally gripping tale by a new-to-me author.


Jean Taylor turned into a different woman when the London police started asking questions...in fact, she kept that persona to help her carry on with her husband Glen when more bad things started to happen. They live in a small, modest home and Glen worked for a bank until he was discovered to have some inappropriate images on his work computer.  He now is a driver for a company delivering goods all over the London area.  Jean used to work in a hair salon.  They never had children although they wanted them.  Jean now stays at home because she lost her job due to the publicity surrounding her husband and a missing toddler case in which Glen has been implicated but it was never proven.

But now Glen is dead, killed by a bus on a busy street, and Jean is left alone.  It is June 2010.  And she doesn't have to be that woman any longer. 

In fact, she can now tell the truth about what she knows regarding the missing toddler, Bella Elliot and her husband's involvement.  Did he indeed kidnap and kill baby Bella?

Jean hasn't told the police detectives nor the reporters everything she knows.  The crime happened in 2006.  It is 4 years later and Bella would be age 6.  Where is Bella??  What exactly does Jean know?

Jean was always busy standing by her man, trying to be the perfect wife, all while living with accusing stares and anonymous harassment.

But now?  She no longer needs to stay quiet.  There are so many people....news reporters, magazines, tv stations....who want her story.  They want to know what it was like to live with Glen.  She can tell them all the secrets.  There are always secrets in a marriage.

All anyone wants is the truth.  But something that Jean has learned over the last few years is that she knows how to make people believe anything......


Wow.  This was a gripping story.  

It starts out in 2010 (the characters present) but moves back and forth from 2010 to 2006, 2008, and back again to the present.  At first it is confusing.

Each chapter is a different voice:  The Widow (Jean), the Husband (Glen), the Mother (Dawn Elliot), 
the Reporter:  Kate Waters, the Detective:  Bob Sparkes.

This book touches on kidnapping, online pornography, chat rooms, and the outcome it play in a marriage, and  child sexual abuse. It also touches on the risks of keeping your social media accounts open to the public!  At first I was turned off but because the story is so well written, and seems so real in light of all the online activity nowadays and exploitation of children, that it opened up my eyes to these horrible realities that I know exist outside of the internet but forget that the internet has this dark world all of its own.  It is very sobering.

I didn't like the back and forth between years although it was well done.  I had to keep checking as to what time frame I was in.  It was well done in that you see a bit more of the mystery and the puzzle as to the whole Bella  thing as each chapter unfolds.

The character develop is spot on. There's a desperation to the Widow that will soon draw you in.

I had a love-hate relationship with Jean and it does show that emotionally controlled women are often silent when they know their spouse has committed a crime. They feel like they don't have a choice about revealing their spouses' secrets. 

The ending is brilliant!!  And you just weep for Jean.

I would give this a 10 but the content and subject matter is heavy so I'm going with a 9.  It's a really good story but keep in mind this might set off some triggers if you have some abuse issues in the past or marital difficulties centering around porn.

The author's website states that she used to be a journalist/reporter herself and bases her books on real life crimes.  I'm curious to read her 2nd novel titled The Child.  The same fictitious reporter, Kate Waters, will appear in that novel as well.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older (due to mature content).

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 9.


Susanne said...

Wow, I don't know if I could handle this one. But I will add it to my library list.

Deb said...

Wow, thanks for the review. This does sound gripping and interesting. I will have to look for it at the library. :-)