As a former Daily Mail journalist, Fiona Barton certainly knows what she’s writing about in her highly enjoyable first novel. 

The Widow

The widow of the title is Jean Taylor, whose recently deceased husband Glen had been the chief suspect in the disappearance of a two-year-old girl.

In the classic way, Jeanie stood by him throughout the trial that ended in his controversial acquittal. But now that Glen’s dead, Kate Waters of The Daily Post signs her up for an exclusive interview, determined to discover how much Jeanine knew, suspected and/or deliberately ignored about her husband.  

With psychological thrillers all the rage, The Widow is already being touted as one of 2016’s likely best-sellers. Even so, the book may be one for readers who particularly value the “psychological” part of the “psychological thriller” tag.

In the absence of spectacular twists, the plot is gripping rather than flat-out exciting, with most of the real action to be found inside the human mind.

Along the way, mind you, we also learn plenty of tricks of the newspaper trade—which are often pretty hair-raising in themselves.

 

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