Genre:Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Published: January 22, 2019
My Review (Spoilers ahead):
Let me preface this by saying I have NOT read Fiona Barton’s first two books. I’m almost positive that if I had, I would have been more invested in the characters and had a better sense of her writing style. The description says this one is a standalone but based on how many people have raved about this author and this book- I have to wonder what I’m missing. 🤷🏻♀️
The premise of two girls gone missing in Thailand sounded like a exciting storyline (I’m thinking Liam Neeson in Taken). We meet Kate Waters a journalist who by coincidence- has a grown son in Thailand that she’s lost touch with.
We meet the families of the two girls and we learn that Alex’s first choice for this trip was her friend Mags. She backs out and is replaced by an acquaintance, Rosie who has no interest in seeing the sights – only the boys and the drugs.
The rest of the book felt very cliche with tired stereotypes. Once the girls turned up dead (which almost made this a DNF) in a hostel fire, we follow the investigation to try to find out how the girls ended up naked in the freezer. (I kept hoping it was all a ruse and it wasn’t the girls…but sadly it was them.) From there we have a corrupt government, mistaken identity, roofies, bickering parents, cheating, blackmail and a covered up death at the same hostel.
Kate’s son ends up being involved and she must be a mom instead of a reporter. The storyline jumps around and when we find out what really happened, it’s anticlimactic. I wanted more from these characters and was left disappointed.
About the Author:
In her own words…
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 the world.
But through it all, a story was cooking in my head.
The worm of this book infected me long ago when, as a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the wives of those accused really knew – or allowed themselves to know.
It took the liberation of my career change to turn that fascination into a tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the man suspected of the crime, the detective leading the hunt, the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.
Much to my astonishment and delight, The Widow is a Sunday Times bestseller, has been sold to 29 countries and is available now in the US and will be published around the world in the coming months.
However, the sudden silence of my characters feels like a reproach and I am currently working on a second book.
My husband and I are living the good life in south-west France, where I am writing in bed, early in the morning when the only distraction is our cockerel, Sparky, crowing.
QOTD: Have you read The Widow or The Child by Fiona Barton? What did you think?