When little Bella went missing four years ago, seemingly disappearing into thin air from her front yard, all of England was on the lookout for the precious two year old. As The Widow opens, we meet Jean Taylor, whose husband, Glen, has just been killed in a freak accident. Now that Glen is dead and she is newsworthy again, Jean has been hiding in her house from the reporters who have started camping out on her front walk. In the past Jean and Glen did everything they could to ignore the reporters who hounded them when Glen was accused of Bella’s kidnapping and murder, and again when he was released on a technicality. Glen and Jean have been the most hated couple in England for years, all the while maintaining that Glen had nothing to do with Bella’s disappearance. Now that Glen is gone, Jean is finally ready to talk.
What follows takes the reader from the present into the past to the day Bella goes missing. From the perspectives of Jean, Glen, the detective leading the investigation, and the reporter writing Jean’s story, we are privy to the investigation, how Jean’s relationship with Glen hindered the investigation, and how she dealt with what she knew her husband had done. As Jean struggles to move forward, she is finally free to share what really happened to Bella.
Things aren’t always what they seem in this debut novel by Fiona Barton. If you enjoy dark, complex relationships and stories with a lot of undercurrents and mystery, you will enjoy The Widow.