The Widow by Fiona Barton is published by Bantam Press, RRP $32.99.
The Widow by Fiona Barton is published by Bantam Press, RRP $32.99. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

Book review: The Widow is a ripper of a debut

IS JEAN Taylor's husband a monster?

Or is he innocent, wrongly accused of the most evil of crimes?

You won't know the answer until the very last pages of this brilliant psychological thriller.

The Widow is the story of a devoted wife whose husband, Glen Taylor, is accused of abducting a child.

Jean's life had been blissfully ordinary until then: nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she'd ever wanted.

Now he has been accused but not convicted of abducting a child.

He has been branded a monster by the media, a man capable of unimaginable horror.

Jean's world is shattered but she stands firmly beside her man.

Until Glen dies in an accident and she is alone, free to tell her story on her own terms.

What does she know... is she now going to tell?

Fiona Barton's debut novel, is a ripper yarn.

I read it in one gulp, letting the dishes and the laundry pile up, the dinner uncooked. Nothing could stop me from turning the pages as fast I could until the very last word.

Barton is a journalist who has covered countless court procedures.

"I've spent a lot of time watching people," she said.

"As a journalist I've been a professional watcher, picking up the body language and verbal tics that make us individuals and interesting to others.

"In big trials, notorious and terrible crimes that made headlines, I would find myself watching the wife of the man in the dock and wondering what she really knew, or allowed herself to know."