From My Bookshelf: Fiona Barton

By Lynn Willoughby

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The Widow Fiona BartonThis debut novel has been called “a delightfully trashy thriller.”  I totally agree.
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There are several stories going on here – Jean, a quiet hairdresser who is wooed by Glen Taylor.  Glen orders Jean’s food, is always critical of her choices, changes careers frequently, doesn’t want children.  Soon enough Glen is charged with the abduction and murder of Bella, a two year old child.  So we have Glen’s story, Jean’s story, that of Bella’s mother.  Who do you believe?  How much does Jean know?  Is Glen as creepy as he sounds:
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Now enter Detective Sparkes, an old cop archetype who is dedicated to getting his man.  But as the years pass, we realize his chances are getting slimmer.  Kate Winter is a newspaper reporter who befriends Jean to get the real story.  Winters is utterly ruthless. She is cold and manipulative – but who isn’t in this novel?  And while Jean is not very likeable she does need sympathy and support in the media storm she lives in.
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The real question is, how much does Jean know?  Is she complicit, naive or simply brutalized by Glen?  OR is she the monster?

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While not great literature, this is a good read.  Enjoy it in the shade wit a drink at hand.

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