Monday, March 14, 2016
THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton Audio Editon
This psychological thriller is told in different voices, each related from his or her perspective. There is Jean Taylor, the widow of the title, DI Bob Sparkes, reporter Kate Waters. Thanks to the skill of the voice performers I found if I closed my eyes scenes would unroll before me. Seldom has one audio book boasted five such gifted narrators - compelling listening!
The story opens with the death of Jean Taylor’s husband, Glen. He had simply gotten in the way of a London bus. It is just a matter of days before journalists are hounding Jean for her exclusive story. What could this mean? Jean is an innocent - only 19 years old with scant education when she married believing their union was perfect and her husband would always take care of her. Now, 20 years later he is gone.
Barton skillfully moves her narrative between Glen’s death and the taking of 2-year-old Bella Elliott from her yard in 2006. She had been outdoors playing with a cat and then she was gone. No one had seen anything - not the child’s mother or the neighbors. The investigators have no leads and learn nothing for months until a tipster says a blue van was seen in the vicinity, which takes them to Glen who had been a delivery driver.
As the police dig deeper into Glen’s life they find that he enjoyed child pornography. Jean was aware of this but ignored it and referred to it as his “nonsense.” Glen was acquitted of all charges and successfully sued the police. Did Jean know something else? What had she thought during his investigation and the whispers about him?
While Jean has always chosen to stand by her husband little Bella is still missing. Is she protecting him and herself? When Gene died Jean said, “Everyone was very kind.....I couldn’t tell them I was glad he was gone. No more of his nonsense.”
You won’t be able to stop listening to The Widow!