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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, an electrifying thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife.

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth - that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything...

List of readers:

  • "The Mother" read by Jayne Entwistle
  • "The Detective" read by Nicholas Guy Smith
  • "The Widow" read by Hannah Curtis
  • "The Husband" read by Steve West
  • "The Reporter" read by Mandy Williams
©2016 Fiona Barton (P)2016 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“If you liked Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, you might want to pick up The Widow by Fiona Barton. Engrossing. Suspenseful.” (Stephen King)

“The ultimate psychological thriller! Barton carefully unspools this dark, intimate tale of a terrible crime, a stifling marriage, and the lies spouses tell not just to each other, but to themselves in order to make it through.” (Lisa Gardner, number one New York Times best-selling author of Find Her and Right Behind You)

“A twisted psychological thriller you’ll have trouble putting down.” (People)

What listeners say about The Widow

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

'Thriller' Without Any Thrills

Don't be fooled by any comparisons to 'Gone Girl' or 'The Girl on the Train' ... This is more of a slow-burn introspection into some profoundly disturbing psychosis, which is good at times, but nothing very innovative. I kept waiting for a twist that never came, unless you count a fairly obvious detail about a certain character's death that you can see coming from a mile away. As such, not what I'd call a "thriller."

Also, the detective narratives in the middle of the story are laughably outdated. The police are baffled by how chat rooms work. The fact that chat rooms and Internet porn needs to be explained to them/us goes to show how crummy they are at their job, and the author's lackluster results.

72 people found this helpful

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  • 02-18-16

Disturbing but very good.

The story was original but the subject matter could be upsetting to some. Still, it was presented tastefully without unnecessary gory details. It was realistic and gave me a lot to think about. The performances were spot on. Overall I do recommend this book, but not to somehow who would be sensitive to hard topics (I don't want to give too much away). It was worth a credit.

69 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not Very Thrilling... Only Very Tragic...

I imagine the people who thought this book was a good thriller do not listen/read many books. The "twist" is very obvious from the beginning of the book, and in my mind, there really wasn't any twist (or mystery or thrill) at all. There are, however, many twisted, messed up, disgusting characters, and enough of a good-paced story to have kept my interest in listening. Ultimately this is a very sad story, and although you probably won't cry, I feel it is much more tragic than thrilling. As other reviewers remarked on, it was laughable how the police were portrayed to have absolutely no knowledge of how criminals use the internet and how to perform an investigation using the internet. The rookie investigator that was "just out of University" had to explain to the lead investigator the very basics, and they went about their operation like it had never been done before by anyone. I actually rolled my eyes in some parts.

43 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Kept my attention

This was one of those stories that kept me listening but after it was over I couldn't tell you much about it. It was not terribly original and not really exciting. However, I kept listening and waiting to see what the ending would be. So for that reason if you cant find anything else you want to listen to, its not bad.However, there are probably some better options to spend your credits on!

33 people found this helpful

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Chilling

Great book! Very dark though.... I think it's a good thing to listen rather than read because you may not understand the British slag as well if reading.

26 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Thriller

This was the best suspense/thriller/mystery I've ever listened to. An outstanding production including first rate narrators. If there is one book in this genre I would recommend above anything else I've listened to, it would be this breathtaking and unputdownable audiobook.

21 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book

I wasn't sure I would like this, but turns out I found myself listening sort of compulsively to it. Jean Taylor is the widow of a man who has been accused of a crime that has left people shocked and sad, and turns out that--thanks to the determined press--the public isn't forgetting it, so the main characters are unable to move on with their lives.

What is quite good about the book is that it is told from the perspectives of about 5 key people, which provides the reader with clues, but often leaves one wondering about who, exactly, did commit the crime. There is a gradual unpeeling of details as various people tell pieces of the story, just up to the end. This, I think, is the strength of the book. Psychologically the reader is tantalized into being led here and there with ideas about what must have happened.

The book on another level explores the world of cyber-sex, something that is becoming increasingly pervasive with its chat rooms, easy availability and such, letting the reader see that something that seems to hurt nobody, actually has the potential to be quite dangerous, and that in itself seems a bit of a sub plot.

I very much liked the narration--using different readers for the voices of the characters. They all read very well, and enhanced the performance. I believe this was one book made better by the audible version. I think it would have been good in the written form, but the narrated version gave it much more life and tension. Almost the difference between reading a play vs hearing it acted out. I found myself wishing it was visually acted out, and wonder if it won't find its way into becoming a movie. Would be a good one. Though I didn't think the book quite merited 5 stars, I believe the author shows promise for more really good books.

My only (slight) criticism is that it began to feel tediously long toward the end. I found myself having the rare wish for an abridged version. But it is still a good book, well worth listening to!

19 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great cast of readers

Any additional comments?

Well written and very well read. Not the most thrilling thriller but builds atmosphere and does keep you guessing. Pretty good overall.

19 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Suspenseful drama; thoughtful resolution

Having recently finished "The Girl on the Train" and "The Double Bind", I wanted something in the same vein, and "The Widow" didn't disappoint. Told from various points of view read by different narrators to keep them distinct while listening, the book lends itself well to audio. It kept me guessing about the direction it would take, and I found that I was looking forward to times when I could listen so as to finish the narrative. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspenseful thrillers.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Slow moving and a bit dull

Interesting but took a long time to get going and never really got that gripping. The constant jumping about of timeline and perspective was quite annoying. Cast were good but the way it was done meant that the same characters had different voices in each chapter which is very distracting.
Not bad but not particularly engaging.

17 people found this helpful