Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Reviews

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Reviews

Article excerpt

BOOK OF THE WEEK The Widow by Fiona Barton Publisher: Bantam Press. Price: Hardback PS12.99, ebook PS5.99. Available: January 14.

HOTLY tipped as 2016's The Girl On The Train, The Widow certainly comes with great expectations as this year's unputdownable psychological thriller.

Fiona Barton's crime debut is an emotional roller coaster from the get-go. The titular character is Jean Taylor and the novel maps her journey as the loving and devoted wife of accused murderer, Glen.

Each chapter is told from a different perspective of those involved in the case, including the sceptical detective, the savvy reporter and the worn-down widow.

Barton expertly jumps back and forth between time frames from the original date that 'Baby Bella' vanished from her front garden, to the present day where Jean Taylor is dealing with the repercussions of her husband's sudden death. As the story unfolds, Barton sheds light on the turmoil that Jean faces, desperate to protect the man she loves, but each day growing more concerned for the truth about Bella's disappearance.

The reader soon discovers that Jean and Glen's relationship was riddled with its own problems; Glen's secrecy, Jean's obsession with children and the fact the couple were never able to reproduce. The character of Kate, the hardnosed reporter is also fascinating as she manages to gain the trust of many of the key players within the case.

As the story develops, it is extraordinary to watch the changes in each character, as new pieces of information are revealed from past and present. This progression is beautifully crafted and we soon start to question the honesty of Jean's perspective and she transforms into the ultimate unreliable narrator.

A fast-paced, relevant and gripping read, The Widow isn't one to be missed.

Rating FICTION Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon Publisher: Penguin.

Price: Paperback PS7.99, ebook PS4.99. Available: January 14.

THIS lively and witty novel from best-selling novelist Jane Fallon tells the story of Tamsin and Michelle, who have been inseparable since childhood and have shared everything together.

When singleton Tamsin hears rumours that Michelle's husband is cheating on her, she sets her trusted assistant Bea on a mission to seduce him as a test. Bea, who is reluctant at first, eventually agrees, but it seems she has her own agenda...

This is a fantastic exploration of friendship, infidelity and trust and is pacey, original and really enjoyable. Rating The Promise by Robert Crais Publisher: Orion.

Price: Hardback PS16.99, ebook PS8.99. Available: January 14.

THE Promise is the 16th novel in Robert Crais' series of books following LA detectives Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. But this time they are joined by LAPD officer Scott James and his faithful patrol dog Maggie, the heroes of his stand-alone novel, Suspect. …

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