In the effort to seek out a fan base for a new author you will often see grand comparisons made to other successful authors or books as a way to attract attention. This can quickly become a double edged sword; if the book doesn’t really measure up to the ones it’s being compared to or it isn’t quite a perfect match, it opens the door to what may amount to unnecessary criticism.
Such may be the case for the initial fiction outing from veteran British journalist Fiona Barton. Barton’s first foray into fiction, The Widow was proclaimed to be “for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train,” and while the book is certainly at times a dark, haunting read, I kept expecting the twists and turn that the other two delivered, but they never materialized.
Barton has certainly crafted a well written tale and enjoyable read, but I found the use of multiple points of view; the widow, the detective and the reporter, bouncing around different time frames a bit disconcerting. I found myself flipping back and forth to get a grasp on where I was in both time and space.
While Barton baited the hooks along the way which kept me humming along in the story, I was left hanging as the story arrived at it’s almost obvious conclusion; the evil doer was really never in doubt.