I finally got my hands on a book written by Fiona Barton! I had heard great many things about her books and always wanted to check it out. So I started at the beginning. I had read no reviews for this going in. Just relied on the blurb. I must say its very similar to The Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. Its a story about those related to monsters. Here too it is the wife.
Coming to the plot:
Jean Taylor is a dedicated and loving wife to Glen. They have been married for close to seventeen years and are pretty much happy in their lives except they don’t have kids and Jean desperately wants one. So its only natural for her to feel distressed when she learns on the news that a toddler – Bella is missing. Though she secretly blames the mother – Dawn, she hopes Bella is fine and comes home soon.
But then the cops turn up at their home and begins to question her husband regarding Bella. Though she is shocked she stays by her husband who keeps pleading his innocence. Of course he is innocent, he loves kids just like her. He would never hurt any child let alone kidnap one. But what about all that stuff they found on his computer which he never let her see and she used to call it “his nonsense”. But he pleads it isn’t his. That the “internet downloaded it using his stolen credit card”. He is extremely good with his excuses but could he have really hurt Bella?
Four years pass by and Bella is still missing and Glen is behaving extremely odd and scared. Out of the blue he is killed in a bus accident. Will Jean talk now? or will she still stand by her husband? Will Bella’s case finally find closure?
Did you miss my last post? Check it out here The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
I was all excited when I began reading this book and the author doesn’t disappoint in her narrative beginning with Glen’s death. The readers are as much curious as the characters in the book as to whether Glen is guilty or not. Its not fully black and white in the beginning and we all have our doubts. It doesn’t help that Jean is an unreliable witness. Did she know everything or was she truly in the dark as well? One second you sympathise with her and the next you are questioning her motives.
After been hounded by the journalists for years and more recently after Glen’s death she finally agrees for a tell-all interview with Kate Waters and slowly narrates everything that happened till his death. Throughout this we get glimpses of what Glen did, how Kate thought and most importantly the Inspector assigned to this case, DI Bob Sparkle. He is the other half of this book desperate to find Bella and looking for clues in every nook and corner. Bella connects both the widow and the inspector and together they make this story what it is – A look into the life of what a person who stands by an accused is like.
I neither liked nor disliked any character in this book. It had a sense of detachment within it. I couldn’t guess any one’s mindset and even though you know Glen is guilty the author makes it hard to accept it till the last few chapters in the book. The ending was very dissatisfactory. I felt like I read a book that I knew how it was going to end but was still promised something better.
Pros: Pace, atmosphere, suspense
Cons: repeated dialogues and situations
Bibliogyan Verdict: An almost good psychological thriller but has its flaws.