Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Widow by Fiona Barton

This book touched me so deeply that I simply cannot talk about it. Anything I say will destroy the feelings I am left with.

I don't even want to fall back on clichés such as magnificent, wonderful, brilliant, unbelievable.

My emotional reaction to this book astounds me.  Gut wrenching, heart breaking.

I urgently need to take a walk ... 

Later then.

'Me, the grieving widow? Don't make me laugh.'

A voice as startling and unreliable as The Girl On The Train, a cast as compelling as Broadchurch. 

Jean Taylor is the wife of a man labelled a monster.

Glen Taylor was accused of heinous crimes, implicated in the disappearance of two-year-old Bella Elliot, snatched from her front garden four years ago. But now he’s dead and Jean Taylor is finally ready to tell her story.

For the reporter who has secured the exclusive interview, this is the scoop of a lifetime. For the detective who has lived a half-life since he failed to get justice for the lost little girl, it is a chance to uncover the truth that has eluded him for so long.

It's time. Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist - senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.
But through it all, a story was cooking in my head.
The worm of my first book infected me long ago when, as a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the wives of those accused really knew - or allowed themselves to know.
It took the liberation of my career change to turn that fascination into a tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the man suspected of the crime, the detective leading the hunt, the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.
Much to my astonishment and delight, The Widow was published in 36 countries and made the Sunday Times and New York Times Best Seller lists.
It gave me the confidence to write a second book ,The Child, in which I return to another story that had intrigued me as a journalist. It begins with the discovery of a newborn's skeleton on a building site. It only makes a paragraph in an evening newspaper but for three women it's impossible to ignore.
The Child will be published in June 2017 and I am embarking on my next novel. My husband and I are still living the good life in south-west France, where I am writing in bed, early in the morning when the only distraction is our cockerel, Titch, crowing.

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