By: Fiona Baron
Published: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Berkley NAL
Jean Taylor is the widow. She was the wife of Glen Taylor who happened to step off the curb right into a bus and was killed instantly. But that isn't the story. The story is who Glen Taylor was before he died. His story is told from his wife's perspective at first and you learn that Glen Taylor was not a nice man. As the story develops, other characters give perspectives on Glen's life and the choices he made, including a detective and a reporter interviewing Jean after Glen's death. You see, there is a story to tell before Glen stepped off the curb to his death. A story that involves a missing little girl, Bella, and what may have happened to her. We will also hear from Dawn, Bella's mother. All of these versions of the story come together to a shocking ending that will leave you shivering, and not from the cold weather outside.
Glen Taylor was accused of a horrific crime that involved Bella. I'm sure I don't have to describe it, you can use your own imaginations. I admit it was a tough one for me to slough through. At times, I just had to put the book down because the material was too disturbing for me to think about any longer. Unfortunately, stories like this are part of the messed up world we live in and the author found a way to keep me interested, even through the atrocities. Giving away any more details of this story would ruin it for the reader, but it was definitely a page-turner.
With short chapters and a fast pace, the reader can quickly move through the details. Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the main characters. Sometimes there is a bit of backtracking to fill in gaps and other times it moves ahead showing the rapid rate of the investigation. The reader will start to question each of the narrator's perspectives wondering which one of them can't be trusted. As you begin to doubt, then a new perspective is approached and you will have to keep reading to get the answers you need. From the widow to the detective, to Bella's mother, you will feel like you can picture each of them. Barton gives the reader a glimpse into their lives that is intimate and yet, revealing. Their stories hold secrets, that once revealed, will bring this case to a devastating conclusion and their lives, as well as yours, will never be the same.
For readers who have joined the bandwagon of unreliable narrators like GONE GIRL and GIRL ON THE TRAIN, this will be one to add to your list. Keep in mind the subject matter is quite disturbing and not for sensitive readers.
"It's a strange feeling, owning a secret. It's like a stone in my stomach,
crushing my insides and making me feel sick every time I think of it."
|Fiona Barton - source, photo by Jenny Lewis|
Fiona Barton lived for many years in London where she worked as a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at The Daily Telegraph, and as chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards. Since leaving her job in 2008 to volunteer in Sri Lanka, Barton has trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world. Born in Cambridge, England, she now lives in southwest France with her husband and is currently at work on a second book. For more information, check out her website, HERE. You can also find her on Twitter, HERE.
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