The Widow by Fiona Barton and The Confession by Jo Spain #BookReviews

The Widow def

What’s it about?

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen…

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…

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The Widow is a story about what recently widowed Jeanie has got to say about her husband after he died. Her husband was suspected of kidnapping a little girl named Bella and a few days after he’s passed away she opens the door to reporter Kate and agrees to an interview. Before we get to the interview we get flashbacks to when it all began, the day that little Bella went missing and everything that happened afterwards which made her husband a suspect.

The Widow isn’t full of twists and turns and didn’t send a thrill or even shivers through my body but I was invested in the investigation even if I willed them sometimes not to be shortsighted. This was mostly a police procedural type of book for me and partly a character driven novel about Jean’s marriage with a very domineering man. Jean herself is a woman with little personality and not the most likeable character either despite what she had to endure with that husband of hers.

I expected a bit more from the ending as well, once we finally got to what I was waiting for, it was over very soon. Overall an okay read but I missed a bit of twists and turns and I’m not sure these slow burning type of books are really my cup of tea.

If you like this one you’re certainly going to like The Confession too!

I bought a copy of this novel at full price. This is my honest opinion.


The Confession def

What’s it about?

You find out who did it on the very first page. On the last page, you’ll find out why. 

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

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star three and a half

It’s actually kind of funny but one of the reasons I was attracted to this novel was because I thought it was a very orginal starting point for a novel, giving up the person responsible right from the start, and yet I was still kind of waiting for the twist. Deep down I wouldn’t have been surprised if he – the killer who came forward – retracted his story or that he didn’t do it at all. It’s so silly that I’m conditioned like that when it comes to reading thrillers. Another thought I had was that it would have been some kind of a hesaid/shesaid story, where you have to find out who’s telling the truth about what happened but it was not like this, it’s actually pretty straightforward from the beginning.

The Confession is told through 3 POV’s: the detective, the victim’s wife Julie and the attacker JP. The main goal is to find out WHY. JP confessed but he told the detective he didn’t know the man, so what could possibly be his motive then?

To know this we go back to the very beginning, to when Julie met her husband in college and to JP’s miserable childhood. His mother was an alcoholic who always fell for the wrong guys, there was abuse and neglect and JP had to take care of his sister and see he could feed them both. It was very easy to start sympathizing with him, even after I read a really gruesome and violent opening chapter where he just bashed someone with a golf club. On the other side I found it harder to sympathize with Julie and her enigmatic husband. Julie’s weak and they are both money-grabbing people.

I was still interested in the why of it all but it was becoming harder to care for the victims. Slowly the net tightens and this is where the really good part started for me, when it finally becomes clear what made them cross paths. It’s even getting better when Julie has a confrontation with JP to find out for herself. That conversation between the two of them was highly entertaining and absolutely gripping! It really ends on a high note and I did feel oddly satisfied with the way the story went and was concluded.

If you like this one, I recommend you read The Widow too!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher through Netgalley and this is my honest opinion.

29 thoughts on “The Widow by Fiona Barton and The Confession by Jo Spain #BookReviews

    • Oh I’m sorry to hear.. there wasn’t anything graphic though and I even had lots of questions about what happened to the girl after she went missing and they were left unanswered. I wouldn’t read The Confession either then. There is also mention of child abuse and I felt this novel was actually more heart-breaking.. Thank you for stopping by Ova!


  1. Love the double whammy here, Inge! 🙂 The Widow doesn’t sound like something that would grip me.. I think I haven’t been much for police procedurals in books, even though I don’t mind them in TV shows… The Confessions sounds interesting though. It has to be a pretty darned good ‘why’ the attack happened, though… Great reviews, Inge- as always 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Liis.. I thought it was a good idea to put them together as they have some similarities to each others. They are both a bit family history saga and the female protagonists are also both weak women and not particularly sympathetic :-). The Confession is the best one though. The why was very underbuilt so that was great to discover.. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Super insightful! You have given me a bit to consider before diving into this one. I think I might still enjoy it, but maybe it is not exactly what I was anticipating. I will probably keep this one on the shelf until I find myself more in the “procedural” mood 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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