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Fiona Barton Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Widow (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Child (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Apart from being a novelist, Fiona Barton has worked as a senior writer for the Daily Mail, a news editor for the Daily-Telegraph, and also as a news-editor for the Mail on Sunday. While working for the Mail on Sunday, Barton was awarded with a National Press Award. Eventually, in the year 2008, Fiona gave up her work as a journalist so that she could work with journalist who had not only been exiled, but also threated. The idea to write her very first novel came to her many years ago while she was still a journalist. During this period, she worked on several stories which covered trials and crimes. She tried to understand what the wives of the accused really knew or were informed about the trials that their husbands were facing.

Thus, she developed her manuscript for her first novel the Widow, which is a story about a wife of man who is suspected of kidnapping a child, a journalist who is reporting about the case and a detective who is in charge for the investigation. Upon being published, the novel Widow not only made to the best sellers list of New York Times and Sunday Times but also was distributed in more than 36 countries. Due to the success of her first book, Fiona gained the courage to publish her second book, The Child, which is a story about several pieces of skeletons, which were found on a building. The second novel is going to be published later this year.

The Widow

Crime novels, which have often featured ludicrous crime scenes where several ciphers have been given in a number of ways, appears to be getting out of fashion. The fresh trend is being used for more convincing accounts of crime, focusing on intricacies of the investigations and the recurrently frustrating and dull aspects of detection. Fiona Barton’s first novel is not only utterly gripping, but it also follows the fresh and new style of writing. Instead of filling the book with dead bodies, the author just uses one case, which is somehow harrowing enough. A child has disappeared from their front garden and after a series of searches, the kid is not found. It does not take long before the police get a prime suspect to the kidnapping, Glen Taylor.

However, as the book continues, Glen Taylor dies in a car accident, thus leaving the case unresolved. A determined crime news reporter to harasses Jean Taylor, wife to Glen Taylor. Apart from Jean Taylor, we are also introduced to Kate Waters who gives out female empathy as bait while at the same time being exceedingly ruthless in finding the underlying cause of the investigation. She rejoices at the miseries, which befalls all her rivals. Throughout the novel, the author lays emphasis on the rather uncomfortable and symbiotic relationship between the media, the police force, witnesses and victims of the crime. Despite the fact that the missing girl’s mother is at the beginning of the story overwhelmed by the attention she received from the press, she eventually manages to determine her own value. Her unique skills in handling the press is not only distasteful but to some extent highly admirable.

Each of the section in the book is headlined The Detective, The Reporter and The Widow. All this depends on who is being examined at that point in time. The first character who is handed the first person narrative in the novel is Jean. Through her first person narrative, the reader becomes aware that she is somehow relieved that she does not have to deal with her husband’s nonsense since he is dead. Jean is not only browbeaten, but also complicit, willfully and ignorant. In the media world, it is exceedingly risky to lay emphasis, on an individual who is as unappealing, as Jean, though; the press continues to publish her story day in and out. The relationship between detective Bob and Kate has been well drawn; despite the fact that they are not on the same team, they are on the same side. The methodologies and methods have been well defined, while the journalistic scenes are realistic.

If you have been reading any of Fiona Barton’s novels, then you are aware that she has years of experience in this specific field. Barton ingeniously gives how every character deals with the ongoing investigation without reducing the tension. This novel is a tribute to the professionals who are reluctant to let a case or a story go irrespective of how cold it is. With that being said, this story has so many twists and turns, thus the final result is completely breathtaking. The story is not only consistent but also exceedingly realistic. This book gives detailed insights into the subject of child pornography, thus in process making the book a little bit shocking. Due to the author’s experience as a newspaper journalist, the plot is not only airtight but also all her characters have been well described and developed.

However, the only downfall to this book is the author’s uncanny female perspective. As a character, detective Sparks is exceedingly likeable. He is not only a great person and detective who is fighting to ensure that justice is delivered but also has the support of the entire force and the public. One thing that makes the female characters stand out in this installment more than any other book is the empathy and crafty intelligence which is seen in Kate as she continues to do her work as a news reporter without having to break any ethics. With that being said, this is a crime thriller, but unlike many other thrillers, it does not have any mutilated bodies and hysteria. With that said, the author has managed to pen down a story about a parent’s nightmare. She has also written about a perpetrator and also about a submissive wife who always stayed on his side. She has also written about the tactics and behaviors, which is used in journalism. Furthermore, she has also penned down the dynamics within relationships, irrespective as it is between a husband and a wife or between a subject and a journalist.

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