is probably one of the most suspenseful books I have read for quite
the very beginning
of the book, we learn that Glen Taylor, accused of some kind of
dreadful crime, has been killed: knocked
down by a bus. It is his
wife, Jean, who
tells us this.
She is not the grieving widow; in fact, she seems relieved, almost
glad. She says: … I was glad he'd gone. No more of his nonsense.
structure of the book - short chapters, each
written from the viewpoint of
the widow (Jean Taylor),
the detective (Bob Sparkes) or
the reporter (Kate Waters), spanning
a timeline from 2006
– 2010 in no particular
chronological order – keeps the reader glued to the page. Each new
viewpoint, each new date adds another facet to the puzzle, another
layer to the story.
he do it or was he innocent?
reader is kept in the dark. At times it seems as though the detective
has got it right and that Glen Taylor is definitely guilty; at other
times it is obvious that Glen is a decent human being unnecessarily
hounded by both the police and the media. That
the answer can remain hidden until the very end of the book is a
result of Barton's writing
and structuring skill.
the story is all about Glen, it actually
revolves around Jean, the
obedient, submissive wife,
Sparkes, the dedicated,
detective, and Kate, the
media, mainly personified by Kate Waters, is
painted as false,
and completely driven by sensationalism and 'the story', even
though there are a couple of
small slivers of light suggesting that
Kate may also
a compassionate side. Many
of us would happily place a
equal sign between the media and
a mob of hyenas, and
it was, therefore,
interesting that Fiona Barton – an ex-journalist – chose
to portray her former workplace from such a truthful, if sometimes
enjoyed the way the characters and the main events gather flesh and
colour as the story proceeds. Bit by bit, we get to know Jean and her
husband, Glen, and it becomes more and more difficult to know whether
the police and the media have actually 'got it right': is Glen Taylor
a heartless killer or is he actually a normal loving husband?
easy read, this is a definite must
for anyone who enjoys suspense.