Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication date: 14th January 2016
If you enjoyed The Girl on the Train then you will definitely enjoy this brilliant debut novel by Fiona Barton.
Jean Taylor's life is turned upside down when her husband Glen is arrested on suspicion of being involved in the abduction of a two year old girl named Bella. Jean is certain of her husband’s innocence, but are her instincts correct? Can she really be sure what he was doing that day? Will the police ever get to the bottom of what really happened?
On the first page of the novel, Glen Taylor is already dead. Jean is being pestered by reporters demanding her side of the story. Succumbing to the pressure, she agrees to speak to reporter, Kate Waters who takes her to a luxury hotel, pampers her then sits her down to say what really happened. Kate is an interesting character who is at the top of her game in her profession. It is shocking how she gains entry to Jean’s home and Kate’s true colours emerge in her determination to get, potentially, the story of her career. A journalist herself, Barton has a clear insight into the world of reporters and journalism and the interview scenes are very well written and believable. Fiona explores a different side of the police and journalist relationship. In many crime novels and TV shows we see police constantly making grumblings about the press but in Burton’s writing we see an interesting relationship between Kate Waters and Detective Inspector Bob Sparks who is investigating Bella’s disappearance.
What I liked about the story is how Fiona cleverly weaves together the timelines in the novel and how she explores the different narrators in the novel. We are instantly drawn to Jean, whose character’s voice is told in the first person. There is an air of mystery about her which makes the reader keen to continue the story and find out more about Burton’s protagonist.
The ending of this book is one of those endings that will stay with me for a very long time. A stunning debut novel, Fiona Barton is certainly one to watch.