I must have put this on my TBR because I’m a sucker for marketing and this book was supposed to be this year’s Girl on the Train, which was that year’s Gone Girl, and so on it goes by that publishing rule that says that female authors are good for certain things, and right now that thing is “suspenseful books about marriages where things aren’t all that they seem and also there is an unreliable narrator and someone is dead/missing.”
I don’t mind how many books seem to fall into that laughably specific category and/or are clearly “inspired” by their predecessors as long as they bring something new to the table or, at the very least, are compelling in their own right. The Widow is an easy, fast read, but it’s not actually very interesting. There is no suspense, there are no misdirects, and the characters do that thing where they are very stupid about very obvious things right up until the moment when the plot needs them to figure out something that was in front of them the entire time. The book blurb insinuates that the character of the Widow is two women: the one she pretended to be during her marriage, and the one she actually is. This is true basically in the sense that one version keeps her husband’s secrets, and the other doesn’t have to because he’s dead. Otherwise, she presents as a very placid woman who, on exactly one occasion, has a justified but still very polite fit of temper that the recipient finds nonetheless shocking. Oh, she’s also obsessed with babies, so I guess that’s a personality trait.
The only other character who is not so dull that she bears mentioning is the reporter Kate Waters, who is not considerably more complex, but she’s at least competent, which is more than can be said for anyone else.
I’m not even fired up enough about this book to keep this review going in an entertaining way, so here’s my #mood and bye.