Review: “The Good Widow” by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

51+uX63BY7L._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Title: “The Good Widow”
Author: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
Genre: “Suspense” (so says the marketers…)
Publication Date: June 1, 2017 (Lake Union Publishing)

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

I’ve been in a book slump lately: I finished a really good one (“The Weight of Lies”) a few weeks ago, and everything since has come up short. I had a few false starts, so I was determined to see this one through — otherwise it likely would have been tossed onto the “abandon” shelf.
The premise grabbed me because, for one thing, it seemed reminiscent of “The Marriage Lie.” (Which I tore through.) Husband dies in a place (or on his way to a place) that is not the place where he’s supposed to be. Twisty ride through said husband’s secretive life ensues.

Before I knock “The Good Widow” too much, I’ll say this: A lot of people seem to love it, and I get it. It’s fun book candy, perfect for a beach day, forgettable but still entertaining. It just didn’t do it for me. The writing was meh, I spotted a number of typos and at least one timeline error that really bugged me, and the whole thing felt implausible and overdone. I can’t for the life of me figure out why Jacks and Nick (whose partners took their affair to Maui, where they were killed when they went over a cliff) decided to go to Maui to “retrace their steps.” But … but … but why?

The biggest thing, however, is that this was marketed as “suspense.” Don’t grab it if you’re looking for a true-blue thriller or something that’s actually suspenseful. Yes, there’s a twist at the end, but at least 90% of the book is basic chick-lit/fiction. And that’s great for those who are looking for that, but I wasn’t. As others have commented, it felt like a Lifetime movie, and I was glad when the final credits rolled.


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