I really don't understand why this book is so highly rated. Admittedly, Barton creates interesting characters and her writing is quite easy to read (barring an annoying tendency to jump back and forth between first and third person narrators). But this is allegedly a mystery novel. There ought to be suspense. There ought to be twists and turns. Something ought to be thrilling or at least surprising. Nothing is. It's just a mundane walk through a rather horrible topic.*
I read this after reading her next offering, The Child. At least The Child had a plot twist, even if you could see it coming a mile away. The Widow had nothing. It's not a bad book, but there are so many better books out there that you'd be better off reading one of them.
*I read true crime. The fact that this was about the investigation of a missing toddler was not why I didn't get into this book.