I have not had the pleasure of reading the first book nor have I seen the ‘80s TV show. But the plot was so exciting that I went to see the movie. I have followed Lynda La Plante’s Tennison series and really enjoy it. So I knew enough to clearly see where the plot followed the original novel and what was added by the two screen writers (I didn’t like the movie. The story was twisted into a whole separate racial story that really had nothing to do with the widow’s taking the focus off the badass women). But I was really excited to receive an ARC of the sequel.
Unlike the movie, Harry is still alive and unaware that Dolly has cleaned him out. Dolly and the girls are hiding out in Rio while the heat dies down. But when Harry learns he has no money, he goes after his wife. The women flee back to England and make a deal with Harry. They will give him $60,000 and he leaves them alone. But nothing is that easy.
While I should have read the first one to truly understand what was going on, it didn’t help that the author doesn’t bother to catch us up. Good novelist knows how to make sure new readers know what’s going on while not boring the new readers. I didn’t understand why Bella kept yelling about who she used to be. Heck, I didn’t even know what time period it was set in. I assuming with the lack of cell phone and the mention of cassette tapes, we were in the 80’s. What frustrates me so much is that she manages this issue well in the Tennison series. The time period was always clear and if I read them out of order I understood what was going on.
The biggest issue is that it is written like a TV show. It makes sense since that is what it is was originally but this isn’t a TV show; it’s a novel. The pacing is horrible and jarring. In the most exciting parts, the writing jumps from character to character in flashes. It was hard to get emotional about the characters’ actions. The only character we really understand is Dolly and Shirley. They have side stories that do delve into their emotions. I was glad for these moments as I really wanted to sink my teeth into the revenge plot.
Honestly, I am not sure why there will be another Widows book as the Afterword states. The tale has been told and lives and deaths have been resolved. If the firsts book is written the same way as this one, I’m not very interested in back tracking nor reading something past this. From now on, I’m just going to stick to the Tennison novels.