The Widow is an extraordinary little novel. Written in 1940 and published in 1942, it is a dark and intense gem. Like the very best Hitchcock movies, this novel conveys a sense of inevitability, tragedy waiting to happen.
The introduction by Paul Theroux mentions that The Widow was published in the same year as The Stranger by Albert Camus. The Stranger went on to become part of the modern canon; The Widow has been mostly ignored or forgotten. At the time of publication, Andre Gide thought The Widow was the better book, and Theroux agrees. Certainly the characters are better and more fully drawn in the Simenon novel. It is not an abstract study, but a kind of cinema verite.
This edition is one of the New York Review reprints and is very well worth reading.