2016 January Spotlight: Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre


Publication Date: January 28th 2016 from Little Brown

Source: Netgalley

There is no perfect marriage. There is no perfect murder.

Diana Jager is clever, strong and successful, a skilled surgeon and fierce campaigner via her blog about sexism. Yet it takes only hours for her life to crumble when her personal details are released on the internet as revenge for her writing.

Then she meets Peter. He’s kind, generous, and knows nothing about her past: the second chance she’s been waiting for.

Within six months, they are married. Within six more, Peter is dead in a road accident, a nightmare end to their fairytale romance.

But Peter’s sister Lucy doesn’t believe in fairytales, and tasks maverick reporter Jack Parlabane with discovering the dark truth behind the woman the media is calling Black Widow…

My reading halo is slipping – this is my first Chris Brookmyre novel. I hear crime fiction fans everywhere shaking their heads in disbelief – to them I say – hey its fine, I’ve now ordered the entire back catalogue. Better late to the party than never arriving at all…

Black Widow is one of those novels that just sucks you into a vortex – Incredibly beautifully constructed with some increasingly fascinating characters, Chris Brookmyre takes us back and forth in time to tell a love story. Well you know, if love involved deceit, betrayal, massively hidden secrets and ended with blood, turmoil and more twists than a bag of pretzels. Is that not every time you say? I can believe it…

Diane Jager  is a perfectly formed character – difficult to pin down, occasionally utterly believable, then having you going Hmmmm…you are never sure where you are with her she is completely credible and endlessly durable. I both loved and hated her with a passion, at times wanting her to be exonerated and at other times locked up for all eternity. Therein lay the really great part of this for me, the inability to actually make up my mind.

This being my first foray into this particular writers mind, it was also my first encounter with Jack Parlabane who judging by the little asides has been put through the wringer in previous stories – I’ll find that out in due course, but in Black Widow he gets sucked into the same vortex the reader finds themselves in when he is tasked with finding out the truth behind Peter’s death by his Sister Lucy. Now Jack I loved immediately and that never went away – which makes me happily anticipate catching up with him later, but Black Widow is entirely comfortable as a standalone novel which is always nice to find when you realise you’ve been a bit of an idiot and missed something awesome.

Character driven crime is always the best crime for me – Peter himself, as a picture emerges, is also entirely engaging but with great characters there has to be a great plot. And Black Widow has a GREAT plot. Entirely addictive and flowing at just the right rate to get your blood up and keep you turning those pages, I have to give an admiring nod to how Chris Brookmyre puts all this together. If this is what I can expect from all his novels then I’m a fan. The final resolution was brilliant in its intricately woven style, this author is christie-esque in his manipulation of the reader and as such the whole thing was eminently readable, never disappointing and managed to surprise me every step of the way. I may write reviews now but I am first and foremost a reader and these are the days I live for. Cool.

Highly Recommended.

Find out more here: http://www.brookmyre.co.uk/

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/cbrookmyre

To Pre-Order clickety click: https://www.waterstones.com/book/black-widow/christopher-brookmyre/chris-brookmyre/9781408707159

Happy Reading Folks!


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3 Responses to 2016 January Spotlight: Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre

  1. crimeworm says:

    I’m in the same boat Liz – I’ve got Dead Girl Walking, his last, and this one from NetGalley, but never read a Brookmyre. My best mates, Jen and Megan (they’re a couple, so we call em Jegan – like Brangelina without all the cash and kids!) ADORE Brookmyre, so I knew I’d have to start reading him as their taste is excellent. It’s getting round to adding ANOTHER new author to the autobuy list, which is what I know will happen – your review’s confirmed it! Fantastic review, btw. xx

  2. Jan Lambert says:

    Have to hang my head in shame and admit I’ve not read any yet either – this sounds really temptng though x

  3. carol says:

    I haven’t read any by this author either – sounds like I should 🙂

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