Monday, May 29, 2023

The Widowmaker - Black Harbor #2

The Widowmaker is the second Black Harbor mystery by Hannah Morrissey. Released 6 Dec 2022 by Macmillan on their Minotaur imprint, it's 304 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Paperback format due out in 4th quarter 2023. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a very well written and cleverly constructed mystery set in and around a fictive town in Wisconsin. The setting is the same area as the first book, though this book works well as a standalone and doesn't follow on directly from the first. 

This is a *very* dark and brutally written cold case/modern procedural. There are direct and graphic descriptions of abuse, torture, including abuse of a minor. Sensitive readers should likely steer clear. That being said, it *is* very well written and engaging. 

There's a large cast of characters and their interrelationships can only be described as very convoluted. The story is written in alternating third person PoV with each chapter labeled by character. The author is talented enough and the voices distinct enough that it wasn't ever a problem keeping them straight, but there were so many characters that it wasn't always straightforward to keep their relationships and motivations clear during the read. 

Four stars, with the codicil that readers who are bothered by graphic descriptions of violence should plan to skim or skip the book altogether. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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