Friday, 29 January 2016
Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre
review by Maryom
Diana and Peter didn't at first sight seem to be a couple made for each other - she was a skilled surgeon; he was the "IT Crowd" guy sent in to fix her pc - but somehow they hit it off and after a whirlwind romance married six months later. Another six months more and the dream is shattered when Peter dies in car accident.
Peter's sister Lucy isn't happy with the police's initial findings so she gets journalist Jack Parlabane to nose around and see what he can dig up, and meanwhile policewoman Ali, one of the first at the scene of the crash, begins to have her suspicions too. Suddenly things are starting to look black for Diana....
The story starts as Diana is on trial for murdering her husband, and is told through three threads, approaching from different angles - Diana's narration of her back story, the viewpoints of Jack and Ali. The public image of a fairytale romance is quickly eroded away as the reader discovers the reality behind it, but even so, are things as easily and simply explained away as it seems?
I've long been a fan of Chris Brookmyre but oddly haven't read many of the Jack Parlabane series, so I don't know how typical this is, but to be honest I was a little disappointed. For starters, there was a lot less of the Fargo or Breaking Bad style black humour that I associate with Brookmyre, and then the plot's big reveals seemed visible from too early on (I don't want to give away spoilers but for anyone who's read it, then, yes, even that shocker at the end!) Despite that it was readable enough but more for the development of character, the insights into blogging and trolling on the internet, and the exposure of a web of lies and secrets, than for the whodunnit aspect.
Maryom's review - 3.5 stars
Publisher - Little, Brown
Genre -adult, psychological thriller