Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
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.