Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Widowmaker by Hannah Morrissey

The Widowmaker
by Hannah Morrissey
Series Black Harbor (#2)
Published December 6, 2022 by Minotaur Books

A wealthy family shrouded in scandal; a detective tasked with solving an impossible cold case; and a woman with a dark past collide in Hannah Morrissey's stunning new Black Harbor mystery, The Widowmaker.

Ever since business mogul Clive Reynolds disappeared twenty years ago, the name "Reynolds" has become synonymous with "murder" and "mystery." And now, lured by a cryptic note, down-on-her-luck photographer Morgan Mori returns home to Black Harbor and into the web of their family secrets and double lives. The same night she photographs the Reynolds holiday get-together, Morgan becomes witness to a homicide of a cop that triggers the discovery of a long-buried clue.

This could finally be the thing to crack open the chilling cold case, and Investigator Ryan Hudson has a chance to prove himself as lead detective. If only he could stop letting his need to solve his partner's recent murder distract him. But as Morgan exposes her own dark demons, could her sordid history be the key to unlocking more than one mystery?

4 Stars

The Widowmaker is the second in the Black Harbor series by Hannah Morrissey, but it is a standalone entirely. Beyond the setting, The Widowmaker is entirely unique as it follows photographer Morgan Mori and Detective Ryan Hudson, separately, as their lives intertwine when two investigations Hudson is involved in collide. Morgan has finished photographing the famous Reynold's family Christmas pictures when she witnesses the murder of Officer Garrison at a gas station. As the sole witness there's no one else who knows Garrison's final words to Morgan. Hudson is placed on a cold case involving the Reynolds' to keep him away from the investigation into his former partner's death. Somehow Morgan is the key to both cases and it'll take a skeleton key to open her up.

Written like a psychological thriller with police procedural touches, The Widowmaker is an incredibly interesting and unique read. While I didn't love the audio, I was totally enthralled with the story and desperate to know what would come next. It heavily features a past storyline, that of Morgan's youth, and it's as dark as they come. This could feel like a heavy read for some, but it's totally rewarding when you reach closure as well. I never truly connected with the characters, but rather felt like I was watching a movie play out in my head and if I could have finished it in two hours I would have. It's addicting. A solid second go at thriller writing from Morrissey and a new dark read for my shelves and yours.

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