During the New York Marathon on 13th April 2013, two bombs were detonated a mere 12 seconds apart near the finishing line, followed by related shootings. The explosions killed 3 civilians and injured a further 264 others. This is the setting for Cynthia Fridsma’s second novel The Black Widow.
This was a very atmospheric novel, which was probably helped by being set during a real event. The descriptions were vivid, detailed and being written in the first person definitely helped pack an emotional punch and made the characters’ emotions and motivations relatable.
It was an interesting idea, mixing a factual event with the supernatural and was almost bordering on alternative historical fiction; but at points throughout the novel it felt like there was too much going on, and the two different strands of plot didn’t always seem to fit together seamlessly.
There were a lot of characters and it was occasionally difficult to remember who was who and how they were connected to each other.
I’m not sure this was necessarily for me, but was definitely a confidently written novel that I found to be a very good mixture of both action and character driven.
We begin the story at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, where two of our heroes stand at the finishing line. Little do they know of the horror that will strike just as the runners begin to cross the line.
As the regular human law enforcement agencies get to work, Sybil and her team at Nightbird intervene when one of their own is killed by a new foe; the Black Widow! How is she linked with the attack? Will the bombers be brought to justice? And what are the Black Widow's true motives? You'll have to read the story to find out!
The story is fast paced and the action is well described. Zombies, werewolves and even time travel feature in this intriguing tale of two teams of vampires locked in a bitter struggle, and the fate of the living world hangs in the balance! While the writing could benefit from a subtle re-draft, the core narrative shines through.