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.