Steve Clark, author of Justice Is for the Deserving gives five stars for the Scottish thriller, Black Widow by Christopher Brookmyre.
Earlier in her career Dr. Yeager was practicing at a major teaching hospital. Despite the prestige, she became aggravated at what she saw as sexism in the work place. A patient once mistook her for a nurse, irking Diana to no end. So she began a blog titled, “Scalpel Girl” and used it to settle scores, point out errors in hospitals, and expose rampant sexual harassment. The site was a smash hit and many other women in the medical field anonymously contributed to it.
The writer ratchets us away from the trial and goes back in time to an earlier afternoon when Diana’s work computer freezes up and she faces the equally unpalatable choice of calling an IT nerd who always comes in determined to stare down her shirt or going home without her charting completed.
Deciding the latter is unacceptable she calls IT only to have a new IT guy named Peter walk into her office. Peter is charming, nice looking, and just flirtatious enough to spark interest without being overtly aggressive. That night the two of them go to a concert and soon Diana is interested and anxiously awaits a follow-up call.
Peter invites Diana to a military style contest in the woods involving airsoft guns. Diana goes and just happens to excel, thanks to her experience with brothers growing up. She wins the game and is thrilled by her victory and Peter seems as excited as she is. Earth-shaking sex follows.
Diana overcomes her hesitancy and agrees to marry Peter. But shortly after the wedding things turn sour. Peter, who apparently has some grandiose plan to elbow aside PayPal with a new software, rarely comes home and when he does he pays his wife no attention. Even an independent career woman likes for her husband to talk to her and even occasionally sleep with her.
The novel leaps forward and we discover Peter apparently has killed himself in a one car accident that ends in a river. At this point Brookmyre inserts additional background on Diana which causes the reader to suspect that she may be the good old unreliable narrator, as in Gone Girl. He even lets on that Diana cheated to win the airsoft game.
The morning after the wreck, police smell bleach at her house and begin to suspect Diana. She is arrested. Bone and blood matter are found in the garage. Her only hope appears to be enlisting the aid of an unscrupulous journalist, the very journalist who has set the police onto her. However, once he meets Diana he decides she might be telling the truth.
Personally, I thought that it was a little late to build up the motivation for Diana to kill her husband, so I can’t give the book an A. But the ending is a nice surprise, although I never really thought Diana killed Peter. The writing is outstanding and I give Black Widow a hardy recommendation.
Steve E Clark as seen in the New York Times is Author of Justice Is for the Lonely and Justice Is for the Deserving, Kristen Kerry Novels Of Suspense. You can purchase his books via his site at www.SteveClarkAuthor.com/BuyBook or request it at your local book store. Want to know more about Steve Clark, read more reviews or speak directly with Steve? Learn more about Steve on his website www.SteveClarkAuthor.com