Cover Image: Death of the Black Widow

Death of the Black Widow

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Member Reviews

This is not one of my favorite Patterson books.  I think it is because of the sci-fi tint to this book.  A young policeman, Walter O'Brien",  encounters a young woman early in his career who becomes the one who continually escapes his grasp. As Walter becomes a detective and then moves to the FBI and then to a secret federal group, she continues to elude him. The woman's powers are unbelievable and shocking, if you can even believe them. The story moves from the past to the present and back again, which adds to the confusion and to prepare the reader for the shocking ending.
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I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I honestly have no idea how I feel about this book. Thriller,creepy and at times confusing. It does not have normal flow I particularly like. Walter is obsessed with Amy. But the question is, who or what is Amy? I think opinions are going to vary on this one.
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I love James Patterson books and have read most of them. This one was good but a bit too long. I found that the plot dragged in parts . I will continue to read James Patterson's books as the plots are always good I just hope for better editing so they don't drag.
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Patterson and Barker have done it again with "Death of the Black Widow". Loved this quick (as always) thick book.
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Another sci-fi story from Patterson and J.D. Barker, who brings the sci-fi influence, I assume. A young policeman encounters a young woman early in his career who becomes his "white whale," the one who continually escapes his grasp. As he becomes a detective and then moves to the FBI and then to a secret federal group, she continues to elude him. Her powers are weird, unbelievable, and shocking, if you can even believe them. The story moves from the past to the present and back again to relate all of the action, and to prepare the reader for the shocking ending. Thanks to NetGalley, Little, Brown and Company, and Grand Central Publishing for providing an ARC.
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The epigraph at the beginning of this novel states, “There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age they may solve only in part.” - Bram Stoker

This is a fitting saying for this book  because I struggled with guessing what in the world this story is about and then realized I could make little sense of figuring it out before I gave up in frustration.  

The execution of what otherwise should be an interesting mystery thriller is problematic.  The structure of transitioning back and forth from decades past to “NOW” is choppy and  very confusing.  The characters are odd and even the protagonist is non sympathetic.  I  plodded to the 50% mark and gave up.  I had no desire to finish. I was looking forward to a suspenseful thriller; however, this is in the horror and supernatural genre which I do not like and, had I known, would not have requested to read and review.  Think female Terminator meets evil incarnate.  Bizarre, disgustingly gruesome and offensive. 

I received an ARC from NetGalley and am disappointed I can not give this book a higher ranking review.  I’m more disappointed that the horror genre is not accurately referenced in the book description. James Patterson is a name I’ve always trusted to provide absorbing thrillers and am surprised if not shocked he would write such a macabre story.
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Thank you NetGalley for providing this book for an honest opinion. I love to read all James Patterson's books. I love a good mystery or hunt for a killer. This book was definitely not in my normal scope of reading. Typically I do not like paranormal novels in any form but I must say James Patterson changed that for me. It is not your typical paranormal book. You don't even realize it's paranormal until much later in the book. The book was full of twists and turns. It takes us on a journey of a man at the beginning of his career to preparing for retirement. Definitely a must read!!
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Death of the Black Widow is an action-packed, fast-paced thriller from James Patterson and J.D. Barker. I always enjoy James Patterson’s books but this one dealt more with a supernatural plot than I prefer. You’ll love the book if that is your interest as the plot is unique.  There is mystery, intrigue, tension - professional and romantic, and horror. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for the opportunity to read this ARC.
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Walter O'Brien is a policeman in Detroit with a bright future ahead of him, but he cannot let one of his first cases go: a young girl kills her abuser and then escapes from the back of his police car on the way to the hospital. As the years go on, Walter discovers that there is nothing normal about Amy Archer. No one believes his theories and that usually leads to death. I was not expecting that ending, but it was strangely satisfying.
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Rookie Officer Walter O'Brien first day on the job in Detroit involves him in "that case" that comes once in a career. As he is promoted & his career progresses pieces of that investigation come back to haunt him.He will be working on this for more than 3 decades.

This book seems to be very much a combination of James Patterson's mysteries & J.D. Barker's penchant for the supernatural thriller. It takes a suspenseful deep dive into both genres.


Thanks to  Authors Patterson, Barker and Little Brown and Company for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I have always been a big fan of JD Barker's since his 4MK trilogy (great on audio if you haven't heard it!).  Here he teams with Patterson to deliver a thrill ride of a book with some interesting characters, bizarre situations, and a creepy tone.  Will recommend it to my customers!
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Thanks @netgalley for read number 113 of 2022. This book was unlike any that I have ever read before. There’s a supernatural element to it, which is not always my favourite in a novel, but the writing was great! I was pulled into the storyline and taken by the characters. There were many disturbing moments here, and if cancer is triggering for you, this book might not be for you. The dual timelines worked for me, but the multiple characters were hard to keep track of at times. As in all James Patterson books, there were many. The 4th Monkey books were graphic and disturbing at times, so it makes sense that there might be elements of this here (with JD Barker as a co-author — I love his writing though). This was the best James Patterson book that I’ve read in a while. Hard to put down and a good ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read.
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A James Patterson book is always a must-have for me. When I read the synopsis I wasn't prepared for the twists and turns this novel takes. A black-widow killer becomes an obsession from the time a policeman is first on duty to the time close to retirement. The story travels through timelines and events so well, it isn't until you are aware it's a paranormal novel that you connect the dots. A great read.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing this copy. The opinion here is solely my own.
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A crazy wild gory horror love story. How's that for a description. Crazy, but accurate.  
As I have complained in the past.....The synopsis does not accurately describe this story.  I grabbed it because it was a James Patterson story and sounded like a woman serial killer and a cop obsessed with her.  Well that's all true, but the synopsis does not include that this serial killer is also supernatural and can't be killed.  After I discover that, I know the story could go ANYWHERE.  And it didn't have to make sense.  And of course it doesn't BUT if you like that kind of story, you will love this one.  There are many, many, many imaginative story details that I will not  mention because it would ruin it for you.  And there is an obsessive love story between the killer and the cop that tries to capture her, for many, many years.  Of course I had to finish it to find out how  the fantastic ending would evolve.  And it did, and it was fantastic but clever too.
I also didn't like the format of jumping from past to present every couple of chapters.  I found that uncomfortable reading.
I give this 3 stars for me and 4 stars for readers that like these kind of stories.
I was given this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I do love a good James Patterson book and this one started off promising, until the Supernatural/ paranormal features became so prevalent.  It wasn't my favorite book due to that and at the end I found it confusing at times and had to reread parts of chapters. I appreciate the Netgalley opportunity for a free read and to try something out of my element, but if I had known it going in, I probably wouldn't have requested this book to review.
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Started out very promising. Probably enjoyed the book for the first half. Then I felt like I was in LaLaLand.  Had to skim through much of the second half until the final chapters. Did not live up to expectations.
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James Patterson has published over three hundred books and this is easily in the top five. Joining with J.D. Barker, Patterson weaves a paranormal thriller that keeps the pages turning and the light on. Death of the Black Widow is a story told over a number of timeframes, beginning in the present—where an old Walter O’Brien is plotting an assassination—moving backward to O’Brien’s first day as a cop, and then forward chronicling his lifelong pursuit of the Black Widow.

Patterson doesn’t typically write supernatural fiction, meaning that the big reveal that the killer wasn’t exactly human was caught me off-guard. It’s a well-written, superbly-concealed secret not made entirely clear until well into the book. The genius is that it leaves readers to grapple with it just like the characters must. Supernatural? Otherworldly? O’Brien is a gritty street cop who deals in facts. Coming to the conclusion that the girl who escaped from him on this first night wasn’t altogether human was something that took years—and part of his sanity. It does the same for the reader. Barker and Patterson also don’t dwell on the supernatural. It’s just written as part of the story, never overshadowing it or becoming a parody of itself. If you wish Steven King wrote like James Patterson, Death of the Black Widow is the novel for you.

Everything from the book’s tone to its setting to its pacing is absolutely perfect. Barker and Patterson craft an intensely creepy story that manages to also feel real and is grounded in reality. The movement across the timeline shows the story’s progression, while slowly explaining the mystery of the modern-day events. At first, it’s not even clear how O’Brien’s first day on the job—where it seems the victim of a kidnapping escapes from his squad car—is related to the current events. What soon becomes obvious is that the person they all thought was the victim was actually the villain…and now, decades later, O’Brien is poised with some vigilante justice to take her down. 

Death of the Black Widow is an immersive story that is obviously way more Barker than Patterson. Patterson’s style shines through, but its Barker’s storytelling that really makes the book work, as he makes the unbelievable believable. As I’ve worked my way through Patterson’s seemingly interminable list of books, there are a lot that are good but forgettable. This is the rare Patterson novel that’ll stick with you. As I finished the final page, I was already circling back around to page one for a second read.
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Thanks to Little, Brown and Company and NetGalley for the eARC, as well as Grand Central Publishing for sending me a gifted finished copy.
I love to break up my typical romance reads with a crime drama every now and again. Death of the Black Widow had more supernatural elements than I expected from a James Patterson book, but I was intrigued and its fast pace and short chapters helped me gobble this one up in less than a day, even though some parts of the plot seemed horror-adjacent and therefore terrifying to scaredy cat me. I’m not sure how to specify the audience for this book, but if you’re interested in science fiction crime drama, this could be up your alley!
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As a long time James Patterson reader, I really struggled with this one. It may have been the supernatural element to it. It also seemed to go on longer than necessary before it wrapped up. Not one of my favorite Patterson reads. I finished it mostly so I could give an honest review after completing the entire book. Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the ARC!
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Not your typical James Patterson. That said, it grabs you in ways that you wouldn't expect. Once started, I realized that there was more needed to solve this one. The word 'paranormal came into mind. A page turner for sure, if only for the fact that it's quite different.
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