Cover Image: The Widowmaker

The Widowmaker

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Member Reviews

This is my second novel by Hanna Morrissey, and the second of her Black Harbor series. I have read these books out of order, but it does not matter. What I have loved most about these books is how much Morrissey makes Black Harbor come alive on the page. She really sets the scene and makes you feel the chill of the place. This book centers on characters Morgan and Ryan Hunter. Their stories merge as Hunter is assigned a cold case that Morgan stumbles into the periphery. Hunter is grappling with the murder of his former partner. For fans of mystery/suspense and police procedurals. Morrissey is a fine writer and her Black Harbor series will not disappoint!

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I read the first book in the Black Harbor series a few years back and remember loving the deary atmospheric feel of the book. I was surprised to find that our lead characters in the second installment were different from the first, and that the characters from Hello, Transcriber we hardly mentioned. For such a small town, I felt this to be slightly strange but decided to give this one a go anyways.

While I felt the two storylines/murder mysteries were interesting and I liked how they came together, I had a hard time getting invested in Morgan’s or Hudson’s POVs. I think I didn’t fully connect the characters with the narrator’s voices, as I listened to this one on audio. The audio wasn’t bad, it just didn’t jive with what I would have picked, which is always a risk with audiobooks.

I’ll probably keep reading this series, as it’s well written but it’s just not my favorite page turning series. If you’re looking for a dark, gritty, and atmospheric series though, this one is for you!

The Widowmaker is out now. Thank you to Minotaur Books and MacMillan Audio for my advanced copies in exchange for my review. If you liked this review, please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof.books or on TikTok @speakingof.books. This review can also be found at SPEAKINGOF,ORG.

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This story has a nice pace, characters that I liked and enjoyed getting to know and a entertaining mystery! Overall it's a good read! Happy reading everyone!

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Hannah Morrissey has quite the following on Bookstagram, so I was excited to find out that I could read this book as a standalone in the series. I'm a sucker for books about wealthy families whose scandals and secrets are dug up, as well as police procedurals that follow cold case investigations. However, The Widowmaker fell flat for me. I didn't feel invested in the main character and the story felt like it dragged.

I do think it's important to note that this book is dark (TW: child abuse, sexual abuse).

Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC via NetGalley.

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Police procedural are hit or miss. But baby this was a hit! I need to go back and read the first book in the black harbor series, but i do not regret jumping right on into this one. Plot was great, characters on point.

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I struggled with this book. I had a difficult time connecting to the characters. It’s a well written book just not for me

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Favorite Quotes:

Pierced and gangly with a death stare that could intimidate a bull, Morgan didn’t really fit anywhere,

She had to tip her head back to look him in the eye. At five foot two, Miserelli was the personification of a firecracker: small, compact, and explosive. Some people joked that she’d stand taller and walk straighter if it weren’t for the chip on her shoulder weighing her down.

There was something about Eleanor Reynolds. Perhaps it was part of her enchantment that she reminded him of an icicle— delicate enough to shatter, sharp enough to kill.

She’d found Saoirse Reynolds as all people find one another these days: on Instagram.

My Review:

This ingeniously plotted tale kept me guessing throughout the entirety of the book. I developed and cast aside multiple theories but would never have foreseen the story threads coming together to weave these conclusions. Hannah Morrissey is a gifted scribe.

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Short synopsis: A cold case comes to light after the murder of a cop,

My thoughts: Book 2 in the Black Harbor series, this one can totally stand on its own.

This is a dark and gritty police procedural that didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I was hoping for a little more but the pacing seemed off which threw me for a loop.

While the main characters were complex, I found myself not really caring about them or what happened to them. That’s not what I want when reading a crime riddled thriller.

I do think this one will work more for others!

Read if you love:
- Dark and grit
- police procedural
- cold case

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The Widowmaker by Hannah Morrissey, the second book in the Black Harbor series, is a chilling tale of resentment, betrayal, and manipulation. The story continues the bleak, atmospheric tone but has a much more cohesive plot and significantly better pacing. Unlike the protagonist of Hello Transcriber, Morgan Mori is given a backstory so traumatic, all the events that follow seem character driven. Although the big reveal wasn't surprising, the road to getting there had enough surprises to make the journey satisfying. Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the copy for an honest review.

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A well written story, with well developed characters. This series is a dark and depressing, you have to be in the right mindset to embrace it.

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Thank you NetGalley for the advanced copy that I barely finished reading. I did not realize the book is the second in the series. I never read book one, but I do not think I missed too much as I was hooked from the beginning.

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The Widowmaker is another thriller / mystery by Hannah Morrissey and it is again based in Black Harbour. Morgan Mori has recently come back to her home town. Upon arrival, she is invited to photograph the wealthy Reynolds family. After the photo gig she goes to get gas that night and ends up being in the store when a local police officer is shot and killed and his last words to Morgan are I found you. The story goes from here as Morgan re-visists her traumatic upbringing in Black Harbour. She is running from the past that she just left in Chicago. Trying to figure out why she is the center of focus for the enticing Reynolds family members; all of who are very interested in her for their own reasons. Morgan tries to figure out who she can and can't trust as she faces the past and tries to find out the answers. The book is well written and I really enjoyed this second Black Harbour Novel.

I will add that this book should come with a trigger warning as the abuse described in the book is very graphic.

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The Widowmaker #jaylammreviews

This is book two in the Black Harbor series but these can really be read as standalones. 

Once again Black Harbor is a character in this book. This town is run down and spiraling. We do get a glimpse into the wealthy side of Black Harbor. The main character Morgan comes back to town and is hired to take pictures of the Reynolds annual christmas party. The Reynolds are well known in town. They are wealthy and have a mysterious past, as the head of the family Clive has been missing for many years...without a trace. 

This book delves into Clive's mystery but it also has a current murder of a cop that dominates the novel. We get the perspective of Morgan and then also the perspective of Hudson, a cop that is trying to solves his friend's murder.
I really enjoyed this. Once again, the writing was fantastic. Can't wait to read more books set in Black Harbor!

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This book is a second in a series, but it can be read as a standalone. It is set in the same town as the first, but has no other connection, which is great because I did not like the first one as much as I liked this one. I am now looking forward to the next one in the series.

I liked the plot but was a little confused with all the characters and how they were all related.

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I loved the author’s first book in this series but this one I struggled with a bit. It was a bit repetitive and there were many story lines going at once. While this is somewhat the theme of the book, it could be daunting at times. I didn’t connect with any characters and I found this story to be far fetched.

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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the 2nd in the Black Harbor series, The Widowmaker continues the bleak, atmospheric tone but has a much more cohesive plot and significantly better pacing.

unlike the protagonist of Hello Transcriber, Morgan Mori is given a backstory so traumatic, all the events that follow seem character driven.

while i don't think the big reveal is remotely surprising, the road there has enough surprises to make the journey satisfying.

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This book deals with a Cold Case (20 years) mystery, family secrets, and murder......all falling on the shoulders of a young female photographer and a cop hoping to establish himself as a lead detective. This is written by a well-known author and won't disappoint fans of this genre.

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I enjoyed another Hannah Morrissey book and was excited to try this one but I just didn't care for it. I thought it would be more of a lead from the last one??

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I hadn't read Hello, Transcriber but I don't feel like I missed very much. I did really like the characters and found the development over the mystery interesting.

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I think the prose and plot were strongest in this second entry in the Black Harbor series, but I found I had a hard time connecting to the characters. I went in thinking this would be more murder mystery than crime thriller, and that's why I went up to a three star review, because for a crime thriller, I thought there were a lot of great beats, but the mystery was lacking for me.

Still, Morrissey is a strong writer, with great style and grit, I would just tweak the marketing and summary to lean more into crime thriller territory, so as not to be misleading to readers.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced read copy.

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