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The Widowmaker

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Full review to come on Goodreads and Amazon. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for a review copy.

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The Widowmaker is the second Black Harbor mystery by Hannah Morrissey. Released 6 Dec 2022 by Macmillan on their Minotaur imprint, it's 304 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Paperback format due out in 4th quarter 2023. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a very well written and cleverly constructed mystery set in and around a fictive town in Wisconsin. The setting is the same area as the first book, though this book works well as a standalone and doesn't follow on directly from the first.

This is a *very* dark and brutally written cold case/modern procedural. There are direct and graphic descriptions of abuse, torture, including abuse of a minor. Sensitive readers should likely steer clear. That being said, it *is* very well written and engaging.

There's a large cast of characters and their interrelationships can only be described as very convoluted. The story is written in alternating third person PoV with each chapter labeled by character. The author is talented enough and the voices distinct enough that it wasn't ever a problem keeping them straight, but there were so many characters that it wasn't always straightforward to keep their relationships and motivations clear during the read.

Four stars, with the codicil that readers who are bothered by graphic descriptions of violence should plan to skim or skip the book altogether.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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''Ever since business mogul Clive Reynolds disappeared twenty years ago, the name "Reynolds" has become synonymous with "murder" and "mystery." And now, lured by a cryptic note, down-on-her-luck photographer Morgan Mori returns home to Black Harbor and into the web of their family secrets and double lives. The same night she photographs the Reynolds holiday get-together, Morgan becomes witness to a homicide of a cop that triggers the discovery of a long-buried clue.

This could finally be the thing to crack open the chilling cold case, and Investigator Ryan Hudson has a chance to prove himself as lead detective. If only he could stop letting his need to solve his partner's recent murder distract him. But as Morgan exposes her own dark demons, could her sordid history be the key to unlocking more than one mystery?''


This novel is well written, The storyline itself was a bit complex. This book is atmospheric, dark, and captivating. I was all in, trying to do my own super sleuthing to solve the case(s). There are some things in this book which might be triggers for some.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me an advance reader copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed Morrisey's HELLO TRANSCRIBER because of the Black Harbor setting & some of the characters she introduced to us!

The Widowmaker is even better! Investigator Hudson & Morgan Mori are characters so flawed that you can't help but want to like them if not relate to them!

A great story, great characters, an incredible setting all combine for this great book!

Description
A wealthy family shrouded in scandal; a detective tasked with solving an impossible cold case; and a woman with a dark past collide in Hannah Morrissey's stunning new Black Harbor mystery, The Widowmaker.

Ever since business mogul Clive Reynolds disappeared twenty years ago, the name "Reynolds" has become synonymous with "murder" and "mystery." And now, lured by a cryptic note, down-on-her-luck photographer Morgan Mori returns home to Black Harbor and into the web of their family secrets and double lives. The same night she photographs the Reynolds holiday get-together, Morgan becomes witness to a homicide of a cop that triggers the discovery of a long-buried clue.

This could finally be the thing to crack open the chilling cold case, and Investigator Ryan Hudson has a chance to prove himself as lead detective. If only he could stop letting his need to solve his partner's recent murder distract him. But as Morgan exposes her own dark demons, could her sordid history be the key to unlocking more than one mystery?

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I didn't realize this was a part of a series when I started it. But it was a very interesting read, and you don't need to read the first book in order to enjoy this one. I was very interested throughout and recommend to a thriller reader.

*Thank you @minotaurbooks for the copy in exchange for an honest review. Review not posted to Amazon/Goodreads because less than 4 stars or DNF.*

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The town of Black Harbor is a rough town filled with crime and victims. In the second book set in the town a famous cold case comes back to life. A good read with great characters.

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This one was dark and gritty. Full of family secrets, mysteries, rich people behaving badly. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading her next book!

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I thought the plot was interesting, and I love how the two character's individual storylines started to intersect. I was satisfied with the ending and didn't see it coming. The whole story is cryptic and dark with enough twists to keep you guessing.

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"The Widowmaker" by Hannah Morrissey is a gripping and atmospheric thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The story follows Clare, a young woman who returns to her hometown of Black Harbor after a decade of being away, to attend her mother's funeral. However, when she arrives, she discovers that her mother's death was not the accident that it appeared to be. As Clare delves deeper into the mystery surrounding her mother's death, she uncovers long-buried secrets and dark family history that threaten to destroy everything she thought she knew about her past.

Morrissey's writing is skillful and evocative, expertly setting the scene and creating a sense of tension and foreboding. The small town of Black Harbor is rendered in vivid detail, with its secrets and scandals lurking just beneath the surface. The characters are complex and well-drawn, with their own motives and agendas that keep the reader guessing until the very end.

One of the strengths of this novel is Morrissey's ability to weave multiple plot threads together in a way that feels organic and satisfying. The mystery surrounding Clare's mother's death is just one aspect of the story, as there are other subplots and characters whose fates are intertwined with Clare's.

"The Widowmaker" is a well-crafted and engrossing thriller that will appeal to fans of the genre. Morrissey has created a compelling world full of intrigue and suspense, and readers will find themselves eagerly turning the pages to uncover the truth behind the dark secrets of Black Harbor

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great book and such great characters. I enjoyed the mystery and some romance. I also enjoyed the journey of the characters. I didn't know what to expect with this book but I enjoyed it .

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Many thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur for this advance copy in exchange for my honest review!

The Widowmaker is listed as #2 in a series on Goodreads, but I thought it read fine as a standalone, and nothing was unclear or missing from the story, I think these are meant to be read as different stories from the same universe. This one was fine….just fine. Nothing stood out as “omg” moments, and I felt it more of a slow burn mystery, that had a lot of potential that fell a little flat. I likely won’t remember anything about this one, especially since I read a lot of thrillers and mystery.

This one is out now if you want to check it out - again, many thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur for this ARC!

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4 Stars
Thank you NetGalley and Hannah for approving me to read the book early.
This book was okay. 👌.
I listened to the audio version narrated by Adam Verner and Xe Sands. They did an amazing job. Very Easy to follow both narrators, they both made the book come to life. This book is dark, deep, and full of so many lies and secrets. I would recommend to readers who enjoy crime, police procedural, and thrillers.
Many thanks to Hannah Morrissey, NetGalley, St Martin’s Press, and Macmillan Audio for the advanced audio version in exchange for an honest review.

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A darker read and I didn't realize this was part of a series when I started it. I want to go back and read the first book as I think that will add to some of the depth I felt was missing from here.
Overall I enjoyed this book.

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The Widowmaker by Hannah Morrissey delves into a surprising look at a decades old cold case, a recent cop's murder, a young photographer who seems to be caught up in the middle of all of it. The story shifts from the perspective of Hudson, an investigator grieving the loss of his partner and Morgan, the photographer with too many buried secrets to count. Both Hudson and Morgan have their own separate ties to the mysterious disappearance of Clive Reynolds - a case that no one has been able to crack in the last thirty years.
If you enjoy reading books that make you say "wait what just happened" page after page then you'll certainly enjoy this one.

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This is a dark and twisty tale of family secrets. The author pulls you in from the very first chapter, which is a bit mysterious and refers to events in the near past that only get clarified later in the book. The female main character, Morgan, has had a terrible childhood and it has affected her greatly. She is now in her early 30s, trying to make a living as a photographer in her home town. The male main character, Hudson, is a young police investigator with a secret in his past. The action takes place in a dismal city in Wisconsin, somewhere on Lake Michigan, called Black Harbor, in and around Christmas time. Hudson’s former partner, Garrison, is killed and we gradually find out all the links between a 20-year-old cold case involving the Reynolds, the city’s richest family, Hudson, Garrison and Morgan.

Content warning: child abuse/sexual assault in the past

The author has written a previous book that also takes place in Black Harbor but this is not being promoted as a series and I have not read the first book, Hello, Transcriber, although I’m interested enough in it now to track it down.

I listened to the audiobook with my husband on a long car trip and re-read some sections in the ebook in the evenings to make sure I understood what was going on - so perhaps reading this one may be better than listening to it. There are a lot of characters and back story to keep straight. Different chapters are told from the point of view of either Morgan or Hudson, and there were two narrators, one female and one male: Xe Sands and Adam Verner.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for the opportunity to listen to an advance copy of this audiobook and to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance reader copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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As much as I really wanted to enjoy this one. This series is just not for me. I thought it was just the first book but this wasnt any different.

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The Widowmaker by Hannah Morrissey is a murder mystery starring photographer Morgan, who witnesses the death of a police officer. She and police investigator Ryan Hudson try to figure out what happened; and the more they discover, the more dangerous the case gets. I enjoyed this story very much and hope there will be a third installment of this Black Harbor series. Thanks to NetGalley for the free digital review copy. All opinions are my own.

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The Widowmaker was absolutely exceptional I love how the plot grips you from the first go and how well the story was told. I’m definitely going to add Hannah Morrissey as an auto buy author.

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This is the second story I have a read by this author and has with the first one, this is just has great. It has a lot of mystery ,a little romance and a lot of suspense. I can’t wait to see what is going to happen in the next book.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.

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This was a great solid read. The storyline and atmosphere were very dark. The story flower very well. A great combination of police procedural and family secrets.

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