Cover Image: The Widowmaker

The Widowmaker

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Member Reviews

So complicated! So confusing at first ! Morgan Mori has a back story that will slowly wind itself out in this complex novel of many secrets. She's been lured back to Black Harbor by someone who burned down her business and left her a mysterious key. Is it lucky that she's landed a gig photographing the Reynolds family Christmas party? All seems good until she's present at a robbery that leads to the death of a police officer, Ryan Hudson, newly working as a detective, is assigned to look into the mysterious disappearance of the Reynolds patriarch but the cop killed at the gas station was his partner so he won't leave that alone. There's more to him than meets the eye and his own hidden past, like Morgan's, comes roaring back. This has many many twists and unexpected turns. Morgan's story is one some might find difficult to read but recognize that she's a survivor. Hard to review without spoilers but know that this is definitely worth your time. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Great thriller.

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Talk about a twisty, dark read 😍

In posting this, I realized I never posted my review for Hello, Transcriber. Long story short: loved it! So getting to go back to Black Harbor with The Widowmaker was a true delight.

This book had everything I love: complex characters, family drama, long-held secrets and a twisty plot that had me so immersed from the beginning. It’s one of those books that has you so wrapped up in what’s happening that you don’t often stop to consider what could really be going on.

Morgan and Hudson are probably some of my favorite MCs I’ve read recently. Getting inside their head and understanding their reasons for their actions took the story to a whole new level. And it was all just so unflinchingly gritty, dark, and human. Even when the action was wrong it was hard to really think of it that way when you knew the why.

Now the vibes 👀 taking place in winter, it’s the perfect dark thriller to pick up over the next month or so. It felt nice and claustrophobic towards the end. Add in a great reveal, I definitely gasped at one point, this is the book to grab when you want to get cozy and creeped out.

The Widowmaker is out 12/6 and trust me when I say you’ll want to preorder this!

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This is the second book by Hannah Morrissey set in the town of Black Harbour. Another dark, somewhat depressing novel, that is again strangely fascinating!

Police office Ryan Hudson is grieving the death of his partner, Garrison who was killed at a gas station. Hudson's boss gives him the task of looking again at a cold case - the disappearance of wealthy Clive Reynolds 20 years earlier. Reynolds is assumed to be dead, but no body was ever found, and his wife Eleanor has been under suspicion ever since.

Morgan Mori, a young freelance photographer, had just returned to Black Harbour, after finishing college. She is adrift, trying to determine what to do with her life, and is carrying some dark secrets from her past. She is offered a job photographing the Reynolds family at their Christmas party, and becomes involved with the younger son Bennett. On her way home from the party, she stops at the gas station, and is there when Garrison is shot. She is panicked by what she sees and hears.

Hudson decides to continue investigating Garrisons death as well as researching the cold case., and Morgan eventually decides to help him with information she has.

Told alternately from Hudson and Morgan's points of view, this is another dark and twisty tale from this author. I struggled to get into this book initially - it felt somewhat bitty and didn't really seem to hang together well until it got going. Once it did though, it kept me interested. The town of Black Harbour feels like a character of its own, a bleak place with the air of a somewhere left behind to die. The plot twists towards the end are numerous, and very complicated but well played out. I had my suspicions about some of the plot twists before they were revealed but didn't see a lot of them coming.

All in all, another novel well worth reading. It didn't grab me quite as much as "Hello, transcriber", but I would still be very interested in reading more from this author.

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After receiving a bizarre note, self-employed photographer Morgan Mori returns to her her hometown to untangle a web of secrets. Morgan is lucky enough to be hired to take family photos of one of the most famous families in Black Harbor. However, the night she takes the photographs she is also witness to a violent murder that slowly unravels a wealth of secrets.

Hannah Morrissey clearly excels at developing dark characters and the environments they live in. This feeling from the Widowmaker was eerily reminiscent of The Transcriber and I was hooked for the first chapter.

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What can I say about this book? I mean it. What? Every time I put it down, I forgot who was in it and what they were doing. Nothing stuck with me. I was really disappointed because I had liked the last book I read by this author. I will still look for books by her, hoping to connect with the characters and the story more. But this one did nothing for me. And there was no payoff at the end.

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The Widowmaker is a story about family secrets, greed and murder. This story alternates between Morgan a struggling photographer with a dark past and Hudson a police investigator who is called in when his mentor and friend is murdered in a robbery at a gas station store.

Morgan gets hired to take pictures at the Reynolds Christmas party. On the way home she detours to look at her old home and then goes to get gas. While there a robbery takes place, a man is killed but utters "I found you" and dies. Her car is stolen along with all the photo equipment.

Hudson is called to investigate his friend's death. The drama takes place in Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan, called Black Harbor. There are many twists and turns that take us on a journey to the past regarding a 20-year-old cold case involving the Reynolds, the city’s richest family.

It would appear that there are many broken people in the town of Black Harbor. There are several uncomfortable topics including sexual abuse, and physical abuse of a child. In spite of this it is a really intriguing mystery that builds from the beginning to an amazing conclusion. I really liked the writing style, the way it alternated and held my attention all they while building in anticipation throughout.

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Ooooo man this was good and deserves nothing less than 5 stars from me!

I am not normally someone who is big on police-procedurals after spending a good 7 years ONLY reading that genre, but this one absolutely knocked it out of the park and I found some of the cop POV chapters to be some of my favorites.

Huge shoutout to my sweet friend Hannah for sending me her fantastically written book, and I can not wait to chat about it with her at her upcoming book event in Milwaukee in early December. If you’re a fan of really dark thrillers with alternating POVs and a strong mystery storyline throughout, definitely give this one a read!

Thank you again to Hannah and Minotaur Books for sending me a physical and e-book review copy!

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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.”

I quite enjoyed this fairly quick (in pace and pages) read. I like the depth-of-character for the principal actors. I liked the dual POV, divided between the main male and female characters. I liked how the past was uncovered by different types of media: photographs, video, newspapers, and I should probably be mildly worried that I enjoyed the vigilante justice as much as I did.

I did find the story needlessly convoluted in places. The red balloon was a little over the top for me, and I think the description could have used a few trigger warnings (particularly the sexual and physical abuse of a child) but all in all, I look forward to reading more from this author, and specifically, more in the Black Harbor series.


Thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Macmillan Audio for this tricksy ARC.

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A totally unputdownable thriller, this book will have you gripped from the very first page until the jaw-dropping final twist. Flawlessly plotted, the story unfolds in layers, each one more shocking than the last. I’ll be thinking about this book for a long time.

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This is a twisty thriller that you won't want to miss. I enjoyed it much more than Morrissey's debut novel, Hello Transcriber, and it's clear she has only gotten better with her sophomore novel. Though the stories take place in the same locale and one of the characters from the first book makes an appearance in The Widowmaker, they can be enjoyed as standalone thrillers. Buckle up for a wild ride full of secrets, intrigue, lies, murder, and danger.

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Hannah Morrissey returns following Hello, Transcriber with her latest, THE WIDOWMAKER, Black Harbor Novel— a dark, twisty, and atmospheric, gripping crime fiction filled with secrets, scandal, and menace.

A woman with a dark past, a wealthy family in the middle of a scandal, and a detective charged with solving a cold case will have readers glued to the pages.

Clive Reynolds disappeared twenty years ago. Now, a photographer, Morgan Mori, with her demons, returns home to Black Harbor immersed in the web of family secrets and deceit.

The same night she photographs a holiday party, she becomes a witness to a homicide of a cop that ignites the discovery of a long-buried clue.

What is the key to unlocking these mysteries?

The author dives deep into the town of Black Harbor along Lake Michigan's shores with vivid descriptions.

Alternating between the POVs of the two main characters, Morgan Mori and Ryan Hudson. The author draws the reader into the suspense and mystery of the plot lines that connect and become entangled.

The two work together to solve the crimes and how the dark secrets of the past tie together for a satisfying conclusion.

Haunting, Disturbing, Dark, Gritty, and Chilling — full of mystery and suspense.

For fans of authors Lisa Jewell and Ruth Ware. I look forward to reading more from the author.

Thank you to #MinotaurBooks and #NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. #SMPInfluencers #MinotaurInfluencers

Blog Review Posted @
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pub Date: Dec 6, 2022
Dec 2022 Must-Read Books

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This nail-biting thriller is a terrific, tense read with characters that lived in my head for days after reading it. The flawed, tough yet vulnerable Morgan reminds me of Lisbeth in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; indeed, the tone of the novel as a whole is reminiscent of that book. The author expertly evokes the atmosphere of the depressed blue-collar town of Black Harbor along the shore of Lake Michigan. The story switches between the POV of the two main characters quite seamlessly and draws the reader into the world of each as they navigate two separate plot lines that become intertwined before long. The twists in the story are unexpected but believable as the suspense builds toward the powerful climax. Although this novel is the second in a series, it works fine as a standalone story, too. However, I’m definitely going to read the first in this series, Hello, Transcriber now!

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Morgan Mori, a struggling photographer, is hired to photograph the Christmas party of the wealthiest family in Black Harbor. After the party Morgan witnesses the homicide of a Black Harbor police officer. The homicide raises questions and leads to long buried secrets being uncovered. Black Harbor Investigator Ryan Hudson is tasked with solving a twenty-year-old cold case, but would rather be looking into the homicide of his old partner. As Hudson works to put the pieces of the long time mystery together, Morgan realizes she might be the key to uncovering Black Harbor’s darkest secrets.

When I saw Hannah Morrissey was coming out with a new book this year, I immediately knew I had to read it! I love that Black Harbor was used as the setting again and that a character from Hello, Transcriber made an appearance. This book was dark and chilling, but still manages to throw in some romance just like Hello, Transcriber. With the weather getting cold in the Midwest, this was the perfect thriller for the beginning of winter season!

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Dark, secretive, and ice cold, The Widowmaker is a crime filled thriller for you this winter season.

Morgan Mori returns to her hometown of Black Harbor to photograph the Uber wealthy and notorious Reynold’s family party. On her way home she witnesses the murder of a policeman, and finds herself in the middle of this crime investigation. Ryan Hudson, one of the main investigators, believes the police officer’s murder, the wealthy family, and Morgan can must all be connected somehow. Morgan and Hudson form and alliance to work together to solve the crime and see what secrets link it all together.

This one is dark and gritty and not for the faint of heart. The writing was very atmospheric and transports you to the eerie world of Black Harbor. This is a stand-alone novel but I will definitely be going back to read the author’s first book, Hello Transcriber, since it takes place in the same city. The lies and secrets keep coming and coming making you change your theories throughout reading. The Widowmaker is an engaging thriller with dual POVs that kept me hooked.

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While the book kept my interest for 2/3 of the book, the ending was disappointing. It never did explain how or why the main character went back to her hometown. The ending was convoluting and a little hard to believe.

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This was a slow burn twisted story with a few twists in itself. It started off slow then picked up, and then slowed down again. I found myself losing interest at times, but I just wanted to get to the end hoping all my questions would be answered

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The Widowmaker is a dark yet compelling read that has reading long into the night.

Black Harbor is not what one would call a quaint place to live: the opposite in fact.

The book is full of unlikeable characters, secrets and murder.

Morgan is a witness to a police officer being gunned down and before he dies he says three words she will never forget.

Ryan his partner is determined to solve what happened to his fellow officer and best friend.

The tension mounts with every page as you sometimes cringe, sometimes breath a sigh of relief.

This is my first book by Hannah Morrissey and it wont be me last.

I am off to read the first Black Harbor book and I am hopeful for a third.

Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for a compelling read.

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Flawed characters, great development, keeps you guessing, this book has it all. This mystery/thriller alternates from Morgan's voice and Hudson. Morgan suffered a tragic and dark childhood which still haunters her and she tries to hide. Hudson, a police detective, has his own dark closet. What ties these two together is the disappearance (killing?) of Clive Reynolds. Reynolds comes from a very rich family in a very poor town with high crime rates. What happened 20 years ago? How are the present day events tied to the past?

This book is fast paced and a page turner. It has its disturbing aspects especially as it pertains to child abuse, just be aware.

I have not read Morrissey's first book but now I will need to look for it.

Thank you, NetGalley, publisher, and author, for an advanced copy.

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This is one of those mysteries that will keep you guessing up to the very end. Full of flawed characters on a collision course with each other, secrets galore and a murky, wintry setting what more could you ask for? Even speed reading the last parts of it couldn’t stop the suspense.


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🗝️🗝️🗝️🗝️🗝️ / 5

“He stared hard into her eyes that were the lightest shade of green, the color of a bottle lost at sea, and wondered what message they held inside.”

Thank you to @netgalley and @minotaurbooks for providing me early access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

We’re back in Black Harbor, baby! I absolutely loved Hannah’s debut novel, HELLO, TRANSCRIBER, so I knew I was going to love this one. This “Midwestern Noir” has everything you could want and more: a thrilling story, complex characters, a dark setting, and crazy plot twists.

As if that weren’t enough, Hannah’s writing style is unlike any other. Her obsession with words and appreciation for good word choice makes this word nerd so happy. I don’t usually feel obligated to highlight quotes or annotate, but I saved so many quotes on my Kindle that gave me goosebumps.

On another note, I’m so happy that Nikolai Kole was featured in this book—and Hazel was mentioned! Also, I love his “Guardians of the Galaxy” ringtone 😂 I’m tempted to reread HELLO, TRANSCRIBER because I’m living for this dark atmosphere that Hannah has created!

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