Black Widows – Cate Quinn

Black Widows by Cate Quinn

The only thing the three women had in common was their husband. And, as of this morning, that they’re each accused of his murder.
Blake Nelson moved into a hidden stretch of land – a raw paradise in the wilds of Utah – where he lived with his three wives: Rachel, the chief wife, obedient and doting to a fault. Tina, the other wife, who’s everything Rachel isn’t. And Emily, the youngest wife, who knows almost nothing else.
When their husband is found dead under the desert sun, the questions pile up. What are these women to each other now that their husband is dead? Will the police uncover the secrets each woman has spent her life hiding?
And is one of them capable of murder…?

Told from the point of view of the three wives in turn, Black Widows is an ingenious murder mystery which will keep you guessing right up to the end. It’s a fantastic premise for a story. Each of the three wives loved their husband in their own way, and each had a reason not to.

The story jumps between the three women – Rachel, first wife, obedient and highly devout. Emily, the youngest sister wife. And Tina, ex-junkie who met Blake through rehab, the most streetwise of the three. But who could have done it?

I love a story which keeps you guessing like this one does. Each one tells a convincing story, but each one is convinced that the other wives aren’t telling the whole truth. It’s great fun watching it unfurl as the story progresses, and be warned, it goes to some very dark places indeed.

Blake and his wives live on an isolated farm in Utah. Their polygamous marriage is frowned upon by other members of their church (the Latter-Day Saints) and the book explores this lifestyle and why someone would choose to have multiple wives. I found the whole thing fascinating, and a great backdrop to the central murder mystery.

The three wives are very different people, and their individual voices really come through distinctly in the book, each with their own well-drawn backstory bringing them to the remote farm.

I really enjoyed Black Widows, though here are some very dark themes and scenes in here. Recommended.

Black Widows by Cate Quinn is published by Orion and is out now. Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and Orion for the review copy and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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