Read advance reader review of Black Widows by Cate Quinn, page 3 of 4

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Black Widows

A Novel

by Cate Quinn

Black Widows by Cate Quinn X
Black Widows by Cate Quinn
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2021
    432 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Page 3 of 4
There are currently 23 member reviews
for Black Widows
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  • Jenna W. (North Potomac, MD)
    On fire!
    I found this book to be an incredible page turner. The reason I gave it a four star, rather than a five star, however was that I didn't like the ending. However, besides that, I was completely enthralled by the book. I had a very difficult time putting it down. The pacing was excellent and the writing very good. I'm anxiously awaiting the author's next title!
  • Dan W. (Fort Myers, FL)
    Comments on Black Widows
    The cover page of the book caught my eye: "Blake's dead. His wife killed him. The Question is...which one? Then in reading, I quickly noticed the author uses short chapter pages, which I very much like! After about reaching the midpoint of the book, I noticed my interest in the book declining. I quickly acknowledge this type or genre of book does not fully engage me. I think this a good book for certain book clubs. I am sure a steady dialogue of comments would be forthcoming. Overall, I would give this book a positive rating!
  • Jo Ann I. (Hawthorn Woods, IL)
    black widows
    I was intrigued by the theme of this book. I like to learn new things when I read a book and a husband with three wives is is definitely unconventional. I thought the book started slowly but as I continued reading I found it very interesting. As soon as I thought that I had figured something out, there was new a new twist that changed my mind. Then I really wanted to know what happened so I stayed up late to finish. The ending was a complete surprise but other parts of the ending happened quickly and seemed unlikely. Despite this, I would recommend this book to others.
  • Mary G. (Greensboro, GA)
    Black Widows is Dark
    "Who killed Blake Nelson?" That is the mystery at the heart of Black Widows by Cate Quinn.

    On the surface, it seems answering this question shouldn't be too challenging. After all, Nelson lived off the grid in a remote area of Utah with his wife. Actually, his three wives. Clearly, one of them must have killed Blake. But which one? The story is told alternately by the wives. As the story develops, we learn how each of them came to marry Blake, their relationship with him, and their feelings about one another. And though none of them likes the other wives, they also do not believe either of the others is the killer. So, who did kill Blake Nelson?

    The two detectives in the case are a nice compliment to the wives. They are competent, professional, and very fair. The practices and beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) are important elements of the book and much of the information about the church is shared through the detectives.

    If Black Widows had just been a "whodunit" I would have said that it is a very enjoyable book. The mystery is intriguing, the central characters are well defined and interesting, and the solution wasn't a huge surprise.

    As the story drew to a conclusion, however, the narrative veered into a dark and disturbing portrayal of the LDS church. Shocking and disgusting descriptions of cultism including pedophilia, rape, inbreeding, and mass abortion are offered in detail. Unnecessary detail in my opinion.

    The traditional LDS church members including the Bishop and Blake's parents do not approve of Blake's practice of polygamy and are deeply prejudiced against Blake's three wives. So, all in all, the LDS church is portrayed very, very negatively. While the author did work the cult plot line into the central story pretty well, it was grossly overblown and just seemed like a way for the author to slam the LDS church.

    To be fair, despite the dark elements of the story, the book did have a positive ending.
  • Martha R. (Bend, OR)
    Women capable of more than murder
    Black Widows, a novel, written by Cate Quinn is set in modern day Utah where polygamy is practiced to some extent with or without the LDS church's sanction. The reader is introduced to three wives of their newly dead husband as first wife Rachel, second wife, Tina, and third wife, Emily. All three become suspects in Blake Nelson's murder which took place at their obscure family compound miles outside of Salt Lake City. The story develops using TV-like police show tactics, e.g., Cagney and Lacey, without attorney representation, involving the three women and a few interesting police type folks of small town caliber. The existential elements of cult behavior, remote landscape and the titillating vision of polygamous marriage carries the story's drama. Reliving and revealing each woman's background enhances the motive of each for murder. Through escapades and flash backs the true depth of womanhood is revealed and even the murderer. The book is overwritten in several places and is in need of a hundred page cut.
  • Candace F. (Lincoln, NE)
    Three Wives--One husband
    Ms. Quinn did a great job of developing the characters in this book. The wives had very little in common except for the same husband. Each had a past with baggage from their childhood with made each character interesting. Blake (the husband) was dysfunctional as well and his mother who influenced his life and not in a good way. The beliefs of the Mormons and polygamy made the story interesting and thought provoking. Although I really liked the murder mystery part of the book and it kept me guessing all the way through, I felt the ending did not fit with the rest of the story. The "happily ever after" ending didn't seem to be a plausible ending.
  • Bev C. (Latrobe, PA)
    black widows
    Rachel, Emily and Tina all bear the title of Sister-Wife. They are all distinctly different personalities with only one thing in common ("husband", Blake Nelson).

    The story begins with Blake found dead in the desert.

    The story weaves through scenarios with all 3 being accused of a vicious crime.

    Each alternating chapter, named for a given wife, slowly reveals the traits of each wife and the parameters of her relationship with Blake and the other two wives.
    The characters are carefully drawn in fine detail, some of which I didn't feel was necessary but apparently the author did.

    I requested this title and felt I had to complete the book and share my thoughts but the book was not for me.

    But, I will quote from a conversation with the author and you of course can be your own judge. "For all its darkness, Black Widows ends on a hopeful note. Do you believe in happy endings in real life?"

    Author response - "I absolutely do, I think do your best, treat people well, and though the path may be winding and unpredictable, good things will come."


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