Black Widows

Cate Quinn. Sourcebooks Landmark, $26.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-72822-046-8
The murder of polygamist Blake Nelson, found mutilated and hanging by his belt near his favorite fishing spot outside Salt Lake City, propels British author Quinn’s U.S. debut, an intriguing if overlong mystery. The emotionally damaged Blake was married to three equally damaged women: Rachel, raised in a cult by her infamous father known as the Prophet; Tina, an ex-drug addict and prostitute from Las Vegas; and 19-year-old Emily, a simple-minded girl from a devoutly Catholic family. One sister-wife is suspected of the murder, and another confesses. The police investigation reveals conflict among the sister-wives, but as their backstories unfold, Rachel, Tina, and Emily come to understand and appreciate each other and bond. The reader learns much about fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints culture and religion as the plot labors toward an unexpected answer to whodunit. An uplifting ending may mollify those put off by some graphic sex and disturbing scenes of cult practices involving underage girls. Quinn is a writer to watch. Agent: Piers Blofeld, Sheil Land Assoc. (U.K.) (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/19/2020
Release date: 01/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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