cover image Black Widow

Black Widow

Christopher Brookmyre. Atlantic Monthly, $25 (432p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2573-6

In Brookmyre’s underwhelming seventh thriller featuring Scottish newshound Jack Parlance (after 2015’s Dead Girl Walking), Dr. Diana Jager, who once had a promising surgical career, has moved from London to Inverness, where she has taken a less prestigious job, after her private blog, which railed on sexism in the surgical field, was hacked and her personal details were posted online. Happily, Jager meets IT guru Peter Elphinstone, and after a whirlwind romance, the two wed. Disillusion sets in when Jager finds Elphinstone, who’s allegedly working on a top-secret tech project, to be secretive to the point of shifty. And then six months into the marriage, Elphinstone drives his car off a twisty road into a river. The body is never recovered, and he’s presumed dead; Jager is soon charged with his murder. Elphinstone’s sister asks Parlabane, who’s struggling with his own marital difficulties, to find out what really happened. Despite some intriguing twists, Jager’s story is unremarkable, and Parlabane does little to earn his title as journalist. [em]Agent: Caroline Dawnay, United Agents (U.K.). (Nov.) [/em]