Blake is dead. His wife killed him. The question is: which one?

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With a blurb like that you can understand why Black Widows, a domestic noir set in the desert, has been causing major buzz. We take a look at three new thrillers that have been sending readers into a spin.


By Cate Quinn


The blurb: 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…?


Verdict: If you're looking for a book that you can get completely lost in and devour in a couple of sittings then this is a perfect choice


About the author:

Cate Quinn is a British travel and lifestyle journalist whose books are published in over 15 countries. She writes contemporary thrillers as Cate Quinn, and her historical thrillers are published under the pen name CS Quinn.

What inspired this novel?

"I was watching a documentary on modern-day Latter-Day Saint polygamy. It was fascinating to watch the families make a case for their marriages.  There seemed to be many advantages, but almost all the wives were open about difficulties amongst one another. During a close-up on one of the sister-wife’s faces, there was an expression–almost a micro-expression–and I remember thinking 'Wow, she looks like she could kill someone…' The idea for the book came from that expression," Cate says.


What the critics say:

Oh my God, THIS BOOK! Mormon man - three wives, living survivalist lives - is murdered. Each wife is a suspect. I could NOT put it down!!! Utterly compelling, nuanced characterisation, such atmosphere. I LOVED it! - Marian Keyes 

Everything about this book - the plot, the characters, the telling - is strikingly original. And highly recommended. Brilliantly imagined, compellingly told, a tale of survival against the odds, told with insight and compassion. The voices of the three wives will stay with the reader long after the book is finished. - Chris Hammer

It's a great hook and a tremendous read - I thoroughly enjoyed this. The tension ramps up all the way to the end and I loved the relationship between the wives. - Harriet Tyce


By Karin Smirnoff

Pushkin Press

The blurb: Jana is returning to see her twin brother Bror, still living in the small family farmhouse in the rural north of Sweden. It’s decrepit and crumbling, and Bror is determinedly drinking himself to an early grave. They’re both damaged by horrific childhood experiences, buried deep in the past, but Jana cannot keep running.

Alive with the brutality and beauty of the landscape, My Brother is a novel steeped in darkness and violence – about abuse, love, complicity, and coming to terms with the past. It’s the story of a homecoming without a home: a story of forgiveness


Did you know? This debut novel by Swedish author Karin Smirnoff was followed by two others in the critically-acclaimed Jana Kippo trilogy. So if you enjoy this one there will be two more to come - once they've been translated. In addition Filmlance has acquired the rights to adapt the series for television.



Michael Joseph

From the author of The Chalk Man and The Other People comes this explosive new thriller.

The blurb: 500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death.

30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace.

Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide

Welcome to Chapel Croft. For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it's supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn't easily forgotten.

And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft's history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.

Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.

Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls? Who's sending them sinister, threatening messages? And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?

Chapel Croft's secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn't touch them if not for Flo - anything to protect Flo. But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft - and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest . . .


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