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Black Widow (Jack Parlabane #7)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,494 Ratings  ·  392 Reviews
Diana Jager is clever, strong and successful, a skilled surgeon and fierce campaigner via her blog about sexism. Yet it takes only hours for her life to crumble when her personal details are released on the internet as revenge for her writing.

Then she meets Peter. He's kind, generous, and knows nothing about her past: the second chance she's been waiting for.

Within six mon
Hardcover, 424 pages
Published January 28th 2016 by Little, Brown
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Stephen Graham It works better with knowledge of the others. More characterization, more sense of who some of these individuals are. I don't see anything that won't…moreIt works better with knowledge of the others. More characterization, more sense of who some of these individuals are. I don't see anything that won't work as a stand-alone though.(less)

Community Reviews

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Andrew Smith
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Diane Jager is a surgeon. She cuts people for a living, and she’s good at it. She’s no soft touch either and is happy to fight her corner in the male dominated environment she inhabits. She is vocal on the issue of sexism in medicine too, though she’s careful to maintain anonymity in the blog she writes - well she does have a career to manage! But she’s unlucky in love. That is until she meets a man who seems to tick all the boxes. Then something happens to the man…

Some years ago, after hearing
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
"Diana knows how to express the values that put people at ease. She knows how to come across sympathetic and empathetic. But what she tells you she's feeling and what she's actually feeling (never mind what she's actually thinking) can be two very different things. It is part of her predator's camouflage". I thought about this sentence
over and over. It was an assessment by Jack Palarbane. I wasn't sure what I thought yet.

Diana Jager, got use to living with the nickname 'Bitchblade'....and she'
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
It looks like I've found another potentially really good mystery series. I gather that Black Widow is the 7th book in the Jack Parlabane series, but it definitely works as a standalone. It is a clever, tightly constructed, slow burner of a mystery. A good read for a grey fall weekend, when you're prepared to stick with a few alternating seemingly disparate narrative strands that slowly come together -- but definitely don't land where you expect. I feel like I can't say much about the plot withou ...more
Diane S ☔
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
An anonymous phone call is made, a car has gone off the cliff at a dead man's curve, but no body is found in the water with the car. An IT supposed genius, working on a new trail blazing ap, by all accounts a newly but happily married man, so why does his sister not believe this is an accident? She contacts Jack, a free wielding journalist to explain her doubts and fears.

What a wicked web we weave when first we practice to deceive, a quote that comes to mind based on the title. But..... for me i
I am a long time reader of Chris Brookmyre books and looked forward to reading the Black Widow. It did not disappoint, if anything, it simply confirmed to me what an exceedingly talented writer he is. Black Widow begins with a trial, and the story moves backward to show how the trial came to pass. Jack Parlabane, disgraced journalist, receives news that his divorce is final and he has yet to accept that. On the same day, Lucy asks him to find out what happened to her brother, Peter, who was kill ...more
Diane Jager, a talented surgeon lost her job in a prestigious London hospital when her bitchy blog about the treatment of women doctors in the male dominated medical profession was hacked and her identity (and those of some of her colleagues) was exposed. She has fled to Inverness, bitter and hurting to lick her wounds and start again. Despite her intense dislike of IT professionals following her unveiling and the subsequent barrage of hate-mail and on-line comments, Diane finds herself attracte ...more
BLACX WIDOW by Chris Brookmyre is a brilliant psychological thriller sure to please many readers. This is the seventh book in the series, and I am ashamed to say that this is my first experience and the first book I have read by this author…but it won’t be my last. I usually always read the books in sequence, and now plan to go back and read the previous books in the series. What an amazing writer! I was silly putty in his hands right from the beginning.

This story told by multiple POV’s, follows
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
On this, my first entry into Brookmyre's world, I was thrilled to be blown away. This book is incredibly well written: it's clever, deftly plotted, with fascinating characters.

Some readers have noted that Jack Parlabane is not the man he once was. That may be true as the book infers some seriously challenging stuff in his past, but he seems rather incidental to this story in any case. Since I now have to read all of Brookmyre's books, I'm sure I'll get to see first hand how Jack got to this poin
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sue by: Andrew Smith
The Black Widow is what the press call Diana Jager, a well-known, skillful and successful surgeon. She has led a life with some ups and downs: being outed for her past internet blog confronting sexism, which she ran anonymously, until, of course, she wasn't anonymous any more. But her skills and surgical talent remained and she moved on, met a man, fell in love, married, and within six months he was missing, presumed dead. What happened?

This is my first experience with Jack Parlabane, an unusual
Liz Barnsley
My reading halo is slipping – this is my first Chris Brookmyre novel. I hear crime fiction fans everywhere shaking their heads in disbelief – to them I say – hey its fine, I’ve now ordered the entire back catalogue. Better late to the party than never arriving at all…

Black Widow is one of those novels that just sucks you into a vortex – Incredibly beautifully constructed with some increasingly fascinating characters, Chris Brookmyre takes us back and forth in time to tell a love story. Well you
Wow oh wow, this is a not only a good mystery/thriller, it is just great writing for any genre. I seem to find that I have to read 3 or 4 mediocre books to find one that is original, suspenseful, well written and has fully developed characters, well as much as the writer wants us to know at any given time!

Diana Jaeger, a female surgeon with a strong background history, is on trial for the murder of her husband, Peter. His sister, Lucy, employs Jack Parlabane, a freelance journalist to investigat
This is an intricate psychological thriller with plenty of twists to keep you guessing.
Told from multiple POV’s, it follows the marriage & subsequent trial of an infamous surgeon charged with murdering her new husband.

Disgraced journalist Jack Parlabane gets involved after the dead man’s sister asks him to investigate the death. It should be a straightforward job, rounding up friends & family for a few questions. But as he soon discovers, everyone has their own version of the “truth” &am
Abby (Crime by the Book)
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Find my full review here:

4.5/5 stars to this exceptional thriller. Layered, complex, and engrossing - BLACK WIDOW is superb!
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, this story, this remarkable breathtaking page turner was, no IS so skill fully woven that if I wasn't reading it I was thinking of it.

The brilliant way this was written was both delicate, superbly inciteful and awesomely revealing (in more ways than one)

The story was forever changing.

Diane the surgeon, the ever powerful woman, workaholic esteemed person who was involved with writing a controversial blog under a pen name.

Once the blog was hacked the proverbial dirt hit the fan revealin
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Chris Brookmyre that I have read and it is always a gamble coming into a series part way through, but this Jack Parlabane story is one that you can just leap into. Jack is a bit of a maverick reporter – he is not averse to bending the rules to get his story and that has been his downfall in the past. Now he is charged with looking into the story of Dr Diana Jager, accused of murdering her husband of 6 months, Peter. A lot of the story is told from Diana’s perspective and I real ...more
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Wow! The Black Widow is everything a good thriller should be: filled with twist and turns, full of suspense, and keeps the reader guessing!

The story begins with a trial. It appears that Diana Jager, a surgeon, that some view as a sociopath, is on trial for killing her husband, Peter. The reader gets multiple versions of Diana shared by reporters, police, colleagues, fellow surgeons, and Peter’s friends and family. What quickly becomes clear is that Diana is not well liked. Although she is descr
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the latest Jack Parlabane novel and I must now make a confession – although I did start this series when it was first published, somehow I just lost touch with it. Too many series and too many books; so, although I have enjoyed Christopher Brookmyre’s later, ‘Sharp Investigations’ series, I regret that I did not keep up with Jack Parlabane and his adventures. I regret it even more now I have read his latest as this is crime fiction at its best.

Diana Jager is a successful surgeon who ran
Well if this is not the twistiest, darkest, cleverest of books I've read in a long while. Ok, so these might not be actual words but my head is still reeling from that ending that I still can't speak properly.

Genius is my one word review. So blinking clever. Characters superb - I believe in every single one, I was led down every single dark alley, tricked into not believing what was right in front of my eyes and believing what I thought was real. I reread chapters and still didn't spot the clues
Anna At A Wondrous Bookshelf
One of the things that caught my attention about this book was its cover. And after reading the synopsis I was really interested in reading this book. I started reading this book unaware that this was a book in a series, but luckily for me, this small detail did not prevent me from fully enjoying and understanding the plot.

The story starts with Dr. Diana Jagger a surgeon on trial for the murder of her husband Peter. Only months after their marriage, Peter is killed in a suspicious car crash. Alt
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Diana Jager - aka: Scalpelgirl...Bladebitch and now Black Widow. Unique names to live up to. More importantly, names to live with. But, Diana does do a remarkably well job of forging ahead with her life. I liked her. Her ruthlessness to succeed, to be the best. Her vulnerability.

I thought her character was well-developed, as was the supporting characters. This is a page-turning crime thriller that I'm sure will garner a lot of fans.

This is also my first time reading Mr. Brookmyre. When I request
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Black Widow has been on my kindle for a while now so I decided to start it this week and it was an unexpected surprise! Packed full of tension and suspense, I was gripped almost immediately.

Doctor Diana Jager was a very interesting character. Strong, mean and dangerous in so many ways, Black Widow was almost a chronicle of her unravelling psyche at times.

With more questions than answers for most of the novel, the author has done a really good job of ramping up the mystery surrounding her husband
"The widow pedestal is a high one to fall from..."

The 'Black Widow' of the title is a brilliant and fiercely competitive surgeon named Diana Jager, a.k.a. 'Bladebitch'. She is a single-minded workaholic. Forty years old, she has no life other than that which involves her work.  Her superior attitude, coupled with the 'sexism in the hospital workplace' allegations on her blog, make her unpopular to say the least. Then, when she ruffled the feathers of someone with tech know-how, her blog was hack
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent story in the crime / psychological thriller genre.
It has everything - thorough character exploration, an intricate story and compelling drama.
Sooooo good. Multiple perspectives bring the story together in an un-put-downable style.
Don't read anything about the story just dive in if this a genre you like.
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing

A female surgeon, who happens to write a vindictive blog detailing the misogyny which is rampant in her profession, is accused of murdering her husband. The story is told from multiple viewpoints. First is that of the surgeon. Having worked in several industries in which women were definitely in the minority in upper management, I felt a definite sympathy for her right from the beginning. I mean you have to admire a gal that writes an article on what is the optimal breast size for a woman pursui
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Peter Elphinstone is a scion of one of Scotland's wealthiest and grandest landowning families. He owns an IT company which is developing exciting new software and he is newly married after a whirlwind romance. So far so good. But then his car is found submerged in a fast flowing river, and it looks as if there has been a tragic accident.

His sister Lucy is not convinced that this is all there is to the situation. She has concerns about the state of her brothers marriage, concerns which lead her
I'm beyond excited to have read such a good book, and to have discovered a new author.

I'm a mystery fan, and it's beyond me that I hadn't read anything by Cristopher Brookmyre before.

This is book 7 in the Jack Parlabane series, but it's so well written and the plot is so good that you don't feel you're missing information about the books published before (you just want to run to the nearest library or bookstore and get them all).

Jack Parlabane is a reporter who's going through a bad moment, both
Joanne Robertson
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I have to admit that this is my first Chris Brookmyre novel but it is the 7th in the Jack Parlabane series. Don't worry though, it totally works as a standalone novel but you will certainly want to look at the others in the series once you have read this. I must also admit I had never even heard of him but when I saw a group from The Book Club on Facebook raving about getting their hands on review copies of this and the excited it had caused then my FOMO kicked in big time and I HAD to get my ha ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book reviews on

I LOVED this book. Great writing, an intriguing storyline and fantastic writing skill that kept me speeding through without ever feeling bored or losing interest. It’s another testament to what a great story this is because it’s a fairly long book compared to others in the genre, clocking in at over 400 pages, but at no point did I start feeling bored or uninterested. It held my attention to the very last page.

It’s the first novel I’ve read by Chris Brookmyre
Rachel Hall
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A marriage under the microscope courtesy of a gifted raconteur and his invective mouthpiece, Jack Parlabane.

As a Chris Brookmyre and indeed a Jack Parlabane virgin, it is difficult to sum up the remarkable impression made by Black Widow. For this sprawling tale of the short lived marriage between the impregnable consultant surgeon, Dr Diana Jager and her chosen partner, Peter Elphinstone, is a magnificent achievement. This courtroom evisceration of a whirlwind romance is all the more remarkable
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
I confess I am a fan of Christopher Brookmyre's and have been for some years. I'd had a spell of not reading his books for a while but read and enjoyed his previous book about Jack Parlabane last year. There is an edge to this author's writing which I do enjoy and this book's second chapter has Jack in a court room and the fact that "this bitch murdered her husband". Yes - that had me hooked! You do know with this sort of book that what seems obvious may well not turn out to be the case and I co ...more
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Christopher Brookmyre is a Scottish novelist whose novels mix politics, social comment and action with a strong narrative. He has been referred to as a Tartan Noir author. His debut novel was Quite Ugly One Morning, and subsequent works have included One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night, which he said "was just the sort of book he needed to write before he turned 30", and All Fun and Games unti ...more
More about Christopher Brookmyre

Other books in the series

Jack Parlabane (8 books)
  • Quite Ugly One Morning (Jack Parlabane, #1)
  • Country Of The Blind (Jack Parlabane, #2)
  • Boiling a Frog (Jack Parlabane, #3)
  • Be My Enemy  (Jack Parlabane, #4)
  • Attack Of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks (Jack Parlabane, #5)
  • Dead Girl Walking (Jack Parlabane, #6)
  • Want You Gone (Jack Parlabane, #8)

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