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Death of the Black Widow

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Again Billy Summers has way too much from Paul Cleaves 2012 book Joe Victim but I did love both those - how can't you but like them both if you like one of them? Patterson’s style shines through, but its Barker’s storytelling that really makes the book work, as he makes the unbelievable believable. The Hawkeye moments continue to show why Black Widow's death in Avengers: Endgame was far from the end of her story in the MCU.

There, she meets with the shady (but certainly funny) Val (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who tells her that she has a new target, and it's the person responsible for Natasha's death. Clint finally convinces Yelena that he's telling the truth when he whistles Natasha's secret signal, which is only known to people that Black Widow trusted with her life. O’Brien cannot help but think that he may have been duped by the woman, who is likely a killer working her own angle.A killer is on the loose, but her elusive nature baffled many and has become a massive woman hunt, though no one around Detroit is safe in the meantime. We then jump back to the year 1986 where Walter’s Police career began, as well as his initial involvement with the individual that would both change and ruin his life for the next four decades. After Black Widow gave up her life for the Avengers to defeat Thanos, there was no way that Hawkeye could ever go back to being Ronin again. This deadly string of secrets didn't begin in his home city--but he's going to make sure it ends there.

Do you feel weighed down by stress and pressure, held back by judgement and lack of opportunity, and critcised by everyone – including yourself? These two characters, as well as some other great supporting characters (the members of Walter’s team in the present day, as well as some distinctive cops from the past timelines for example), prove to be the beating heart of this incredible story, and it was absolutely fascinating to see how their intriguing lives worked in to the plot of this book. There are many clever elements to the switches between the periods, and I loved the subtle inclusions in the present timeline that hint at the events in the past that the protagonist was yet to experience, and the full impacts of them. I guess I was thinking this would be along the lines of Patterson’s Alex Cross or Michael Bennett series, but oh my gosh what a twist.Within the first 100 pages or so, you begin to realise that the authors are subtly including elements from other genres, and Death of the Black Widow soon starts to take on a distinctive horror vibe, with some incredible brutal killings done under extremely unusual circumstances. New and familiar characters abound, voiced by a bright mix of performers, including Kat Dennings, Regé-Jean Page, Emma Corrin, Michael Sheen, Kristen Schaal, Brian Cox, John Lithgow, Jeffrey Wright, and so many more, including fan-favorite narrators Simon Vance and Ray Porter.

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