The Black Widow

Bombs Cause a Panic in Boston

Fiction - Horror
378 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

As far back as she can remember, Cynthia has been listening to exciting stories told by her mother. She grew up reading books from Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, and Philip K. Dick, among others.

It was Cynthia’s mother who inspired her to start telling—and writing—her own stories.

Ms. Fridsma’s writing career started after a handicap in 2014—she has a tremor in her right hand, numbness in the fingers, and pain in her wrist. She had to give up her other creative outlets, such as photography, computer programming, and gave up on juggling, so focused on what she could do rather than what she couldn’t do.

Besides writing, she sometimes plays guitar—in Jimi Hendrix style.

Cynthia lives with her husband and pet rabbit Max

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

The Black Widow (Bombs Cause a Panic in Boston) by Cynthia Fridsma is a horror story that would appeal most to a diverse audience of mature young adults and adults who enjoy supernatural horror and who do not mind reading about the events surrounding the bombing at the Boston Marathon. On the 13th of April 2013, the Boston Marathon goes from a happy event to one filled with horror and carnage as two bombs explode within a mere twelve seconds of each other. The events are horrible enough on their own, but as an investigation commences, it is discovered that the bombing is not just the work of terrorists. A wicked vampire plans to work with the terrorists to use a biological bomb to stoke the flames of fear in the heart of Boston and to bring down the whole nation as well. Do Jack and Catherine have it in them to take down the terrorists and a vampire set on unleashing a reign of terror on Boston?

The Black Widow (Bombs Cause a Panic in Boston) by Cynthia Fridsma was a very well-written book with an attention-grabbing cover that pulled me to it the moment I saw it. As someone who was not personally impacted by the events that took place during the 2013 Boston Marathon, I found the book to be quite haunting to read (in a good way). However, I found that it was best that I did not read the book right before bed or I would be left dreaming about the events. I liked the paranormal twist of the Black Widow and the way the author kept me guessing about the Black Widow until the very end. I found that Jack’s job at the Anti Terrorism Unit (ATU) reminded me of the 24 TV series’ Jack Bauer, but I found that I liked Jack in this book better, especially with the addition of Catherine’s supernatural perspective. Overall, I found the book to be a great read, but the realism the author gave to the events leads me to caution anyone with personal experience of the 2013 Boston events to take care when reading it.

Rabia Tanveer

The Black Widow by Cynthia Fridsma is a unique spin on the heartbreaking disaster of the Boston Marathon in 2013. Jack, an agent at the Anti-terrorist Unit, wanted to spend the day of the Boston Marathon with his girlfriend Catherine. With his backup keeping an eye on things, Jack was satisfied. However, when two bombs detonated and chaos ensued, Jack knew he had to keep Catherine safe and protect other people. Investigating for the culprit was like chasing a ghost, and Jack knew they needed help. The Nightbird team looked into paranormal activities. Sybil and the rest of the Nightbird members needed to work with ATU before things got worse. A vampire named Black Widow had joined the terrorists, with plans to terrorize the whole Boston area with biological bombs and paranormal activity. It would take everything for the ATU to stop them before it was too late.

I loved the action-packed beginning of The Black Widow, and I loved the characters even more. Jack, Catherine, Sybil, and the rest of the crew were beautifully fleshed out. The pace was just right to make sure these characters developed at a steady pace while also giving readers a rare insight into their minds. The multiple POVs were a great way to make sure readers got up close and personal with these characters. I loved Sybil’s almost-aggressive approach to the issue and how level-headed Jack was. Each of these characters had a role to play, and author Cynthia Fridsma did a great job of highlighting their best assets. Such a wonderful reading experience, I loved every second of this fast-paced, action-packed thriller!

Keith Mbuya

Jack, his counterparts at Boston’s Anti-terrorism Unit, and the local police were having a hard time connecting the dots between the attacks that had hit the city. First, it was the bombing near the Boston marathon tracks, which Jack and his wife had fallen victim to, except that, unlike the other casualties, he and his wife had only suffered a few bruises. Before they could process this, two more separate murders were reported within the city. A group of vampires chosen to protect the city of Boston against supernatural beings discovers the attacks are linked to Sally, an evil and vengeful vampire. It turns out Sally’s plans put the city of Boston and the whole of the United States in the face of a looming disaster. Find out how it all goes down in Cynthia Fridsma’s The Black Widow.

Cynthia Fridsma forges quite an interesting plot for her novel The Black Widow. She uses short and twisted sentences which she loads with appropriate expressions. She gives her narration by switching between her characters and their designated scenes. She aligns her thoughts and ideas consistently, giving her storyline a good flow. She accompanies her narration with an ominous tone, accentuating the mood and setting of the story. Cynthia Fridsma did a great job of developing her characters. She uses introspection and depictions to bring out the traits of her characters. If you are looking for a horror story with fast-paced action scenes and a touch of a romantic tale, Cynthia Fridsma's The Black Widow will be an enthralling read for you.