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Monday, 18 June 2018

Book Review: The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer

This  is the fourth book I've read by this author, after discovering her with the CWA award winning, Rubbernecker, and it most certainly won't be the last. She's actually got a new hardcover, Snap out at the moment and the book was one of my Father's Day gifts so I guess that goes onto my TBR pile. However let's go back to The Beautiful Dead which is available in both paperback and eBook.

The plot of the book is that Eve Singer, a TV crime reporter suddenly find herself gaining the attention of a twisted serial killer who wants her to tell his story. The killer claims that he and Eve have much in common; after all they both make their living from death. Eve as a crime reporter and the killer as a man who is convinced that it is only killing that keeps his own weak heart beating. When the killer first makes contact, Eve sees a chance to stay ahead of the competition in reporting of the latest killing spree across London, but gradually she begins to doubt herself and when a young girl is killed in front of her at a tube station Eve decides to go to the police. There now follows a pacey cat and mouse game between killer and reluctant reporter.

The killer is somewhat of a cliche as far as serial killers go, but the author displays great skill in making him at least believable, but the true beating heart of the novel is in Eve's relationship with her elderly father, Duncan who is suffering from Dementia. The book is set during the lead up to Christmas, and indeed ends on the big day itself. Is it a happy ending? Well, that would be telling but all I will say is that it is a suitably satisfying climax. And one that would not be out of place in a big budget blockbuster - Bauer is a very visual writer and one can imagine this making a very good movie or Television mini-series.

Another fantastic crime novel that may not take the genre into new territory, but uses all the tools of the genre to construct a fully enjoyable reader experience. Highly recommended.