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Er school whilst his classmates swap football stickers twelve year old Steven digs holes on Exmoor hoping to find a body His uncle disappeared aged eleven and is assumed to have fallen victim to the notorious serial killer Arnold Avery but his body has never been foundSteven's Nan does not believe her son is dead She still waits for him to come home standing bitter guard at the front window while her family fragments around he Belinda Bauer is brilliant this is her debut novel and it delivered than I could have hoped for I read this book in two sittings and could not put it down The book switches between the world and thoughts of a young boy and a child serial killer it cleverly gives you insight into the work of both and how their lives intertwine and why The book grabbed me from the first page and I loved the ending passionately It could have been a lot dark or gruesome this book but instead it just gives you glimmers of darkness just enough to keep you wanting It is clever atmospheric and very very readable Absolutely brilliant read a crime novel but much than that I also loved her book Rubbernecker and now Belinda Bauer is by far one of my favourite authors Burning Attraction read this book in two sittings and could not put it down The book switches between the world and thoughts of a young boy and a child serial killer it cleverly gives you insight into the work of both and how their lives intertwine and why The book grabbed me from the first page and I loved the ending passionately It could have been a lot dark or gruesome this book but instead it just gives you glimmers of darkness just enough to keep you wanting It is clever atmospheric and very very The Numbers Game readable Absolutely brilliant Tall man riding. read a crime novel but much than that I also loved her book Rubbernecker and now Belinda Bauer is by far one of my favourite authors

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Blacklands

R Steven is determined to heal the widening cracks between them before it's too late even if that means presenting his grandmother with the bones of her murdered sonSo Steven takes the next logical step carefully crafting a letter to Arnold Avery in prison And there begins a dangerous cat and mouse game between a desperate child and a bored psychopath Belinda Bauer's pulse pounding new thriller SNAP is available to pre order n A Belinda Bauer book has been on my radar for uite some time and here I am after finishing her debut Blacklands It was worth the wait I m happy to say I m blown away by her style of writing I ve held off giving 5 stars because I think there may well be even better to comeThe story is one of a young boy Steven Lamb growing in a small village near Exmoor His uncle had been at roughly the same age as Steven is now when he had been murdered eighteen years earlier The body never recovered was thought to have been disposed of somewhere on the moors We then have the perpetrator Arnold Avery a paedophile who had been caught whilst trying to molest a young boy and subseuently convicted of the murders of other children and Steven s brother What follows is a two handed story of Steven and Arnold On the one hand we have a coming of age story with Steven in his struggle to comprehend everything that has gone on before and since and how he feels he can make things right better even for himself and mostly for his family And on the other we have an insight into Arnold s world which I know many would find difficult to read and go there to What I think is brilliantly done is how Ms Bauer is able to tell the tale from a 12 year old s point of view some of his decision making would have been really uestionable had he been much older but from a child felt much believable And though the paedophilia is dark and an area no one particularly wants to think about it s handled with touches of lightness and dexterity and is not gruesome or graphic Disturbing yes but handled well in my opinion The strength of the book for me was the language used in the storytelling beautiful prose excellent descriptiveness and characterisation A real sense of place with the moors taking centre stage which in turn made the whole thing feel suitably claustrophic and bleak with touches of light dappling throughIt s strange I know to say I enjoyed a book that features such a subject matter but I did I enjoyed the writing Steven s journey and how a young boy went to tremendous lengths to try and improve his life and those of his loved ones A sad but ultimately transitionary tale that I would highly recommend if you can get past this particular kind of darkness

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Previously released edition of ISBN 9780552158848 VOTED CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR when it was first released and still the most gripping powerful thriller debut you will read this yearSPECIAL EDITION FEATURING AN EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT FROM BELINDA'S ADDICTIVE NEW NOVEL SNAP the book Val McDermid has hailed as the best crime novel she has read in years Steven Lamb is 12 when he writes his first letter to a serial killer Every day aft I thought about giving it 4 maybe 4 and half stars but this book deserves a 5 star ratingThe writing in this book is beautiful It s impossible not to understand and feel Steven s pain It s heartbreaking to realize he s doing such extraordinary thing find the body of his murdered uncle to fix his little broken family All he wants is to be normal and happy It s so simple and so poignant On the other side of the euation is Arnold Avery the serial killer who murdered Steven s uncle Billy Peters when he was a kid Arnold is very honest about who he is he doesn t try to justify himself or believes he has a right to do what he does This book is a mix of character study and mystery it is engaging breathtaking and heartbreaking It was hard to put it down I only did because I was falling asleep but picked it up right after getting upThis is a fast fantastic reading It deals tragedy and how it affects the lives of the survivors in the long term I can t recommend it enoughReview now posted on my blog Tiny Box of Imagination


10 thoughts on “Blacklands

  1. says:

    I am dumbfounded just finished Black lands by Belinda Bauer still thinking about the ending I can't believe this was her first novel kudos to miss Bauer it was a riveting thriller that I could not put down I have read Rubbernecker even think this was much better her writing style in this novel was brilliant the characters especially Steven Arnold Avery had me spell bound just couldn't take my eyes of these Characters just beautif

  2. says:

    Posted to The Literary Lawyerca A Chilling Story of Innocence vs Evil 35 Stars This marks the third book I have read by Belinda Bauer A few things have become abundantly clear She is very skilled at writing young and innocent characters Blacklands is no exception Her novels are coming of age stories wrapped in violence and the loss of innocence Although this novel receives my lowest mark to date it is still an exceptional novel a

  3. says:

    I thought about giving it 4 maybe 4 and half stars but this book deserves a 5 star ratingThe writing in this book is beautiful It's impossible not to understand and feel Steven's pain It's heartbreaking to realize he's doing such ex

  4. says:

    This book shows the damage to a family through generations that a single evil person can do It also shows the innocence of a child gr

  5. says:

    Belinda Bauer is brilliant this is her debut novel and it delivered than I could have hoped for I read this book in two sittings and could not put it down The book switches between the world and thoughts of a young boy and a child serial killer it cleverly gives you insight into the work of both and how their l

  6. says:

    The One Sentence Summary A young boy writes to an imprisoned serial killer asking for help to find the body of his uncle whose disappearance at age eleven sent the whole family awryThe Meat and Potatoes Twelve year old Steven Lamb has a troubled home life His father left when he was young; his Nan stands at the window all day wait

  7. says:

    A Belinda Bauer book has been on my radar for uite some time and here I am after finishing her debut Blacklands It was worth the wait

  8. says:

    I was actually uite disappointed with Blacklands I thought that it was a good story but was very short and this could have been the reason that it didn’t involve me as much as I felt that it should have – th

  9. says:

    First Sentence Exmoor dripped with dirty bracken rough colorless grass prickly gorse and last year’s heather so black it looked as if wet fire had swept across the landscape taking the trees with it and leaving t

  10. says:

    This book was just okay I wasn't invested in the story so much as I thought the writing style was a little bit basic and at times I thought some scenes were a bit unrealistic On a positive note the ideas were good lots of interesting things were going on with the young boy Stephen writing to a serial killer in prison and what leads on from it it just wasn't for me I'd give 25 star rating

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