Thursday 24 December 2015

Darkside by Belinda Bauer

I guessed the end! And I got it right! Yay for me. And no, I’m not going to tell you. This never happens to me. Mostly I’m reading at such a frenetic pace, there is no time to guess, but it was just a moment, where it clicked in my brain, and I loved the rest of the book as it unraveled in the direction I’d predicted.

I have difficulty trying to explain my absolute joy that I find in all Belinda Bauer’s books. My friends and family look at me slightly sympathetically, wondering if I’m ok in the head. I’m going to try to explain, which will probably have you looking at me askew, and thinking those very same thoughts.

What I find most addictive is her style. The subject matter is dark, but the telling of the tale has quirky humor as an undertone. I find that combination so satisfying. It mimics how I try to deal with difficult stuff in my life – with a sarcastic wit, and poking fun at the problem.

Then her characters, they are just so right. They do a lot of things, and get a lot of things wrong, which also feels right. Especially the children (not so much in this one). I get the feeling that they jump off the pages and surprise me (and maybe her) all the time.

And finally, the plot and setting. Bauer is an expert at finding the exact time and place to best set the events that unfold in nailbiting breakneck pace. Stuff happens, and I get scared.

If you still care what Darkside is about, and haven’t rushed out to buy your next Belinda Bauer novel, this one is set in Exmoor (like Blacklands), and is about officer Jonas Holly. There are a number of murders, and Detective John Marvel (yes, really) is sent in to investigate. The bumbling irritating Marvel and the simple earnest Holly are great foils for one another, and the drama unfolds to a deeply satisfying and well planned conclusion.   

Hope you enjoy it. I did. So much.

ISBN: 9781451612752

You may also enjoy Blacklands, The Facts of Life and Death, Rubbernecker or Little Black Lies (that one is by Sharon Bolton)

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