- Barbara Copperthwaite
Review: THE BEAUTIFUL DEAD, Belinda Bauer
“Fast-paced, intelligent, dark, twisted, yet with perfectly-judged humour.”
There’s no safety in numbers . . .
Eve Singer needs death. With her career as a TV crime reporter flagging, she’ll do anything to satisfy her ghoulish audience.
The killer needs death too. He even advertises his macabre public performances, where he hopes to show the whole world the beauty of dying.
When he contacts Eve, she welcomes the chance to be first with the news from every gory scene. Until she realizes that the killer has two obsessions.
One is public murder.
And the other one is her . . .
This book ticks a lot of boxes for me, fast-paced, intelligent, dark, twisted, yet with the occasional light touch of humour that is perfectly judged. It’s a rare and wonderful thing to come across a crime novel that can make me chuckle one minute and shiver the next.
At the centre of the novel is Eve, a TV crime reporter. It’s great to see a well-rounded journalist in the lead - it amazes me that even in the most accurate and well-researched of stories, the tired old cliché of the annoying, unprofessional journalist is still trotted out. Belinda Bauer’s background is journalistic, though, and this really shines through as she creates a rounded character with - shock, horror - actual feelings and emotions, despite being good at her job. There are some fascinating moral questions posed, too, in the midst of this pacy, blood-soaked tale.
The killer is creepy but fascinating, with a unique motivation. And the book helter-skelters to a fabulous showdown scene with a nail-biting conclusion.
I’ve got some very tight deadlines I’m desperately trying to hit right now…but I still couldn’t put this book down, and found excuses to snatch time with it. Great stuff! This is the first Belinda Bauer I’ve read, but it won’t be the last.