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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: SNAP, Belinda Bauer

Snap, by Belinda Bauer. Review by Barbara Copperthwaite

‘A different slant on a detective novel’



On a stifling summer's day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack's in charge, she'd said. I won't be long.

But she doesn't come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

Three years later, Jack is still in charge - of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they're alone in the house, and - quite suddenly - of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother. . .


What an opening scene! It has everything: vulnerability, heart, tension, fear.... From then, I HAD to keep reading.

Being somewhere between detective novel and psychological thriller, this book is a different slant on both, and I really enjoy it when genres get looked at from a new angle. There were moments of depth, moments of laughter, all handled with ease, flair and a very readable writing style.

The characters are a little caricature (the police, to be honest. The others are written with far more care and understanding) but I enjoyed them. The plot is a stretch to believe but if I wanted realism I’d read a true crime book. I don’t mind any of those things, and lost myself in a page-turner of a book that dragged me along behind it as it raced on at full pelt.

I don’t think it lived up to the chilling, heart-breaking promise of its early pages, and the initial build up of tension, but I’d still recommend it as a great read.

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