Daphne's Reviews > Blacklands

Blacklands by Belinda Bauer
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's review
Jan 20, 2011

Read in January, 2011

I don't usually read mysteries/thrillers but picked this up in the airport because I saw that the author was British--meaning that if nothing else her prose would be good. I wasn't disappointed; indeed Bauer writes beautifully, and her descriptions of the moors and the down-and-out characters who live there, and even of schoolboy life, were wonderful. She has a realistic sense of humor about human nature, even when writing about bleak lives and horrific crimes--in this case a pedophile/serial killer who though in prison continues to captivate a young boy whose uncle was one of his victims.

At first I enjoyed the mystery elements of the story as much as the small details of friendship and bullying between boys and brothers. But when the book shifted into thriller mode (with an easy-to-see-coming dramatic climax and some prison details that didn't quite ring true) I lost interest. But that's because thrillers aren't my thing.

At any rate, I'm glad to have learned about this writer and recommend the book to anyone who appreciates good writing and a clue-by-clue mystery.

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