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Archive: Other Books > Snap by Belinda Bauer - 4 stars

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Booknblues | 5324 comments Snap, a simple children's card game is deceptive as one would expect of a murder mystery, a simple genre fiction which through some awful mistake by the Booker committee ended up on the long list. Genre fiction on the Booker list, how could that happen?

Well Belinda Bauer, crafted a fairy tale, a coming of age, a morality play, and a simple genre mystery. We begin with a horror, a mother disappearing never to return, the tragedy of murder and it's looming effects, and finally the fear of foster care.

Jack Bright, the oldest child of three with sisters Joy and Merry, feels forced to make a living for his family and what a living it is. He is a resourceful imp who is deviled by memories and the lack of justice for his mother.

As a mystery it isn't one which is essentially hard to solve, but then perhaps that wasn't the point. Perhaps the mystery has always been below the surface.

I loved the characters in this book. Certainly they would make great reading for a series. The detectives, Marvel and Reynolds were a perfect and uneasy team and one could easily see them developing over the course of a number of books. Seriously, I hated to say goodbye to Jack because he was really wonderful.

I saw more depth to it than other readers at PBT have and do hope that others come to appreciate it.

I plan to read other Belinda Bauer books for comparison.


KateNZ | 2207 comments Lovely review BnB. I really liked the psychological and coming of age angles to this book too. Overall it was a 4star read for me. Some bits annoyed me stupid (the police officers were pure stereotypes) but Jack was good value. It’s kind of genre fiction but also not - it’s not a sophisticated whodunnit or police procedural but that’s not really the point. Not sure it will ever live down the Booker nomination, which opened it up to a range of criticism that it might not otherwise have got.


Booknblues | 5324 comments I read so many mysteries that I saw the police as beginnings and getting to know them better in a series. I thought that Reynolds' mom was pretty cool to. The first of a series they are really fully developed.

From what I can tell, though Bauer doesn't really do series. I would love to see Jack again. He was really so fun and so vulnerable. I love that he did the Goldilocks thing and slept in real beds.


KateNZ | 2207 comments Reynolds’ mum was great :)


message 5: by Sushicat (last edited Dec 06, 2018 11:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sushicat | 804 comments I gave it four as well. I don’t really get this thing about a book being either genre fiction or having literary value. This book proves that you can have both, though maybe not enough for a Booker. I loved the characters, especially Jack.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Love your review. Your review fascinated me enough that I needed to look up this book. It sounds so interesting.


Booknblues | 5324 comments Thanks, Rachel.


message 8: by Joy D (new) - added it

Joy D | 3071 comments Nice review, Booknblues! I own a this book, so I need to bump it up on the list. I hope to get to it early next year.


Booknblues | 5324 comments Joy D wrote: "Nice review, Booknblues! I own a this book, so I need to bump it up on the list. I hope to get to it early next year."

I hope you like it.


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