>Belinda Bauer, Blacklands (2010)


This thriller is a British debut.

Eleven-year-old Steven suffers from lack of attention. His grumpy granny and his single mother have never got over the fact that Uncle Billy disappeared nineteen years ago. The little boy was killed by the paedophile murderer, Arnold Avery, but as Avery has never confessed to this crime, no one knows where he is buried.

For years Steven rambles Exmoor, digging holes to find his missing uncle and make everything in his family right, until one day when it strikes him that it would be easier to ask Mr Avery where he hid the body.

No spoilers, but the rest of this intriguing debut is an intellectual battle between a smart, determined boy and an imprisoned monster. As we get several sections from the child abuser´s point of view, this story could have been a nasty experience, but clearly this writer knows what her readers want to know – and what they don´t. She strikes a fine balance between what is scary and what is just sensational.

Besides, she draws the little, lonely boy and his Exmoor excursions very well. Strongly recommended page-turner!

Thank you to Maxine of Petrona for the book.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in Belinda Bauer, British, debut, review, review 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

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