Crime Fiction Alphabet 2011: B is for Bauer and for Belinda; Belinda Bauer.

It was quite a nice surprise for me to receive, as a birthday present from my daughter, her husband and my two grandchildren, Darkside by Belinda Bauer. It just happened that they did check my wish list, they ordered the book for me and it arrived last week. Almost in time, taking into account that it was only published a few days after my birthday. Therefore I could not have find a more appropriate author to cover letter B in the Crime Fiction Alphabet. B is for Bauer and for Belinda; Belinda Bauer. With my special thanks to my big little family.

Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa. She has worked as a journalist and screenwriter, and her script The Locker Room earned her the Carl Foreman/Bafta Award for Young British Screenwriters. Darkside follows Belinda’s bestselling debut Blacklands, winner of the CWA Gold Dagger for crime novel of the Year. She lives in Wales and is currently working on her next novel.

Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Steven Lamb digs holes on Exmoor, hoping to find a body. Every day after school, while his classmates swap football stickers, Steven goes digging to lay to rest the ghost of the uncle he never knew, who disappeared aged eleven and is assumed to have fallen victim to the notorious serial killer Arnold Avery.

Only Steven’s Nan is not convinced her son is dead. She still waits for him to come home, standing bitter guard at the front window while her family fragments around her. Steven is determined to heal the widening cracks between them before it’s too late. And if that means presenting his grandmother with the bones of her murdered son, he’ll do it.

So the boy takes the next logical step, carefully crafting a letter to Arnold Avery in prison. And there begins a dangerous cat-and-mouse game between a desperate child and a bored serial killer …

For additional information see Blacklands by Belinda Bauer, reviewed by Jane Jakeman at The Independent.

Synopsis: Shipcott in bleak mid-winter: a close knit community where no stranger goes unnoticed. So when an elderly woman is murdered in her bed, village policeman Jonas Holly is doubly shocked. How could someone have killed and left no trace?

Jonas finds himself sidelined as the investigation is snatched away from him by an abrasive senior detective. Is his first murder investigation over before it’s begun?

But this isn’t the end of it for Jonas, because someone in the village is taunting him, blaming him for the tragedy, and watching every move he makes…

For additional information see Darkside by Belinda Bauer, reviewed by Jane Jakeman at The Independent.

Currently reading Darkside, my review will be coming in due course, stay tuned.