Darkside by Belinda Bauer

Bantam Press, 2011. 368 pages. ISBN. 978-0-593-06296-8.

After her stunning debut, winner of the 2010 CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year, this is Belinda Bauer’s second novel. The action is set again in Shipcott, a small community, a few years after the events narrated in her first book. Steven Lamb, the boy who was the main character in Blacklands has only a secondary role here. The principal character in Darkside is local bobby Jonas Holly who is confronted with the suspicious death of a bedridden woman, paralyzed from her neck down. The evidence confirms his suspicion, but Holly, whose wife Lucy suffers from MS, is neglected by the crime squad who are called to investigate and he starts to receive a series of menacing notes accusing him for not doing his job. Holly needs to do something about that when he discovers a second body, another vulnerable victim, and tension grows. With all the roads blocked due to a heavy snowfall, people begin to suspect everyone; a murderer is loose, the threats don’t stop and neither do the murderers…

This is a beautifully written novel with well drawn characters; the result is a gripping thriller which I very much enjoyed. I don’t want to give away much of the plot, except that its ending was slightly below my expectations. Otherwise I would have given it full marks. Having said that there is no need to read Blacklands first but I’m going to read it anyhow while I’m waiting for her next book.

Darkside has been reviewed at Juniper’s Jungle, Milo’s Rambles and Euro Crime.

The Random House Group

Belinda Bauer website

I will count this book for the 2011 Global Reading Challenge ≠ 2 Europe (UK) and for the British Books Challenge 2011 ≠ 1, if I sign in at a later stage.

Australian Crime Fiction

‘The Game’s Afoot’ readers may be interested to know that Fair Dinkum Crime is re-launched today (yesterday)as a home for reviews and news about Australian crime fiction, including author interviews. For more information you can visit their web page HERE.

If you are further interested in Australian Crime Fiction you can also join the 2011 Aussie Author Challenge HERE. I’m participating at the TOURIST level which requires me to read and review three books by three different Aussie Authors. I’m planning to read: The Broken Shore by Peter Temple, The Suspect by Michael Robotham and Diamond Dove by Adrian Hyland. Stay tuned.

Let me also remind you of my previous posts: Dead Point by Peter Temple HERE and  Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland HERE and HERE.

You may wonder where does my interest in Australia come from?

The photo enclosed shows my great-grandparents, Juan and Concepción García-Bosque. Juan was born in Spain (Jaca, Huesca) and emigrated to the Philippines where he married Concepción (née Broadbent), whose father was Australian. They had nine children and their offspring have settled in the Philippines, USA, Spain, Australia, Great Britain and South Africa. BTW I found this picture in the Internet. The baby girl is probably Pilar, my grandfather’s youngest sister, but everyone called her Nena.