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.

14 thoughts on “Darkside by Belinda Bauer”

  1. >José Ignacio – Thanks, as always, for this fine review. It sounds as though this one's got all of the ingredients for an excellent book. I've heard good things about it and after Blacklands was doubly interested in your view of it.

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