Book review: The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer

The book:


51ua9zrqydl-_sx325_bo1204203200_The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer

Published by Bantam Press in November 2016
Pages: 352

My copy: Review copy

*** Thank you to Transworld books and the author for the review copy of this novel ***

The blurb:

Eve Singer needs death. With her career as a TV crime reporter flagging, she’ll do anything to satisfy her ghoulish audience.
The killer needs death too. He even advertises his macabre public performances, where he hopes to show the whole world the beauty of dying.
When he contacts Eve, she welcomes the chance to be first with the news from every gory scene. Until she realizes that the killer has two obsessions.
One is public murder.
And the other one is her . . .

My thoughts…

I’m not usually a big reader of the crime genre, but I was delighted to receive a review copy of this one as it sounded a bit different. And luckily I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Eve is a crime reporter but, you sense from the start, somewhat reluctantly. She gets sick at the sight of blood and isn’t nearly cynical enough to do the role justice. But with a sick father at home and a lack of funds, she finds herself stuck in a rut.

She then finds herself very directly involved with a serial killer, and as the tension builds Eve becomes less sure of herself and what to do for the best…

I really enjoyed the glimpses into Eve’s stressful home life – it made her character seem very real and enabled the reader to sympathise with her. Her dad has dementia, and this was also portrayed very believably; my nan suffered with dementia and I found poor Duncan’s confusion completely believable – as well as the frustrations of Eve having to deal with him.

Our glimpses into the life of the killer are also interesting as we slowly build up a bigger picture of him and what motivates him to act as he does. He is suitably weird and creepy and acts as the perfect foil to Eve.

I think the other reason this novel works so well is that it manages to get just the right mix or gore and black humour. It never takes itself too seriously and this made it a really entertaining read and not just gruesome. Although the murders are pretty grim, there isn’t too much gratuitous detail, and this is well spaced out throughout the book so it never becomes a relentless gorefest.

Some parts of the novel weren’t always entirely believable, and I could have done without the will-she-won’t-she romance subplot, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this and would definitely read more from Bauer.

My rating: 8 out of 10

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5 comments

  1. I like that we get glimpses of their lives to be able to connect with the characters or understand them a bit better. I was definitely not expecting to see humor mentioned in the review, I’m intrigued 🙂 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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