6.2.10

Book Review: Blacklands by Belinda Bauer


This is one of the most disturbing books that I have read in a long while. Blacklands is Belinda Bauer's first novel and follows the relationship created between Steven Lamb and Arnold Avery who is a convicted paedophile and serial killer.

Steven's Uncle Billy was killed by Avery before Steven was even born, sadness and uncertainty has hung over Steven's family ever since. His Nan still waits for Uncle Billy's return as Avery has never revealed the whereabouts of the young boy's remains.

Steven is convinced that his family will be happy if they can lay Billy to rest so in his spare time he goes digging on the treacherous moors in search of his uncle's body. Frustration and desperation leads him to send Arnold Avery a letter and so the game begins.

Belinda Bauer really takes the reader into the mind and thoughts of Avery which obviously makes for pretty disturbing reading. What really shone through for me though is the devastation caused to the family by their loss and the power wielded by the killer even when he has been locked away.

Steven Lamb is a wonderful character and I think that you get a real sense of the responsibility that he feels. It is a massive burden that he carries with him as he sets out to bring some happiness to his downtrodden family.

The subject matter of this book is disturbing but the idea and the way that Belinda Bauer explores it is fascinating. I was gripped all the way through and although you cannot describe Blacklands as a nice book, I wouldn't be put off as it is definitely worth a read.

9 comments:

Rhiana said...

I already have this on my wishlist, I really want to read it now. Thanks for the review.

Diane said...

I loved your review, and agree with what you had to say. I did love this disturbing book :)

savidgereads said...

Its difficult to comment back on this one Dot as I cant really say am glad you read this or am glad you sort of enjoyed it as its a disturbing book yet a brilliant one for it. You'll know what I mean!!

Jackie (Farm Lane Books) said...

I've just finished this and will post my review in the next few days. I did think it was gripping, but I didn't find it very realistic and therefore not very disturbing. The games in the notes just didn't seem very likely and so I found myself thinking about how silly it all was rather than feeling and fear.

Dot said...

Rhiana- Thank you, hope that you find it interesting too!

Diane- thanks, I did find it disturbing but I thought that it was excellent considering it is Belinda Bauer's first novel.

Simon- I do know what you mean!

Jackie- I look forward to reading your review, I can see what you mean about the notes but I think that the author created a very complex character in Avery.

thebookwormchronicles said...

I have heard good things about this book I think its one for the TBR list. Thank you for sharing.

Dot said...

thebookwormchronicles- It's not the most comfortable book to read but it is gripping!

Sandra said...

I really enjoyed this story, a frightening premise with high tension all the way through. I can't wait to read her next novel.

Dot said...

Sandra- She created such a spooky, desperate atmosphere, I hope that she writes more.

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