Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: Dark Side by Belinda Bauer

Would you know a killer if you looked him in the eyes?

It is mid-winter in the isolated Exmoor village of Shipcott where no stranger goes unnoticed. Life is routine for Jonas Holly, who has given up his dream of being an SAS officer because of his wife's health, and returned to his childhood home to become the village policeman.

But then poor, paralyzed Margaret Priddy is found murdered in her bed and, facing his first murder investigation, Jonas knows he can't cope alone but soon finds himself completely sidelined by an abrasive senior detective from Taunton.

It isn't long before Jonas begins to receive anonymous messages indicating someone in the village is blaming him for the murder. Someone thinks he isn't doing his job. And when the killer claims another victim, these taunts turn to threats. 

Belinda Bauer creates an atmosphere in this gripping psychological thriller that is as chilling and menacing as the winter ice and blizzards.  It's a dark story but never depressing because it's also filled with humour much of which comes from the everyday village happenings. Anyone who has ever lived in a small community will connect with the ' knows everyone and their business' .....
Jonas got an anonymous call from Linda Cobb to say Yvonne Marsh was on the swings in her knickers. He knew Linda’s voice and she knew that he knew it, but anonymity was hard to come by in a village as small as Shipcott...."
Detective Chief Inspector Marvel has to be the most totally obnoxious character I've ever come across - the sort of person you love to hate - so awful you have to laugh whenever he shows up.

I found Dark Side compulsive reading and if the final part seems to let go of all restraint I'm not complaining because it had the effect of leaving me gasping in disbelief.
A book I really enjoyed and am adding to my favourite crime reads for 2011.


  1. You know I really dislike crime thrillers as a rule (their just not for me) but I do like Bauer. I think her characters are so good that even I like them. Ill look out for this one.

  2. Gasping in disbelief, nice........ I haven't heard of this one.