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Darkside [Paperback]

Belinda Bauer
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

29 Sep 2011

It is freezing mid-winter on Exmoor, and in a close-knit community where no stranger goes unnoticed, a local woman has been found murdered in her bed. This is local policeman Jonas Holly's first murder investigation. But he is distracted by anonymous letters, accusing him of failing to do his job.

Taunted by the killer and sidelined by his abrasive senior detective, Jonas has no choice but to strike out alone on a terrifying hunt . . . but who is hunting who?

Frequently Bought Together

Darkside + Blacklands + Finders Keepers
Price For All Three: 15.08

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  • Blacklands 5.99
  • Finders Keepers 3.50

Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; 1st Edition edition (29 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552158887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552158886
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa. She has worked as a journalist and screenwriter and her script The Locker Room earned her the Carl Foreman/Bafta Award for Young British Screenwriters.

With her first novel, Blacklands, Belinda won the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year. Her second and third novels, Darkside and Finders Keepers, were highly acclaimed, and she was shortlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award 2012 for her entire body of work. Rubbernecker is Belinda's latest novel.

Belinda is a repeat guest on Front Row and regularly appears at Harrogate Crime Festival. She lives in Wales.

Product Description


"She's a thriller queen... hailed as the woman most likely to lead the fightback against the Scandinavian crime-wave... It's an extraordinary piece of writing... one of the most gripping whodunnits you'll read in 2011" (Sunday Times (Culture))

"Bauer has shifted the boundaries of what makes a truly gripping, terrifying thriller" (Daily Mirror)

"Bauer takes astonishing risks but - like a brilliant ski-jumper - arcs down to the perfect landing" (Independent)

"She can do tragic brilliantly and she can do grim, but every now and then humour breaks into the tale - and she does that almost best of all" (Guardian)

"Belinda Bauer is the most disturbing new talent around" (VAL MCDERMID)

Book Description

The sensational, critically acclaimed thriller by the author of Blacklands: the 2010 Crime Novel of the Year

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 2nd novel 28 Dec 2010
Jonas Holly is a village bobby who gave up a career with the Met to look after his MS-suffering wife, Lucy. As he looks on helplessly at what the condition is doing to her, he finds himself in the same situation professionally, when a series of shocking murders see him pushed aside by the sour Inspector Marvel, who has been brought in to run the case. Not content with dispatching the weak and the helpless, the killer starts taunting Holly with a series of notes challenging him to do his job. As Marvel and his team fail to make progress, the killer starts heading towards Lucy, and a thrilling climax.

Set in the same Exmoor village as her first book, Blacklands, Darkside has more characters, more dark humour, a more impressive plotline, and a genuine oh-my-god ending. The style is still light on the gore, without sacrificing atmosphere and menace. I like to be surprised by humour in a book, and there are a few laugh-out-loud moments, many courtesy of the sarcastic Marvel. This is an out and out crime thriller with some great touches.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take a walk on the dark side ... 11 Mar 2011
There is drama in Shipcott, a small village community set in the wilds of Exmoor. It is the middle of winter and an elderly woman, paralysed after a riding accident, has been murdered in her bed. Nobody saw, nobody heard, anything.

Jonas Holly, the young village policeman, is called to the scene. He had been ambitious for more, but when his wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis he realised that he had to put his ambitions to one side.

Of course the murder squad is called in, and the local man is pushed to the sidelines. But as there are more killings, as it becomes clear that the killer is targeting the elderly, the ill, the infirm, Jonas is sure that his local knowledge, his insight, could be the key to solving the case.

The plot starts slowly, giving the characters, the location and the themes space to take root, and then it twists and turns and gains pace wonderfully. There's some very clever plotting on show.

And what makes the story sing is the people of Shipcott: their relationships, their shared history, their realisation that somebody they know, a friend, a colleague, a neighbour, could be the killer.

The relationship between Jonas and his wife, Lucy , as they both struggle to come to terms with the practical and emotional effects of her deteriorating health, is particularly well drawn. It's real, it's heartbreaking, and it cleverly draws out questions about the killer's motivation, about just who he might be.

I thought I knew, but I couldn't work out how, and then I changed my mind. More than once before the final answer came.

I'm afraid that the conclusion was a bit of a problem for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Darkside 26 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is Belinda Bauer’s second novel, following on from the excellent debut, “Blacklands,” and featuring a familiar landscape – plus some characters we have met before. Jonas Holly is the village policeman in Shipcott, deep in the heart of Exmoor. Holly had longed for a more exciting police career, but has returned home after his beloved wife, Lucy, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Now, he spends his time taking home drunks and being involved in neighbourhood disputes, while Lucy sits on the sofa and watches horror movies.

It seems as though sleepy Shipcott is far removed from horror, but then somebody suffocates Margaret Priddy; bed ridden and paralysed. Detective Chief Inspector Marvel is brought in to investigate the crime and he certainly does not want the help of local boy, Jonas Holly. Yet, when Holly is side-lined, he begins to receive anonymous notes, suggesting that he is not doing enough to protect his local community. Ignored by Marvel, suspicious of those he has known all his life, and hating to leave Lucy alone with a killer on the loose, Jonas realises that he is involved – whether Marvel likes it or not.

I like Bauer’s writing and enjoyed her debut very much. In this novel, however, she is let down by some weak plotting and a lack of viable suspects. Normally I am unable to work out ‘who-dunnit’ and never really try to – in this book, it is unfortunately quite clear who the killer is fairly early in the storyline. You hope she will pull out a sudden, surprising plot twist, but it never comes... However, generally the novel is well written, with interesting characters, and a nice atmosphere. I will certainly read on – that second novel is notoriously difficult and I know she can do much better.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkside by Belinda Bauer 28 Dec 2010
By P
After enjoying Ms Bauer's first novel, I was looking forward to seeing how she would deliver the "difficult second album" so to speak.

The pace kicks off before your first sip of coffee, and provides no let up until the turn of the last page.

She has created a strong yet diverse bunch of characters, all set in a village so realistic, you may well be able to spot it on Google Earth!!

What a great book. I was hooked from the outset, and the page numbers just kept tumbling as my need to find out what would happen next.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 10 days ago by Miss Claire Gall
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked this book
I have read all her books to date. Usually I dont like British writers but Belinda Bauer avoids most of the classism and triviality that blights British crime for me. Read more
Published 3 months ago by karen voncripps
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Another excellent, suspenseful story from Belinda Bauer. I love her writing, she draws you in from the first pages and keeps you hooked all the way through.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. Anne Margaret Cook
1.0 out of 5 stars Clumsy and unconvincing
Ms Bauer's second book really is a disappointment. Poorly written, with drab, unconvincing characterisation, it's at best a short story endlessly and excruciatingly padded out with... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Saucier
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
This book forms part of a well written trilogy, best read in order but could stand alone. The characters are likeable and believable, and the plot is effective and interesting. Read more
Published 4 months ago by V Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
Having read Blacklands I wanted to move on to a different genre but couldn't find anything that grabbed me. I saw this book and merely thought "I'll give it a go". Read more
Published 5 months ago by Claire Begg
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
loved it
it had good twists and turns throughout the book
a great authour and i will definately be buying more of her books
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful
Was this book written long before Blacklands when the author was a teenager, rejected by every publisher, then forgotten in a desk drawer? If so, it should have stayed there. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ian Bain
1.0 out of 5 stars What a Load of Rubbish
This is one of the most awful novels to take up space on this planet.

A 3 year old could have written better - the plot is transparent, padded and totally childish.
Published 6 months ago by Kieran
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT
deserved a high rating had you gripped from beginning to end. would recommend to all who enjoy crime and thrillers.
Published 6 months ago by sue bassett
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