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The Facts of Life and Death Hardcover – 27 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; 1st Edition edition (27 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593072782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593072783
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 229,785 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


"Bauer at her best . . . the true heir to the great Ruth Rendell" (Mail on Sunday)

"A new Belinda Bauer always goes straight to the top of my to-be-read pile. She's the most interesting crime writer in England today" (Val McDermid)

"Belinda Bauer's thrillers are always compelling, always original, always brilliant. I will rush to read anything she writes" (Mark Billingham)

"Belinda Bauer is one of the best British crime writers out there right now" (Simon Kernick)

"She writes so beautifully, plots so cleverly and exhibits a razor-sharp understanding of people and places" (Literary Review)

Book Description

The exceptional new crime novel from this award-winning writer


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Liz Wilkins TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover
‘Call your mother.’
‘What do I say?’
‘Say goodbye.’

This is how it begins. Living with her parents in the dank beach community of Limeburn, ten-year-old Ruby Trick has her own fears. Bullies on the school bus, the forest crowding her house into the sea, and the threat of divorce.

Helping her Daddy to catch a killer might be the key to keeping him close.

As long as the killer doesn’t catch her first..

So I recently read “Rubbernecker” from Belinda Bauer, also incidentally the first novel of hers I have read since Blacklands and it was so good that I was kind of worried that this one would fall flat. It absolutely did not do any such thing.

We follow along mostly with ten year old Ruby as she explores her world, puts up with bullies, hangs out with her friends and observes her people – she adores Daddy and is determined that he will be happy despite the fact that her parents are not getting on. Meanwhile young women are going missing, as a fledgling killer becomes more confident.

This was an extremely clever psychological thriller, especially as young Ruby’s viewpoint was so very authentic – she behaves like a ten year old with all the curiosity and wonder that time of life brings – and it was a different take on the way an adult would look at the world or peoples actions. Ruby, whilst helping her Dad try and track the killer, ends up with a lot of information that she doesnt realise is important. Offset that against the beautifully drawn police team (and not cliche at all – I thought Calvin was probably one of the most realistic sounding Police Officers I have ever read in fiction and boss Kirsty King was delightfully normal) and you have a cleverly constructed, character driven tale of the darker side of human nature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Little Ruby Trick lives with her parents in a broken-down cottage called The Retreat in the tiny village of Limeburn in Devon. With the forest encroaching on one side and the sea threatening on the other, Limeburn is not the idyllic English village of fiction. This is a rain-soaked, muddy place, barely putting up a fight any longer against the forces of nature that are slowly crushing it into extinction. And Ruby's family is under as much threat as her home - with Daddy long out of work and no longer making much effort to do anything about it, while Mummy works full time and worries about money and Ruby's welfare. Daddy's much more fun, though - he's a part-time cowboy in the local Gunslingers club and spoils plump little Ruby with Mars Bars and chips. So Ruby always takes Daddy's side against Mummy and would do anything to keep his love. Including helping him hunt a serial killer...

This book starts off slowly by introducing us to Ruby's life. The descriptions of the village and its life are vivid and extremely topical given the amount of rain and flood damage the country has been suffering recently for real. And the constant threat of natural disaster combines with the isolation of the village to provide a nicely chilling backdrop for a story that suddenly darkens into something much more disturbing than the first few chapters might suggest. Because somewhere in this area of Devon, a man is beginning on a course of action that will eventually turn him into a serial killer; as the tagline says - every killer has to start somewhere. And this killer starts by abducting a young woman, then forcing her to phone her mother and tell her goodbye.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jo D'Arcy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 April 2014
Format: Hardcover
Women in a beach community and surrounding areas in Devon are being targeted by a sick individual.

When they have been captured they are stripped.

When they have been stripped they are told to make a phone call.... to their mother.

When they make the phone call... they are told to say goodbye.

When they say goodbye... their mother's watch.

Who suffers the most in this game of murder, the victim or the mother left behind?

Whilst this is happening, a young girl Ruby Trick is struggling with her own battles, she is being bullied on the bus to school, she is being bullied at school. She lives in such a small community that she has only four other children to play with. Ruby cannot play in certain places, not just because of this sick individual who seems to be prowling the area but because part of the cliff face where they live is dying. It is being swept away by the weather and by the sea.

For Ruby there is no solace at home, the house has leaks and drafts which are ignored by her jobless father who seems to spend his time dressing up as a Cowboy to join a local cowboy club and a mother who works every hour she possibly can whilst trying to bring up Ruby in better circumstances and better choices than her husband is showing Ruby. The arguments between the parents seem to be reaching breaking point, similar to the eroding of the landscape around them. Every storm breaks away a little bit more of the marriage. But for Ruby, her dad is the best and he doesn't seem to mind the extra chocolate or biscuits that she eats, as long as Ruby helps feed this Cowboy obsession and Ruby can be his deputy and they can try and catch the killer together.
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