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Customer Review

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark character driven psychological thriller, 27 Mar. 2014
This review is from: The Facts of Life and Death (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. A thing that is a particular strength of Ms Bauers if this and Rubbernecker together are anything to go by.

Aptly titled – The Facts of Life and Death are indeed right in here – I thought this was terrifically good. Certainly one of my favourite “crime” novels I have read in 2014 so far.

Very much recommended.

Happy Reading Folks!

**thank you to the author for the review copy**
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