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The Facts of Life and Death Hardcover – 27 Mar 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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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 (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"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
EVERY KILLER HAS TO START SOMEWHERE . . .

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read this book and have bought this one for a friend, Fans of Belinda Bauer will love this one, Set in North Devon. Love it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was our book club read last month. Was enjoyed by all. Will definitely be reading more by this author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first book by this author for me. I'd never seen West Country villages in quite such a dark and ominous light. The setting is very much part of the plot. Perhaps not promoted by the tourist industry, but a good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
this author always surprises and one of my new favourite crime writers
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tremendous
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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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Format: Paperback
Absorbing, gritty and exceptionally dark!

This is a compelling story set in North Devon, England and is told from the perspective of Ruby, an innocent 10-year-old girl who finds herself not only struggling with coming-of-age but with a family in turmoil and a village plagued by a serial killer.

The prose is direct and clear. The characterization is well done with a cast of characters that are troubled, raw and distinctive and a setting that is a character itself with its dreariness, history, rugged terrain and isolation.

This truly is an intelligent, atmospheric novel with a clever, meticulous plot filled with tension, danger, suspense, twists, intrigue and murder that delves into the murkiest corners of the human psyche and highlights how much rage and malice can actually exist in those you least expect.
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