Publisher: Bantam Press
Release: November 17th 2016
Genre: Crime Fiction, Thriller
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"There’s no safety in numbers...
Eve Singer needs death. With her career as a TV crime reporter flagging, she’ll do anything to satisfy her ghoulish audience.
The killer needs death too. He even advertises his macabre public performances, where he hopes to show the whole world the beauty of dying.
When he contacts Eve, she welcomes the chance to be first with the news from every gory scene. Until she realizes that the killer has two obsessions.
One is public murder.
And the other one is her..."
The Beautiful Dead is an impressive crime novel with stunning prose, complex characters and a plot that crackles with tension. I’d heard great things about Belinda Bauer and I was not disappointed in my first read by her. I raced through this book with my heart in my throat and was blown away by its explosive conclusion.
The story follows Eve Singer a woman who has built a life for herself out of death. As a TV crime reporter it’s her job to give her audience the grisly details as a new serial killer emerges during Christmas time. This killer is an exhibitionist who takes pleasure in displaying his victims around London and Eve is unwittingly giving him the audience he craves as she reports each new murder. After all, every showman needs an audience, and so the killer approaches Eve with an irresistible offer: the inside scoop on each murder as it happens, an opportunity that will secure Eve’s uncertain career in a cut throat industry. However, working for the devil comes at a price and this deal might just cost Eve her life.
The Beautiful Dead is less of a whodunit choosing instead to focus on when and where the killer will strike next, as time counts down until the killers next “performance” you can’t turn the pages fast enough knowing that the next murder will be more sinister than the last. The book is told in alternate chapters between Eve, the killer and his next victim keeping the plot slick and fact paced. The chapters where we get into the killers head are particularly menacing as we slowly learn more about him and come to understand the way he thinks.
In many ways this book is more than just a crime novel and also explores themes such as dementia and sexism in the workplace. One of my favourite things about this book was Eve’s bond with her father, the author takes great care in exploring how his illness affects their relationship.
Overall The Beautiful Dead is an incredibly accomplished thriller that stands out as one of the best of 2016. Belinda Bauer has a new fan in me and I’m looking forward to catching up with her other books, if they’re as good as The Beautiful Dead then I’m in for a real treat!