The Beautiful Dead – Belinda Bauer

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Published November 17th 2016 by Bantam Press (first published March 10th 2016)
Author: Belinda Bauer
Genre: Crime/Thriller
Pages: 342
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Opening line:

“Look at the beauty that only death can bring.”

Goodreads synopsis:

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 . . .

My review

Thrillers are my guilty pleasure, although I’m not sure I’m even guilty about it. I just don’t come across as the type of reader who is really into thrillers, and besides I don’t read them that often anyway.

But now and then, I treat myself to one. There’s something different about looking forward to reading a thriller, and I always get excited at the prospect. So when I read the synopsis for The Beautiful Dead I knew I HAD to read it.

As luck would have it, I found a hardback edition in a charity shop for only 99p! I couldn’t beleive it, and I began reading it at the weekend (because what are weekends for if not indulging in a bit of murderous fiction?)

What really attracted me to this book is that the main character is a journalist. Although I don’t do broadcast, and will probably never be a TV reporter, I can relate to Eve Singer’s career on some level, however small.

The idea that a journalist might somehow work with a killer to boost her career had me from the word go, and I had to see how such a plot would be exceuted.

I’ve given the book 4 stars purely because I thought Eve and the killer would have a more sinister relationship than they did, but instead it was more like she was fighting against him throughout the book, whilst simultaenously doing his bidding.

I’ve also never read a thriller where so many people have been murdered, and what I love about Bauer’s style is that she takes you into the life of the victim before they are killed. In fact, this narrative puts us firmly in the lives of the characters, even the killer, but is clever enough that the twists and turns aren’t spoiled or predictable.

There is also the ongoing theme of art, and objects of art running through the story. The killer has a fascination with art meaning immortality, and there’s a certain reason he has a warped view of what death means and it’s clear from the acknowledgements that Bauer has done a lot of research into the psychology of her killer character.

This book did make me go cold at times, which is what I want from thrillers, and the plot kept me reading chapter after chapter, and I kept coming back for more. I was thoroughly invested in this story from the first page to the last, and it was beautifully executed.

It’s a good one if you’ve never read a thriller before and want the reading experience, this one has most things to get you hooked on the genre.

Link to the book on Goodreads: The Beautiful Dead

 

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