The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer published 3 January 2017

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Eve Singer is a crime reporter with iWitness News, but her career is starting to slip away from her.  Viewers want more detail and footage of murders and her boss is considering replacing her with a younger prettier reporter even though Eve is only twenty-nine.  But Eve has a fan, one who is watching her career closely, who wants to help.  After reporting on two gruesome murders the killer, who sees death as an art form and the victim the centre piece, wants Eve to review his ‘Art Exhibitions’.  This is a chance for Eve to revive her flagging career and keep ahead if the pack.  There is just one problem, the killer has his sights on Eve as his ultimate piece of art, can she outwit him and help to stop his killing spree before becoming his victim?

 

I was pleasantly surprised by this thriller, it had more layers to the storyline than most conventional thrillers. The main storyline about Eve and her relationship with the serial killer is taut with tension and disturbing to say the least.  By the end of the book my stomach was turning with fear and anticipation as the last piece of the killer’s plan was executed.  There is a reference in the book to a painting of Danse Macabre, and it is  very apt description of the killer and his ‘Exhibition’; death dancing round and killing unexacting victims.

The surprising element to this book is the sub-plot of Eve’s father and his battle with Dementia.  This is handled with great empathy and erudition.  As part of this storyline loneliness is also tackled through Eve’s neighbour Mr Elias.  He goes days without seeing or speaking to anyone, but there is also the fact that when he was married he was also very lonely in his marriage after the loss of his daughter.  This sub-plot is a a good counter-babalnce to the main storyline of the killings.

The book also looks closely at Social Media and the impact it now has on the world around us.  Eve has to compete with not only rival journalists and media but with the internet as well as everyone has phones now which can take pictures and record videos at an instant.  This puts a lot of pressure on the media to go that bit further to get the story at whatever cost necessary, even if it means crossing a moral line.

As a character, Eve represents a lot of us in everyday life; she is trying to hold down a job, caring for her father, she doesn’t really speak to her neighbour until she has to and tries to do this on her own, not talking to anyone at work about her situation.  She is an example of many people in society today.  She may come across to others as a confident, strong, independent women when actually she is vulnerable and alone.

This is a stomach clenching,  tense thriller that will keep you awake late into he night. It is just brilliant.

 

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Jules

Hi, I am an avid reader and have been all my life. I put it down to being an only child and having a teacher for a mum. The idea of this blog is to share my passion for reading and review new and upcoming books as well as those that may have been out for several years.
I also review on Twitter @Bookliterat

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