Title: The Beautiful Dead
Author: Belinda Bauer
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
TV crime reporter Eve Singer’s career is flagging, but that starts to change when she covers a spate of bizarre murders—each one committed in public and advertised like an art exhibition. When the killer contacts Eve about her coverage of his crimes, she is suddenly on the inside of the biggest murder investigation of the decade. But as the killer becomes increasingly obsessed with her, Eve realizes there’s a thin line between inside information and becoming an accomplice to murder—possibly her own.
A seamlessly-plotted thriller that will keep readers breathless until the very end, The Beautiful Dead cements Belinda Bauer’s reputation as a master of heart-stopping suspense.
I’ve never read any of Belinda Bauer’s novels before, but have heard so much about how amazing she is – at the top of her game and leading the way in the crime genre. So, I was really excited to read her newest novel, The Beautiful Dead, and see if it is a winner.
It definitely is!
This novel features a serial killer, crime reporters and murder victims, which – let’s face it – have all been done before. But somehow Belinda Bauer has managed to make this feel completely new and fresh. It stands miles apart from some of the other novels in this genre which, in contrast, seem a little overdone and tired. I am so impressed with this novel, from the first page to the last.
I love the characters, particularly (of course!) Eve. She’s such a great, strong female lead and I really enjoyed reading about her and her lovely colleague Joe. They work so well together. The fact that Eve isn’t a policewoman, but instead a crime reporter for the local news, means that she doesn’t always have to follow the rule (and she certainly doesn’t!) She can go off-piste and not worry about following procedure, and pick up on things that the police might not. I love a well-written police procedural as much as any other novel, but this difference in the ‘usual’ occupation of the main character is a welcome and fresh change.
The story itself is fast moving and really ramps up the tension, without feeling overly dramatised. I love reading about serial killers (I am a big crime fan) and this one has buckets of suspense, which makes for a great read – and plenty of grit and gore at times. It even had a good dose of humour in there too – and all this without feeling over the top and ridiculous. All in all, that’s some impressive writing!
I feel that The Beautiful Dead is a fantastic read and a great introduction to Belinda Bauer’s work – I’ll definitively be reading more by her novels in the future!
Many thanks to Grove Atlantic for providing a copy of this novel, on which I chose to write an unbiased and honest review.