Monday, October 1, 2012

Dark Side; Belinda Bauer

Title: Dark Side
Author:  Belinda Bauer
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Edition: trade
Setting:  England
Source: personal collection
Date Completed: September/2012
Rating: 3/5 
Recommend: unsure

A few years back I read Blacklands, by Belinda Bauer and really thought the author did a great job with her first novel.  Her more recent novel (2011), Dark Side actually takes place in the same little Exmoor village of Shipcott.  This time the story begins with the murder of an elderly woman, a who was confined to her bed and unable to fend off her attacker.  But who would want Mrs. Priddy dead and why?  Jonas Holly the local law enforcement official is initially active at the scene to investigate the murder. Oddly he was camped out on the front steps at the crime scene as times, as if the murderer would come back for some reason. Before long several other people end up dead as well, and Jonas' superior, Inspector Marvel, an interesting odd-duck of a character, brings in a team from another district to take over the investigation and Jonas is left to the sidelines, but not before the killer seems to be getting pleasure by taunting Jonas about his ineptness as an investigator. (I kept thinking what is up with this?). Although Jonas isn't happy about this change in responsibility, he is able to spend more time with his wife Lucy who has MS. I might add that Lucy seems to be quite the character herself,  her husband Jonas armed  his disabled wife with a knife for protection.

The setting seemed chilling and atmospheric at times, and the author did a great job with the pacing of the mystery.  There were several characters who could have been possible suspects --  always a good sign of a well plotted mystery.  I wanted to love this mystery and thought I might early on, but I had some real issues with the way the story ended. It just seemed strange to me. I think the author was either in a rush to wrap up the story, or just didn't think it through thoroughly.  Overall, I would just rate this mystery as okay, IMO, not as good as her debut novel Blacklands.


  1. When you finish a book, you're left with the ending. It's hard to love a book that doesn't end well.

  2. I agree with bermudaonion...all would be well if it ends well.

  3. Well, I wasn't as big of a fan as Blacklands as you so I'm not sure I'll read this one.

  4. I really enjoyed Blacklands myself and I don't need a perfect ending so I'm going to try this one too. Thanks for the heads up, I didn't realize she had a second one out.

  5. I fell in love with the cover from the moment I saw it, then the details of the story had me hooked. Now I'm a little hesitant because of what you said about the rushed ending, but I may have to give it a go anyway. Thanks for brining this book to my attention.

  6. Ugh. I hate when the ending feels rushed.

  7. Odd and rushed endings are not my thing, and they often end up ruining the whole book for me. I'm sorry this one wasn't what you hoped it would be.

  8. I loved Blacklands, although the ending there wasn't a bit... predictable (maybe that's the word). I enjoyed it a lot though. I'm keen to try this one, even if it isn't quite so good.

  9. Oh, I hate it when you reach the end of the story and it's somehow not satisfying. That's a real shame and it sounded like it had such potential.
    Thanks for the review though.
    Lynn :D

  10. I really enjoyed Blacklands also. I was curious about Darkside, as I haven't heard much about it after it was published. Thanks for the review, this is definitely a library book!


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