Customer Reviews for

Blacklands

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 12 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted May 16, 2010

    Blacklands

    Steven Lamb is twelve years old and spends
    his days with a rusty old spade digging to find the remains of his Uncle Billy. After a bout of frustration and doubt, he decides to enlist the help of a serial killer convicted of killing several children in the area.
    This incredibly believable novel is extremely engaging. Bauer's character of the child predator is unsettling in the sense that I could not stop thinking how real her portrayal of his thoughts, scheming and his way of life played out.
    It was as if she were in his head typing out his exact thoughts.
    Arnold Avery, the pedophile serial killer is callous and calculating and deeply disturbed. Steven Lamb is a gentle, caring young boy and all his wants is to heal his family. Is he any match for the serial killer that killed his uncle?
    This was an adrenaline pumping read, especially toward the end, it really had me hooked from start to finish- a one sitting read! I definitely plan on reading Belinda Bauer's next novel.
    I highly recommend this novel.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Blacklands explores the impact of a disappearing child on the surviving family members

    Nineteen years ago, eleven years old Billy went to buy cards, but never came home. A year later a man flashed teen Mason Dingle who reported him to the police. Avery is a pedophile serial killer working his horrors in the Exmoor region of England. Caught he takes to police to the graves of his young victims. He never identified his prey but Billy was assumed to be one of them.

    Billy's nephew Steven lives in his Nan's house with his mom and younger brother in Shipcolt near Exmoor. It is a house of pain and anguish as Nan looks out the window hoping her Billy comes home. Billy's room remains the same as a holy shrine while Nan suffers from guilt for not watching over him more carefully. Steven wants desperately the loving approval of his aloof mom and distracted grandma so comes up with a plan to achieve it. He sends a letter to Avery asking him for the location of where Billy is buried hoping the remains will provide closure to the grieving adults. Avery receives a picture of Exmoor and sees a reflection of Steven. The convicted killer plots to escape to get to Steven, who has forgotten all about his correspondence as his home life has taken a happy turn.

    Blacklands explores the impact of a disappearing child on the surviving family members, even those not born at the time of the violent crime that takes away a loved one. The characters are fully developed including Avery. Fans anticipate the clash between an aging pedophile still following his impulses and the tweener who though he seeks the approval of his matriarchs is no victim; just ask the bullies he eludes all the time.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2014

    This is a great book. The author does a great job of writing lik

    This is a great book. The author does a great job of writing like a serial killer and then jumping to a young child. 
    I couldn't put this book down and I highly recommend it. 

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Engrossing Suspense

    Steven Lamb is a twelve-year old boy much like any other. Except that he is a twelve-year old boy whose family is forever known as the one whose child eighteen years ago was kidnapped by a serial killer. That child was Steven's uncle. He never knew him, but for his entire life his entire family dynamic has revolved around this stark fact. His mother, the child's sister, has drifted from man to man, never trusting anyone. His grandmother still spends hours at the window, waiting for Billy to return. His body was never found, and she still holds out hope.

    Casting around for a way to heal his family, Steven naively starts a secret correspondence with his uncle's purported killer. Arnold Avery has been in prison for years, six child killings to his tally with others like Billy suspected. Arnold knows that he is unlikely to ever leave prison, and his days are mindnumbingly routine. There aren't many visitors to a pedophile killer. When the correspondence starts, he suddenly has purpose again; he wants to get out somehow and find Steven. Steven, who believes he can trick Avery into revealing Billy's gravesite on the nearby moor, has no idea what he has touched off.

    The action accelerates when Avery manages to escape prison during a riot. He heads straight to Steven's village. He knows when he is recaptured he will never leave prison again, and is determined to have one last kill; one that will revisit his power on this family as he takes another child from them.

    Readers are advised to have plenty of lights on to read this book. Arnold Avery is one of the most chilling killers in recent memory, and the views inside his head won't soon be forgotten. Belinda Bauer has created memorable characters who ring true. Both Steven's and Avery's characters' actions are as believable as they seem inevitable. This book is recommended for mystery and suspense readers. They will, as I have, find a new star in suspense writing.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A debut novel that should garner great attention

    This delicately-sized debut thriller packs a punch well above its weight. Exquisitely observed, the story focuses on a young boy in a depressed British town located on the moors and a serial killer who preys on the same. The language and the sentiments feel real, and one's attachment to the main character grows in direct proportion to our disquiet as the story unfolds. If you like thrillers, I think you will be surprised at the success of the author in ratcheting up the tension in a phrase. This is a first-class debut from a talented author. I eagerly look forward to her next production.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    a rare find...

    I loved this book. The character development was superb, Read it in one day because it was too hard to put down. It was a unique perspective.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 12 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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