The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Eve Singer is a beleaguered TV crime reporter dealing with a pushy boss who wants Eve to be everything: younger, covering every story, and on top of every lead. In her personal life, Eve goes home to her childhood home and her father, Duncan, who is suffering from dementia. When Eve winds up covering the murder of a young woman, she doesn't realize she will soon be entwined with the girl's killer, someone who is obsessed with death, and the desire to be recognized for his "killing performances." As the killer pulls Eve deeper into his twisted web, she has some startling choices to make.
I have to say, my last book of 2016 surprised me. This novel was certainly creepy, but also had a certain nuance and depth to it that I wasn't expecting. Eve is a complicated and likeable character, and the book doesn't just cover murder and gore, it goes into her personal life, and the struggles she has caring for her father and his failing memory. The bits with her father are often both sad and humorous; they are very real and give the book a true humanity. Indeed, there's a real depth to Eve, who is stuck in a man's world and the pressures and unfairness that brings to to her career-wise (there's always a younger, prettier reporter waiting in the wings, as her boss never hesitates to remind her), as well as the burdens a woman feels as a caretaker. After all, it's not her brother taking care of her dad. Further, the book looks at an interesting psychological conundrum: how our society seems to need murder and the way it feeds on the social media aspect of it, as of late. Without society's interest in murder and death, Eve has no job.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It lost me slightly for a bit near the end, but managed to get back on track, and even threw in a very interesting twist I didn't see coming. Although I admit, I kept wondering where the police's behavioral scientist was. Why was the poor Lead Detective reading and deciphering everything from a serial killer alone? However, I digress. This was a well-done thriller with a different and engaging plot. I really found myself drawn to Eve, and her father, Duncan. It was an enjoyable novel with which to end the year.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley (thank you!); it's available in the U.S. as of 01/03/2017.
View all my reviews