I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but let’s just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful this one is. The yellow butterflies on the black background are just so eye catching and stunning. It stood out in the shop instantly, so I had to pick it up to see what it was about. Reading the blurb made me decide that this beautiful book needed to be in my collection. I’m all about thrillers.

the-beautiful-dead-belinda-bauer

The plot: Eve Singer is a TV crime reporter who is supposedly getting on a bit and in competition with a younger, prettier, blonder version of herself. Eve is also looking after her father, who has dementia. With a job in the crime field, she needs death to happen in order to satisfy her boss and her audience, and of course to stay relevant. Technology and social media play a bit part in the novel (with mobile phone recording a lot of the action), as does gore. The killer in the novel is similar to Eve in that he needs death as well as an audience. He wants to show the world how beautiful dying is. When he gets in contact with Eve to give her the chance to be first on the scene, she is pleased that she now has the upper hand and a chance at saving her career, but it comes at a price. Not only is the killer obsessed with death but he is also obsessed with her.

This is an easy read that starts with a bang and I really enjoyed it. It’s simple to follow as well as being quite fast paced. I struggled to put this book down and I don’t think there was a single part that I found boring or a simple page-filler. Belinda Bauer writes beautifully and makes her reader feel so many differing emotions. It’s is difficult not to get sucked into Eve’s life, and I loved her as a main character. Following Eve’s struggle with trying to care for her Dad and the reality of dementia was heart-breaking; I definitely shed a tear or two. Then there’s Eve’s fear of knowing there is a serial killer obsessed with her, whilst her boss is making her life harder every time he speaks to her. There’s even a bit of romance on the side, as well as moments to make the reader laugh out loud.

The murders are quite gory, but not gratuitous and the story supports this. The reader is invited to look into the past and see what the killer went through to make him so obsessed with death, without the story becoming inconsistent and confusing. It flowed beautifully, even as events were told from the different perspectives of several characters.

This is different to any other crime thriller I’ve read, and I’m certainly excited to read more from Belinda Bauer.  If you’re looking for a thriller that just happens to look gorgeous on your bookshelf, I definitely recommend this one.

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