Book - 2010
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EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO, Billy Peters disappeared. Everyone in town believes Billy was murdered -- after all, serial killer Arnold Avery later admitted killing six other children and burying them on the same desolate moor that surrounds their small English village. Only Billy's mother is convinced he is alive. She still stands lonely guard at the front window of her home, waiting for her son to return, while her remaining family fragments around her. But her twelve-year-old grandson Steven is determined to heal the cracks that gape between his nan, his mother, his brother, and himself. Steven desperately wants to bring his family closure, and if that means personally finding his uncle's corpse, he'll do it. Spending his spare time digging holes all over the moor in the hope of turning up a body is a long shot, but at least it gives his life purpose. Then at school, when the lesson turns to letter writing, Steven has a flash of inspiration...Careful to hide his identity, he secretly pens a letter to Avery in jail asking for help in finding the body of "W.P." -- William "Billy" Peters. So begins a dangerous cat-and-mouse game. Just as Steven tries to use Avery to pinpoint the gravesite, so Avery misdirects and teases his mysterious correspondent in order to relive his heinous crimes. And when Avery finally realizes that the letters he's receiving are from a twelve-year-old boy, suddenly his life has purpose too. Although his is far more dangerous...Blacklands is a taut and chillingly brilliant debut that signals the arrival of a bright new voice in psychological suspense.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2010
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781439149447
Branch Call Number: F Bauer
Characteristics: 221 pages :,illustrations ;,23 cm


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Mar 14, 2018

Such a good book on so many levels. I only recently discovered this author, and she is on my all-time-favorite list now. She writes psychological suspense that is indeed on a level with the late Ruth Rendell (another one of my favorites). This particular book is both a fascinating mystery and a heart-wrenching portrait of a lonely child who you just want to reach into the pages of the book and hug. This boy became so real to me that I had to keep reminding myself that it was, after all, only a story.

Apr 30, 2016

Very well written book on the very disturbing subject. The author has transferred tangible feeling of the former splendor of the UK, as an empire, and what it is now: how many bodies, since ancient times, are buried in the ground of black lands...

ECiriello Oct 13, 2015

Excellent! Belinda Bauer is quickly becoming my favourite author. She can really write a page-turner!

Jul 18, 2015

A psychological thriller of the highest order. The author engages all of the reader's emotions without resorting to sensationalism or gore.

Nov 01, 2013

A good read. Ending is quite exciting.

sunshine444 Feb 24, 2012

An amazing book! The author has perfectly portrayed the characters involved, showing the good and bad of each. Her sense of location is excellent as is her understanding of the life and difficulties of her characters, especially the struggling, often misunderstood Steven. An incredible book, especially for a first-time author.

Nov 14, 2011

Excellent debut. I couldn't put this book down. The description of the characters and location was so effective I had no difficulty imagining it all with great clarity. Looking forward to reading her second book now.

Jun 03, 2011

Well worth the several late nights up reading. Gripping and taut throughout. The 12 year old main character is fleshed out well. Avery, too, is nicely drawn out, and becomes more than a stock serial killer character. A real page turner. Recommended.

Mar 09, 2011

This was a book I could not put down. The characters were well developed and the author makes you feel connected to them.

Oct 02, 2010

This was a very compelling and interesting story about family relationships and struggles. It delved into the mind of a young boy trying to solve a mystery in order to aid his troubled family. This would make a good read for all age groups.


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