Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Blacklands (Belinda Bauer)

A chilling tale that was not for me


Title: Blacklands
Author: Belinda Bauer
Genre: Fiction /Crime
First published: 2010
Edition: Paperback, published by Simon & Schuster in 2011

Eighteen years ago, Billy Peters disappeared without a trace. Everyone in town believes he was murdered – after all, serial killer Arnold Avery later admitted to killing six children and burying them on the desolate moor surrounding their small English village. Only Billy’s mother is convinced her son is still alive, and she relentlessly awaits his return. Steven, her twelve-year-old grandson, is determined to bring his family closure and spends his spare time digging holes all over the moor in the hope of turning up Billy’s body. When Steven secretly sends a letter to Avery in jail, asking for help in finding the body of his uncle, he unknowingly triggers a dangerous game of cat and mouse.


Having just finished this book, I wonder why the heck I thought it would be one I would like. Crime does not tend to be my genre and certainly not one concerning paedophiles. Yet, I was compelled enough to read and finish it.

This books feels gritty and dark, set on Exmoor. It’s a bleak setting and so the story is as well. Throughout I could feel the dread and filth building and it was not altogether a pleasant experience for me. It’s not something I tend to look for in books.

I understand that some people love these kind of books and I can appreciate what the author did and that she wrote it well, but I cannot say I enjoyed it. The parts from the murder’s point of view made me feel extremely uncomfortable, as I am sure was intended.

I guess I would recommend this book for lovers of crime books, because the story is well constructed and written, but I don’t think I will be reading further books by this author if they are in a similar vane.

4 out of 7 stars

2 thoughts on “Book Thoughts: Blacklands (Belinda Bauer)

  1. This is kind of what it was like reading The House on Needless Street, too. There are probably people who like these kinds of books, but I don’t know them.

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