In the village of Shipcott near Exmoor, children are being taken from parked vehicles. They have nothing in common with each other than the fact they are children and the kidnapper leaves behind one very striking clue – a note stuck somewhere prominent – proclaiming that whoever is responsible does not love them.
Disturbing enough, but when local lad Steven Lamb is kidnapped who suffered at the hands of Arnold Avery (Blacklands) along this time with an adult the case for DI Reynolds suddenly changes.
The adult is a policeman and no ordinary one, besides being the local bobby for Shipcott, he is suffering from having seen his wife killed (Darkside) and now declared fit for duty is he actually hiding something?
Has Steven Lamb discovered his secret or his he about to learn a lot more about Jonas?
This is the third novel from the author Belinda Bauer who is emerging as a proficient crime thriller writer. It was quite chilling and graphic in parts and as the book picks up some pace after about half way through. In my opinion everything starts to slot together although a strange link, certainly one I do not think you could guess the explanation.
However, I thought I was missing something and undoubtedly I was – I had not read her second novel, Darkside. I would certainly not say that these are pitched as a trilogy but have emerged as such and you do need some sort of background about the main characters, Steven Lamb (Blacklands) and Jonas Holly (Darkside). I was floundering with everything evolving from what had happened to Jonas and felt I had missed out on something which may have held my attention a bit stronger in this novel if I had read the second book.
What Bauer does capture is the atmosphere of Exmoor and the bleakness of kidnap and death in varying different situations. It was good but not as compelling as her first was. I still maintain though that she is an author to watch, but perhaps needs to take a different focus for subsequent novels.
Thank you to Amazon Vine for allowing me the opportunity to read this book.
I was lucky enough to read her debut novel Blacklands through Vine and I think I may have passed the opportunity to read her second novel. I am going to have to go back and read this one, to fill in the gaps that these book introduced me to and then I feel I may have a better understanding of the book.
Have you ever read a book and realised that you are missing something by not reading previous works? Sometimes it works, I have read books where there is enough background filled in for the reader to not feel like they have missed out on something and behind with other more perhaps avid readers of the author.