Blacklands: A Novel

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Jan 5, 2010 - Fiction - 240 pages
33 Reviews
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.
  

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Very disappointed in the ending which was weak. - LibraryThing
I liked Belinda Bauer's writing style. - LibraryThing
It had an interesting, if slightly unbelievable plot. - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - col2910 - LibraryThing

Synopsis/blurb.... THE BOY WANTED THE TRUTH. THE KILLER WANTED TO PLAY… Twelve-year-old Steven Lamb digs holes on Exmoor, hoping to find a body. Every day after school and at weekends, while his ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - calum-iain - LibraryThing

"Blacklands" is the first novel by Belinda Bauer and is both a tale of a broken, dysfunctional family and a journey into the mind of a child-murdering serial killer. The story revolves around Steven ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
8
Section 3
12
Section 4
21
Section 5
24
Section 6
29
Section 7
31
Section 8
39
Section 24
129
Section 25
131
Section 26
133
Section 27
139
Section 28
148
Section 29
151
Section 30
159
Section 31
162

Section 9
47
Section 10
57
Section 11
60
Section 12
63
Section 13
69
Section 14
76
Section 15
79
Section 16
81
Section 17
84
Section 18
92
Section 19
100
Section 20
108
Section 21
109
Section 22
115
Section 23
119
Section 32
163
Section 33
172
Section 34
176
Section 35
179
Section 36
184
Section 37
189
Section 38
194
Section 39
203
Section 40
213
Section 41
214
Section 42
217
Section 43
218
Section 44
223
Section 45
225
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa. She has worked as a journalist and screenwriter, and her script THE LOCKER ROOM earned her the Carl Foreman/Bafta Award for Young British Screenwriters, an award that was presented to her by Sidney Poitier. She was a runner-up in the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition for “Mysterious Ways,” about a girl stranded on a desert island with 30,000 Bibles. Belinda now lives in Wales.

Bibliographic information