Eve Singer, a TV crime reporter, makes her living off of death; the more grisly, the better. When a rampant serial killer contacts her, to help “advertise” his “exhibitions”, Eve finds herself in a catch 22. Although she welcomes the opportunity to be the first at each gory crime scene, she soon realizes the killer has developed an obsession other than murder. Her.
The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer is an action packed, unputdownable, dark thriller. I was completely enthralled by the story; continuously compelled to keep reading. Once I began, I couldn’t stop and finished this one in a matter of hours. Since I have been reading so many books with red herrings, and lots of twists, this novel was a nice change of pace; we are privy to the killer from the beginning and instead of wondering “whodunit”, we are brought on a journey as the killer masterfully manipulates and evades law enforcement and Eve becomes his puppet.
The novel has a killer opening scene (pun intended!), as we are introduced to a woman fighting for her life and a killer amused by this game of cat and mouse. Cut to Eve Singer, who shows up the crime scene to report on the macabre incident, and ends up getting wrapped up with the perpetrator. He calls her and asks her to report on his next “exhibition”. The rest of the novel becomes a landslide of fast paced action and on the edge of your seat moments.
The novel is narrated in an extremely unique way; throughout each chapter, we are offered narration from all different characters. From Eve Singer, members of the police force, the killer, and even, his victims, we are privy to the unfolding story in multiple perspectives. I loved this! Not only are we able to see the dark moments but through this narrative style, we are also able to read a budding romance and some humor.
Eve Singer is an extremely likable lead; I am a huge fan of a narrative with a strong female protagonist and Eve Singer is about as “take charge” as they come. In fact, I loved the characters in this novel. I found that even the secondary characters were relatable and intriguing. And the characterization from the killer? CREEPY! From his relationship with his mother to his thought process surrounding art; the moments where he narrated were spine tingling. He gave me the same vibe that Kevin Spacy did in Se7en.
This was my first experience with a Belinda Bauer novel and this certainly will not be my last; I would recommend this novel to all fans of fast-paced, crime fiction. If I were you, I’d pick it up ASAP! I gave it 5/5 stars on Goodreads.
Thanks to Grove Atlantic publishing and Belinda Bauer for my copy; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.