Darkside - Belinda Bauer Synopsis

“Shipcott in bleak midwinter: a close-knit community where no stranger goes unnoticed. So when an elderly woman is murdered in her bed, village policeman Jonas Holly is doubly shocked. How could someone have entered, and killed, and left no trace? Jonas finds himself sidelined as the investigation is snatched away from him by an abrasive senior detective. Is his first murder investigation over before it’s begun? But this isn’t the end for Jonas, because someone in the village blames him for the tragedy. Someone seems to know every move he makes. Someone thinks he’s not doing his job. And when the killer claims another vulnerable victim, these taunts turn into sinister threats. Blinded by rising paranoia, relentless snow and fear for his own invalid wife, Jonas strikes out alone on a mystifying hunt. But the threats don’t stop – and neither do the murders…”

I loved Belinda Bauer's Blacklands so was looking forward to Darkside...I was not disappointed.

Darkside has a very different feel to Blacklands, it is almost a tragicomedy and with a much more complex story that is as chilling and as menacing as the freezing ice and snow of the midwinter setting

The book is again set in the isolated community of Shippcot and as in Blacklands the village and the land surrounding it play a large role in the novel but this time events are seen through the eyes of the local policeman, Jonas Holly, and his wife, Lucy, who suffers from MS.
I love the way Bauer writes 'people'…. realistic and highly readable, even if they only appear briefly in the story she imagines such strong characters you feel you really come to know them as the story develops.

The sharp humour comes from the conflict between the countryside hating townie Detective Chief Inspector Marvel, brought into solve the mystery, and the local policeman whom Marvel views as an incompetent slack jawed yokel.

The novel is beautifully paced and shot through with remarkable chilling little segments of startlingly imagery such as the incident with the moor pony and the killer’s footsteps in the snow.

I loved and loathed Detective Chief Inspector Marvel, the big shot brought in from the 'Big City' to head up the investigation and as an other reviewer states he ends ups stealing every scene he appears in.....comparing environs to Middle Earth and …"It was like investigating a murder in Brigadoon,"

Some reviewers have said they guess the identity of the murderer early on but this reader has about as much of a clue as the police....

Excellent stuff...perfect for a winter’s evening read