Blacklands

Blacklands Twelve year old Steven Lamb digs holes on Exmoor hoping to find a body Every day after school while his classmates swap football stickers Steven goes digging to lay to rest the ghost of the uncle h

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  • Title: Blacklands
  • Author: Belinda Bauer
  • ISBN: 9781439149447
  • Page: 355
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Twelve year old Steven Lamb digs holes on Exmoor, hoping to find a body Every day after school, while his classmates swap football stickers, Steven goes digging to lay to rest the ghost of the uncle he never knew, who disappeared aged eleven and is assumed to have fallen victim to the notorious serial killer Arnold Avery.Only Steven s Nan is not convinced her son is dead.Twelve year old Steven Lamb digs holes on Exmoor, hoping to find a body Every day after school, while his classmates swap football stickers, Steven goes digging to lay to rest the ghost of the uncle he never knew, who disappeared aged eleven and is assumed to have fallen victim to the notorious serial killer Arnold Avery.Only Steven s Nan is not convinced her son is dead She still waits for him to come home, standing bitter guard at the front window while her family fragments around her Steven is determined to heal the widening cracks between them before it s too late And if that means presenting his grandmother with the bones of her murdered son, he ll do it.So the boy takes the next logical step, carefully crafting a letter to Arnold Avery in prison And there begins a dangerous cat and mouse game between a desperate child and a bored serial killer .

    One thought on “Blacklands”

    1. I am dumbfounded just finished Black lands by Belinda Bauer & still thinking about the ending I can't believe this was her first novel kudos to miss Bauer it was a riveting thriller that I could not put down, I have read Rubbernecker & even think this was much better her writing style in this novel was brilliant & the characters especially Steven & Arnold Avery had me spell bound just couldn't take my eyes of these Characters just beautifully written.The plot drew me in from the [...]

    2. Posted toThe Literary Lawyer A Chilling Story of Innocence vs. Evil - 3.5 StarsThis marks the third book I have read by Belinda Bauer. A few things have become abundantly clear. She is very skilled at writing young and innocent characters. Blacklands is no exception. Her novels are coming of age stories wrapped in violence and the loss of innocence. Although this novel receives my lowest mark to date, it is still an exceptional novel and confirms her status a new favorite author. Plot summary St [...]

    3. I thought about giving it 4, maybe 4 and half stars but this book deserves a 5 star rating.The writing in this book is beautiful. It's impossible not to understand and feel Steven's pain. It's heartbreaking to realize he's doing such extraordinary thing - find the body of his murdered uncle - to fix his little broken family. All he wants is to be normal and happy. It's so simple and so poignant. On the other side of the equation is Arnold Avery, the serial killer who murdered Steven's uncle Bill [...]

    4. This book shows the damage to a family, through generations, that a single evil person can do. It also shows the innocence of a child growing up with this damage, and how that child believes he can correct and repair the damage. Then there's the evil, and it doesn't go away, can't be healed or cured, must be eradicated. I liked the way Bauer described the evil. She kept it hidden and under control until the end when the sick, slimy, black evil was revealed. Excellent book and I highly recommend [...]

    5. The One Sentence Summary: A young boy writes to an imprisoned serial killer, asking for help to find the body of his uncle, whose disappearance at age eleven sent the whole family awry.The Meat and Potatoes: Twelve-year-old Steven Lamb has a troubled home life. His father left when he was young; his Nan stands at the window all day waiting for her son Billy, who disappeared in childhood; and Steven’s mother, upset over being ignored after the disappearance of her brother, takes out her frustra [...]

    6. A Belinda Bauer book has been on my radar for quite some time and here I am after finishing her debut, Blacklands. It was worth the wait! I'm happy to say I'm blown away by her style of writing. I've held off giving 5 stars because I think there may well be even better to come.The story is one of a young boy, Steven Lamb, growing in a small village near Exmoor. His uncle had been at roughly the same age as Steven is now when he had been murdered eighteen years earlier. The body, never recovered, [...]

    7. I was actually quite disappointed with Blacklands. I thought that it was a good story, but was very short, and this could have been the reason that it didn’t involve me as much as I felt that it should have – there was just way too much missing.In the blurb, Belinda Bauer says that she wrote the book as she was moved by the story of a mother whose child had been murdered many years before, and she was curious about how that kind of event would affect a family long-term…however, that is exa [...]

    8. Blacklands was the debut novel from Belinda Bauer and was originally released at the end of 2009 but it unfortunately never reached my radar. Since then I have heard much praise of her work and on the strength of this impressively assured and genuinely original novel I will certainly be keen on reading more. In the cluttered world of crime fiction it is astonishing rare to find both a unique and highly compelling debut, but Blacklands is that very thing. Unsettling and authentic to the point of [...]

    9. First Sentence: Exmoor dripped with dirty bracken, rough, colorless grass, prickly gorse, and last year’s heather, so black it looked as if wet fire had swept across the landscape, taking the trees with it and leaving the moor cold and exposed to face the winter unprotected. Sociopath Arnold Avery raped and murdered children; he admitted to six whose bodies were found. One who was not found was Billy Peters. The impact severely affected his family. Eighteen years later, his nephew, 12-year-old [...]

    10. Caveat lector [sic] **Okay I decided that to start including caveats in my positive reviews in addition to my negative reviews, mostly because I keep getting responses that are along the lines of "you should hate the book for the book not because of how you feel about the world". Well for everyone out there who manages to stop being a human being while they read a book that is a fucking fantastic idea, but when I read books tap into particular introjects and responding to the books by talking ab [...]

    11. This is more of a psychological thriller than a crime novel. The subject matter is interesting and unique, so I won’t post any spoilers. The protagonist, Steven Lamb, is a twelve-year-old boy who lives near Exmoor, an expanse of heath and grassland in Devon, UK. It is a simple plot and rather frustratingly meanders to its unremarkable climax, although there is tension and the antagonist, Arnold Avery, is a suitably chilling antagonist: a child-killing paedophile. That said it is not graphic. T [...]

    12. 'Blacklands' is a debut crime novel that is very well written and immensely compelling. However, I can't say I enjoyed it as 'Blacklands' is a very bleak novel in its outlook and subject matter.Steven is a twelve year old boy living in a unloving household with his brother, Davey. Many years ago, before he was born, Steven's mother, Lettie, lost her brother Billy to a serial killer and pedophile. Lettie and her mother (Steven's nan - Mrs Peters) never got to know where Billy's body was buried an [...]

    13. There was so much I’d wanted to like about Black Lands; it’d seemed like a nice creepy story when I had picked it up. We follow Steven Lamb as he writes letters to the serial killer Avery (I can’t remember his full name, he bored me with his one-dimensional characteristics towards the end) in order to discover the location of his uncle’s body. This will, apparently, bring his family closer together… because his family is shit and poor… and a dead body will unite them, somehow. This l [...]

    14. Belinda Bauer is brilliant, this is her debut novel and it delivered more than I could have hoped for, I read this book in two sittings and could not put it down. The book switches between the world and thoughts of a young boy and a child serial killer, it cleverly gives you insight into the work of both and how their lives intertwine (and why )The book grabbed me from the first page and I loved the ending passionately. It could have been a lot more dark or gruesome this book but instead it just [...]

    15. Blacklands was the debut novel from Belinda Bauer and was originally released at the end of 2009 but it unfortunately never reached my radar. Since then I have heard much praise of her work and on the strength of this impressively assured and genuinely original novel I will certainly be keen on reading more. In the cluttered world of crime fiction it is astonishing rare to find both a unique and highly compelling debut, but Blacklands is that very thing. Unsettling and authentic to the point of [...]

    16. Having read Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer, I was keen to read more of her work. She's an excellent writer. Blacklands is her debut novel and won some crime novel award or other, and no wonder. It's a fantastic read - unsettling, sympathetic, intriguing, authentic, clever. Read it in a couple of sittings. The pages turned themselves. It's told largely from the perspective of a young boy, Steven Lamb. Steven lives with his mum and nan and younger brother and has a tough time at home and at school. [...]

    17. This is one of the books on the TV Book Club on Channel Four. As they only discuss one book, I thought I ought to read it to know what they are on about.I can only assume that someone got a big backhander for it to get this coverage. Although entertaining, it is very light weight and there must be far more worthy books for consideration. I am hoping for more.The story - as the authors note at the end - shoud have been a family drama but ends up as a weak crime novel.It tells the story of a 12 ye [...]

    18. This book's narration alternates between the POV of a pedophile and a boy in a really heart-breaking situation. So I was in turns disgusted and sniffling while reading this but even so, I just couldn't put it down and stayed awake until the early morning to finish it. I'm looking forward to reading more books from this author.

    19. The 'hero' of Blacklands is Steven Lamb, a young boy whose uncle, Billy, was murdered as a child nineteen years ago. Steven is profoundly aware of the effect Billy's death, and in particular the fact that his body was never recovered, has had on his family. He is convinced that if he can discover where Billy is buried, he will bring his family closer together and make his grandmother, who has never recovered from the loss, happy again. At first Steven spends his spare time digging his way across [...]

    20. Steven Lamb can’t remember a time when his mother hugged him, wrapped him in a soft, fluffy towel, fed him his favourite foods – now that they lived with his Nan, everything was different. With his Mum, little brother Davey, his Nan and himself in the house he didn’t know why he felt lonely, but he always did. Even with his friend Lewis by his side most of the time, he was still a lonely twelve-year-old boy. So Steven spent the time he wasn’t at school digging on the moors, digging holes [...]

    21. I’m going to be honest and say that this is one of those books which is a little bit slow going at the start but you really need to battle through as once the ball gets rolling a few chapters in it is truly gripping. The slow start had me thinking it would be a disappointing read but once everything fell into place and the events started to play out I found myself unable to put the book down, finishing it much quicker than I expected to.The author is really great at getting into the minds of e [...]

    22. I must admit to being a little bit disappointed by this one, especially as it's one of the chosen ones for the new TV book club. It's a good enough story with a disturbing theme, but all the reviews I've seen make a big thing of the unbearable tension - but it just didn't do it for me, there was a little something missing. I really didn't think the author got into the mind of Stephen effectively enough, and I thought the writing was just a little below par. Was I just not in the mood? Maybe. But [...]

    23. This thriller was about a young boy, Steven, who is searching for the body of his long dead uncle who was killed by a serial child killer and whose body was never recovered. Steven just wants to help his nan and mum get over the tragedy so he decides to go to the source and begins writing letters to the killer in prison.

    24. This is the story of a young boy, Steven, trying to "fix" his broken family. His mother and grandmother have never gotten past the rape and murder of his uncle because his body has never been found. His murderer is in prison and Steven begins a game of cat and mouse with him trying to ferret out the location of the body. He doesn't understand the danger this poses, he simply wants his mum and nan to be able to move on. He thinks if he can just find the body they will finally begin to heal.I love [...]

    25. Nineteen years ago, 12-year-old Steven Lamb's Uncle Billy disappeared when Billy was only 11 and Steven's Mom and Billy's sister, Lettie, was 14 on his way back from school. And even after 19 years, his Grandma still stands by the window and waits for her long-lost son to come back. His Mom thought it was the serial killer Arnold Avery (that was caught for six child crimes) that has kidnapped and killed Uncle Billy, but nobody was able to prove it and she had dismissed it.But Steven, seeing his [...]

    26. Life is anything but normal for twelve year old Steven Lamb. Steven has an odd hobby, digging along England's Exmoor. Not only is Steven trying to stay out of the path of some bullies, but he also hopes that his digging will turn up the remains of his Uncle Billy, and thereby help his grandmother and his mother move on with their lives.Some eighteen years earlier eleven year old Billy Peters disappeared. Everyone, except Billy's mother (Steven's "nan") believes he was a victim of pedophile and s [...]

    27. A disappointing read! The idea of a young boy, whose uncle had been murdered by a serial killer when a child and buried on Exmoor, getting in touch with the imprisoned murderer had so much potential. However, the characters were very superficial and one-dimensionaland there was no real empathy with their feelings as the situation developed. Similarly the writing was weak; it was simplistic and did not expolit the opportunities to describe any situation ie prison, the moors, the home and school l [...]

    28. A boy tries to find the whereabouts of his dead brother by writing to the pedophile murderer in prison. The murderer breaks out of and. . . A quick read. I would have enjoyed it more if the novel was crafted like a suspense novel, and had started on Chapter 9. The end builds, but the climax is a let down, and requires one to re-read (and interpret, albeit slightly) what happens. Non patient readers might get frustrated with the non-action character development, but the characters are real and we [...]

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