Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.
Published last year
in hardback, Belinda Bauer’s fifth novel is now available in paperback – and if
you haven’t yet read it, do so now.
Her debut novel Blacklands won her a CWA gold dagger and her fourth novel Rubbernecker won the 2014 Theakstons Old
Peculier Novel of the Year Award. The Facts of Life and Death is a first class successor from the pen
of this masterly storyteller. It begins so apparently gently on the Devon
coast, a tale told through the eyes of ten-year-old Ruby Trick, before the
reader is pitchforked into the secret life of a crazed remorseless killer of
Ruby has her own secret life.
Overweight, bullied at school and in constant fear of where the animosity
between her parents might lead, she is anxious to support her out of work
father at all times – even when it means helping him track down the killer.
The story twists and turns,
increasingly darkly, as the police case proceeds in the hands of DCI Kirsty
King and her sidekick Detective Constable Calvin Bridge, whose strength lies in
their very ordinariness. Their personal everyday problems, together with Ruby’s
struggles at school and home, contrast starkly with the killer and his methods,
which makes for compelling reading.
Besides her remarkable ability to build
characters with painstaking detail, the author skilfully uses the Devon coast
and the nearby forest to contribute both to the plot and to the atmosphere. As
the novel progresses this and her deft hand at structuring the plot ensure that
there’s no temptation to put the book down. More please.