Book Review: The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer

Title: The Beautiful Dead
Author: Belinda Bauer
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 3 stars
Purchase: Amazon

There’s no safety in numbers . . .

Eve Singer needs death. With her career as a TV crime reporter flagging, she’ll do anything to satisfy her ghoulish audience.
The killer needs death too. He even advertises his macabre public performances, where he hopes to show the whole world the beauty of dying.
When he contacts Eve, she welcomes the chance to be first with the news from every gory scene. Until she realizes that the killer has two obsessions.
One is public murder.
And the other one is her . . .

The Beautiful Dead is a haunting and compelling read that unfortunately, falls a little short in terms of realism and complexity sometimes. While I did finish the book in one evening, and it certainly has the right amount of suspense to keep one entertained, and has a fairy compelling writing style, the plot is too simple, the killer too one-dimensional, to be really entertaining.

Eve Singer is a crime reporter. Her career is flagging but after the murder on a young woman who was trapped in the building she worked in by a madman with a knife, Eve’s career is back on track. Especially when the killer forms a connection with her and starts giving her first-hand information about the murders. I found this fairly far-stretched. However, Eve was an intriguing character, and I did like her, her relationship with her father which has become complicated ever since he’s developed dementia, and how she struggles to keep her head afloat with her career sinking and her family life in ruins.

Eve’s father is another interesting character. So is Joe, one of the people she works with. Guess who is not interesting at all? The murderer. That’s sad, given that he’s the second major character in the book. He doesn’t even read like a real person. He comes across as a one-dimensional cardboard figure of a murderer, not driven by the need to kill but rather killing just because the author is making him do so. He doesn’t seem very realistic at all, and he doesn’t have the qualities that make serial killers memorable or stand out, such as Hannibal Lecter or Norman Bates or the other far more memorable and intriguing killers books and TV shows have given us.

Either way, the story is decent, although it does ask the reader to suspend disbelief a great bit. I was most impressed with the writing. Fans of solid thrillers shouldn’t pass this one up, but it’s not top of the shelf either.

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