Darkside, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


It is freezing mid-winter on Exmoor, and in a close-knit community where no stranger goes unnoticed, a local woman has been found murdered in her bed.

This is local policeman Jonas Holly's first murder investigation.

But he is distracted by anonymous letters, accusing him of failing to do his job. Taunted by the killer and sidelined by his abrasive senior detective, Jonas has no choice but to strike out alone on a terrifying hunt . . . but who is hunting who?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780552158886

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Popular references, bigoted chief inspectors and horror films. You wouldn't normally expect this from a female crime novellist. I have not read Bauer's first novel but on the strength of this book I will probably get round to it in good time. Not as complex or involving as say a Jo Nesbo novel but still with a sense of uniqueness about it. This book doesn't necessarily play by the rules as crime novels go but it doesn't astound either. Will definitely hold your interest for a long weekend though.

Review by

Belinda Bauer's second novel, Darkside, is once again set on Exmoor, and is a fast-paced thriller/crime story. A serial killer is murdering old, defenceless residents of a nursing home in an isolated village. One by one, more people die at the hands of this seemingly indiscriminate killer. The investigation is hampered by the fact that it's winter and the village is cut-off from the outside world. Jonas Holly is the local community police officer, who's wife has MS and provides the 'home-life' angle to the story. And it's this dimension that eventually provides the key to unravelling the mystery. <br /><br />Bauer is a very self-assured writer and I really admire her bravado as a plotter and stylist. The book certainly is a page-turner and it gripped me from the word go. The solution felt tantalisingly near almost all the way through, a bit like trying to recall someone's name that's just on the tip of your tongue. I guess that's the skilful bit though: making the reader doubt their own sense of reality about the story - "it can't be," but then "it must be." I was constantly wrestling with these thoughts most of the way through, and there was a real sense of breathless excitement to reading this book. But with such a closed circle of suspects and, despite appearances, the absence of the grounding elements of the traditional crime novel, the author has nowhere to hide when it comes to delivering the final solution. I did feel somewhat disappointed by the denouement, but as I write this I wonder if that's being a bit unfair. <br /><br />I enjoyed the book - despite its darkness and the central unpleasantness - I found humour in some of the characters. There are plot holes for sure - keep an eye out for the man from EXIT, was he able to teleport perhaps? - but it was an excellent read which lives up to the promise Bauer showed in her first novel. <br /><br /><br/>© Koplowitz 2012

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