Blacklands

Belinda Bauer, Author
Belinda Bauer, Author . Simon & Schuster $23 (221p) ISBN 978-1-4391-4944-7
Reviewed on: 11/16/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-7531-8610-7
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-7531-8611-4
Hardcover - 8 pages - 978-1-4450-0145-6
Hardcover - 7 pages - 978-1-4450-0144-9
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-4450-0146-3
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4391-5759-6
Hardcover - 383 pages - 978-1-4104-2521-8
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4090-9419-7
Paperback - 347 pages - 978-0-552-15884-8
Hardcover - 284 pages - 978-0-593-06294-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-1437-4
Paperback - 221 pages - 978-1-4391-4945-4
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British author Bauer's solid debut focuses on Steven Lamb, an unhappy 12-year-old boy who lives with his mother, grandmother, and five-year-old brother in Shipcolt, Somerset. Steven's grandmother is still haunted by the disappearance and suspected murder of her 11-year-old son, Billy, 19 years earlier. The authorities assume Billy was killed by pedophile Arnold Avery, who was convicted of six counts of murder and is serving a life sentence in Longmoor prison. Determined to find Billy's remains, Steven has been methodically digging up the moor near his house. Frustrated by his lack of progress, he writes a letter to Avery asking for information, and so begins a cat-and-mouse game that will have dire consequences. Bauer creates believable tension within the Lamb household as her characters shoulder enormous psychological burdens, though a somewhat far-fetched climax dilutes the quiet power of the preceding story. (Jan.)

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