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 ...
A chilling psychological debut, Blacklands introduces an extraordinary new author reminiscent of the best of Minette Walters and Barbara Vine.
Winner of CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction 2010.
Bauer's ability to shift between the perspective of a 12-year-old boy and a middle-age serial killer is brilliant and frightening all at once. . . . [her] debut novel promises to be the first of many good reads."The Post and Courier" (Charleston, SC)
Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa. She has worked as a journalist and screenwriter and her script The Locker Room earned her the Carl Foreman/Bafta Award for Young British Screenwriters. Belinda lives in Wales and is currently working on her second novel.