As we are leading up to Halloween I decided it was the prime opportunity to ask the Killer Reads team what books they have each recently read that gave them nightmares. Being a group that love thrillers, crime and anything that means you spend the next week leaving the lights on just so you can sleep, they all proceeded to pull at least one book out of their bag that had given them the heebie jeebies.
So we thought we would share them with you so that you, like us, can start preparing your scare-o-meters for the ever looming fright night…
Chosen by Emad Akhtar
Blacklands is a story that unsettled me for a long time – it’s an unusually absorbing and affecting story. This is partly because Blacklands, as Belinda Bauer says in her afterword, ‘was never intended to be a crime novel’. It began as a way of exploring ‘the impact of crimes such as Avery’s, how they affect people for years, lifetimes – maybe even generations’.
FRIDAY 8th OCTOBER: Belinda Bauer has won the CWA Gold Dagger for her novel Blacklands published by Corgi.
She received the award at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010, hosted by Marcus Brigstocke and to be broadcast on ITV3 tomorrow (12 October) at 9pm.
Bauer’s début is a chillingly psychological novel that is described as reminiscent of Minette Walters and Barbara Vine.
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 . . .
Read all about the event and Belinda’s reaction here