After seeing some great reviews for this title, I decided to bump my copy to the top of my reading list, and I’m so glad I did – The Beautiful Dead was a fun and refreshing read.
From the inside cover:
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 . . .
I get excited when a book opens with a murder, it’s a great indicator that this is my kind of read! The tone and pace of this book are set in it’s opening pages and continue throughout the entire book; there wasn’t one moment where the story dropped in enjoyment levels.
Murder is his act, the world is his stage and this serial killer has cast Eve as his leading lady. When I picked up this book, I was anticipating a completely different plot to the one I got, and in its own way, that was refreshing. For Bauer to take this storyline in an unexpected direction immediately caught my interest. This isn’t a “whodunit”, as I had expected, but rather a light-hearted thriller, made enjoyable by its dark humour and suspenseful nature. Once I realised the direction of the story, I just enjoyed it for what it was – no major plot twist, nothing sinister or chilling, but instead, characters that come to life on the page.
If you don’t like your crime too gritty, this maybe the perfect read for you. Yes, there’s lots of murder, kind of a given when a serial killer is involved. However, the murders are gruesome but the detail is not, the violence is not hard to read or chilling in anyway but it fits perfectly with the tone of the book – dark and entertaining. Throughout the read, I didn’t think too deeply about where the story was going, I just enjoyed each page, mainly because Bauer created a great cast of characters.
Eve is a fantastic protagonist, the witty banter between her and Guy, a rival reporter, was thoroughly entertaining. Her relationship with her cameraman, Joe, was lovely, I don’t often hope for a character romance, but here, I was secretly hoping the two became more than just friends. One surprising element of this story was Eve’s personal life, alongside her job, she cares for her dad who suffers from Dementia. These were some of my favourite paragraphs to read because they really allowed me, as the reader, to connect with Eve – to view her as a real person and become a little bit emotional at some of the encounters between her and her father.
Overall, I appreciate the originality of this book, Bauer’s ability to write a book completely different to the one I expected and I have no reservation recommending this book. So, all that’s left to do is close this review with my two favourite quotes:
“Her whole career was built on the bones of the dead and the tears of the bereaved.”
“Humanity enjoys only two states of truth and beauty: the newborn and the corpse…”