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Summary

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018 

On a stifling summer's day, 11-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. 'Jack's in charge,' she said. 'I won't be long.' But she never comes back. 

Three years later, mum-to-be Catherine wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note that says: 'I could have killed you'.

Meanwhile Jack is still in charge - of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they're alone in the house, and - quite suddenly - of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother. But the truth can be a dangerous thing....

©2018 Belinda Bauer (P)2018 Isis Publishing Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Belinda's words sound as well as they read

Andrew Wincott brings Belinda Bauer's book alive with an under played dramatic narration of this wonderful story.
Set mostly in the West Country the voices fit all the characters so well. I love the delivery that allows words resonate and the humour is so well written that you'll end up laughing out loud.

This is a terrific story about a family let down by the police and social services.

There are few writers that make the process of enjoying a book so much fun.
Belinda Bauer is one such author who does not seem to put a word out of place and in the writing she weaves into her novels she creates a reality that you enjoy and become absorbed within.
Since her impressive debut in Blacklands she has captured the voice of young children with an accomplished ease. Her characters seem ready formed on the page, in a turn of phrase, or an embarrassing situation. She writes about the darkest thoughts and actions yet however chilling these events leave you, the author’s natural humour and comic observations lift the piece.
Snap is a really bleak novel told in its starkest form. But this is not how a Belinda Bauer chooses to write it. She unpicks her ideas and the chronological account and reassembles it in thrilling and compelling read.
So Snap is all about a missing pregnant mother and a married woman terrified by a burglar who threatens her in a very personal way. There are many links with this two narratives and how they hold together and form part of the same unsolved crime is what makes Snap a standout novel.
Young Jack Bright is traumatised by his mother leaving them on a hard shoulder to get help after their car breaks down, only to never be seen again. To have faith in his Father, but who later abandons him and his two sisters, further torments Jack. Thereafter, Jack from the age of 11 becomes the parental figure who does his best to keep the family together and not became separated by social services. His methods and skill is a wonderful story in itself for his ingenuity and resourcefulness but it is also a damming account of children in need and left to their own devices. That Jack is such a troubled young man is quite frightening but that the author creates in him a figure who demands our goodwill and gets us wanting him to thrive is astonishing as he is a thief and vandal.
Into the mix we have a returning character, John Marvel who is a delight and a comedy classic.
This book is so rich and wholesome you will feel you’ve sampled the finest food in the richest banquet. As I said the links are slowly found tying all this together not always in obvious ways but always with sense of delight as the picture become clearer.
When so many books are in your face with strained relationship and psychological behaviours it is great to have a straight forward idea of what happens if someone just snapped. The fallout is awful and this marvellous story never undermines the pain and the loss. It does try to say there will be those who get swept away and those who barely survive but in Jack we might find an antihero who finally gets justice for his Mum and peace of mind.
Bauer explores also those who could do more and why sometimes truths are buried and lost. We have a wonderful range of police officers who at times seem incompetent or failures but in the end their humanity wins through. Marvel is a riot; call me Ralph is a hoot and Bridge Fencing is a gem.
That Marvel’s reluctance to get involved in solving a 12 month hunt for a Breaking and Entering villain locally named Goldilocks is what finally leads him to a murder investigation is wonderfully written.
A book worth waiting for and a real joy to read and listen to.

There is no better writer in my mind than Belinda Bauer and there is therefore only one book to read just now. In the audio form it is a brilliant listen and it brought my own reading experience alive and real again.
Snap has everything the discerning crime thriller fan expects and loads more besides.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic read

What an excellent read, loved the added humour, well worth the credit recommend to all 🥇

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Included on Man Booker 2018 Longlist

A surprising inclusion on this years longlist but nevertheless an addictive and engaging thriller read. No great twists and surprises yet character development sound and this was one I really looked forward to picking up again. My first by this author and I will be looking out for more by her.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I got drawn in

After the first few chapters I considered returning this audiobook. The characters are a bit cliched and I found parts of the story predictable and frustrating that “the detectives” couldn’t seem to work out something that was blindingly obvious. I did however get drawn in and finished it within a week. On the whole I’d say it was enjoyable enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Thrilling book

This was my first Belinda Bauer and I raced through it! Loved the story and the characters. The audio kept cutting abruptly towards the end and repeating sentences but overall was good.

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Clever title

The story kept me away from other jobs. From the start of the story, I was hooked onto listening more or less constantly. I can't say if the writing is good because I was too engrossed in what was happening. Listening was so good that I felt I was there with characters described in the book and in my judgment, this is characteristic of good writing. I don't know if this book is going to win The Booker Prize 2018, but I will certainly recommend it to my friends. Only at the end I realised how clever the title was.
Reading performance was excellent.

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Good but not as good as expected...

There’s no doubt that Belinda Bauer is a gifted crime writer, but as this book is long listed for the Man Booker prize I was expecting something a lot more nuanced, thoughtful and literary. The first quarter certainly delivers some of that... but then it quickly devolves into the usual crime thriller, with plot holes you could drive an airbus through and stock characters straight out of central casting. Definitely worth a read, but Booker prize worthy? The jury’s our for me on that one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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fantastic book

loved this book great story great characters loved the narrator if I could give it 10 I would

1 of 2 people found this review helpful