Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Book Review: Snap by Belinda Bauer

About the Book


On a stifling summer's day, eleven-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 doesn't come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

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 . . 

My Thoughts

“One bad choice. And so many consequences”

This line is spoken by one character in Belinda Bauer’s Snap but it easily holds true for just about every character we meet. The worst part is, that the choices some characters make affect others more than they do themselves. And it’s such choices that finds a young Jack Bright looking after his even younger siblings after a tragedy tears the family apart.

I found the book highly engaging once the seemingly random characters crossed paths and their connections were revealed. I thought the author did really well in dropping some surprise revelations that I did not see coming. I found the book well paced for the most part, but I felt the ending was somewhat rushed and incomplete for my liking. The ‘who’ we learn about early on, but the ‘why’ is barely a blip on the radar.  

There’s a scattering of cynical observations throughout the book from various characters which I found amusing, and a bit of relief from what is a tough book to read at times given the sheer weight of responsibilities being carried by a young boy.  DCI Marvel and DS Reynolds were an interesting pairing. Their demeanour and attitudes are polar opposites and their interactions were entertaining to read. 

The standout character for me though, was Jack. He may have been one of the youngest, but he is the one that learned to bend. He did not snap.  

About the Author

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, an award that was presented to her by Sidney Poitier. She was a runner-up in the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition for "Mysterious Ways," about a girl stranded on a desert island with 30,000 Bibles. Belinda now lives in Wales.

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