Snap by Belinda Bauer

Snap - Belinda Bauer

I read this a few weeks ago and was so busy what with going away that I didn’t find time to review it. Even though I really enjoyed it, my memory is failing in regards to the finer points, but I’ll try my best to write a competent review.

 

Snap is written in the style of third-person multiple, something that seems to be gaining in popularity. It gives the reader more as we’re privy to multiple characters thoughts, but it can sometimes be jarring if done incorrectly. Luckily here, though, it was very well done.

 

The story starts off with Jack, an eleven-year-old boy who, along with his 2 sisters, are awaiting the return of their mother, who’s off to get help due to car trouble. They’ve been left inside their vehicle, but quickly get antsy when she doesn’t return and disembark in order to go and find her. They eventually reach an emergency phone, the receiver dangling from the hook, and never see her again. Soon enough she’s found dead. That isn’t a spoiler, it happens fairly early on.

 

We then meet Catherine, an expectant mother who’s been left alone while her husband travels for work. She hears a disturbance in her home and soon after finds a note along with a knife, the note stating: I could have killed you.

 

Soon after we meet the local police who are joined by a detective (?) who’s been recently moved between forces and is now a member of the team in an area far from anything of major note in England.

 

The chapters consistently move between these groups, with a focus on Jack, who is still determined to find his mothers killer. During this time he indulges in a life of crime in order to care for his sisters and himself as they’ve been abandoned by their father, who’s swamped by grief. It was quite a convoluted plot, but it all came together well. I didn’t know how it would, but it did.

 

One of things I enjoyed most was the way in which Bauer formed her characters. She added personality traits that, however strange, worked. I didn’t particularly warm to any of them, but I could always see the underlying reason why they were the way they were.

 

The pacing was excellent, enough being given away when needed, with enough character-development, as well.

 

I’m still very surprised this is part of the Booker longlist (or is it shortlist?), but it’s a worthy contender, even if I didn’t think it deserved the full five stars. It’s got me quite into the crime genre, just in time for bingo!