Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Book Review: Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

Christmas does not feature in this book at all despite it going on for a lifetime.

Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to have put the whole incident behind him. It was as if he never killed the thing at all. But rooks don’t forget . . .

Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William’s life, his fortunes begin to turn—and the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner. Together, they found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born. 

 This is not the sort of book you read to cheer you up but rather to enjoy misery.  There a lot of death in this book, I would its sort of it main theme. I also I know this get sold as a ghost story but its not really ghosts, more supernatural forces going on involving rooks. I don't maybe it is the ghost of the Rook William killed. I'm just that I wouldn't necessary say it ghost story. Yes, there a recurring strange man in black but he might not be a ghost per say.

The book is separated into three parts. William Bellman's life leading to deal, Bellman's life after it and part III is a tiny thing. I think it works for the book but I don't like how the chapters numbering resets at Part II. Through, that just mean like to know the number of chapters I've actually read of a book. Through out the book there is tadbits about Rooks somewhat corresponding to what going on in the story.

William Bellman is an interesting character, not perpendicularly lovable but do you feel for him. I really liked how well thought the background of characters are and their relationships with each other very rich. Even relationships from before William is born have been thought out.The characterisation was very good, they all felt rather real to me.

Overall, this was very good, creepy book. It will make you teary at times. It just generally interesting book. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars for a parliament of rooks.

P.S. Happy Christmas Losers, I didn't plan to put this up on Christmas. It just happen. At least next year I won't have to worry about the fact that last Wednesday of the year is on Christmas. No, it'll be New Years Eve.

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