Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Review: Bellman & Black: A Ghost Story , by Diane Setterfield

Bellman & Black: A Ghost StoryBellman & Black: A Ghost Story by Diane Setterfield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an ebook ARC from Netgalley.

This is not my typical book, but I loved it!

Book Description from Goodreads:

As a boy, William Bellman commits one small, cruel act: killing a bird with his slingshot. Little does he know the unforeseen and terrible consequences of the deed, which is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to be a man blessed by fortune—until tragedy strikes and the stranger in black comes. Then he starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, William enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business. And Bellman & Black is born!

Like I said above, I loved this novel!

It took me a few chapters to get into this book.  The writing style was different than what I am typically read but once I got used to the style I couldn't put the book down.  I'm not big on ghost stories, but this one seemed more Gothic than ghost. I enjoyed the mysterious aspects of the story, it's what saved this book from being one I didn't finish.

William seemed to have made the best of the life fate had handed to him. He was a workaholic but still managed to be a man adored by his family. When events lead to him almost losing everything, William struck a deal that he doesn't even fully remember making, this is when I fell in love with the book.  Things were already slightly mysterious, but the way his life changes after he strikes a deal with Mr. Black was intriguing. Williams brilliant mind and extreme work ethic are his best tools and he uses them to build an empire of death in London.  He builds his empire on helping people bury and honor their dead, think your local funeral home on crack. The way his life slowly spirals out of control reminds me of an Edgar Allen Poe story; psychological, suspenseful, mysterious.

I highly recommend this novel for those who love mysteries and suspense novels and those fans of Poe who are looking for something new to read.

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