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The Facts of Life and Death

UK Publisher: Bantam Press
US Publisher: Grove Atlantic

‘Call your mother.’

‘What do I say?’

‘Say goodbye.’

This is how it begins.

Lone women terrorized and their helpless mothers forced to watch – in a sick game where only one player knows the rules. And when those rules change, the new game is murder.

Living with her parents in the dank beach community of Limeburn, ten-year-old Ruby Trick has her own fears. Bullies on the school bus, the forest crowding her house into the sea, and the threat of divorce.
Helping her daddy catch the killer may be the key to keeping him close.
As long as the killer doesn’t catch her first.


‘….she writes so beautifully, plots so cleverly and exhibits a razor-sharp understanding of people and places’ – Jessica Mann, Literary Review

‘As for crime, it’s hard to see past Belinda Bauer’s The Facts of Life and Death, an unsettling, atmospheric journey into darkness’ – Val McDermid, Scotsman end of year round up.

‘There’s a dizzying quality to her multi-layered narrative that combines bleak humour, cunning misdirection and memorable characters… As well as being utterly chilling, The Facts of Life and Death is a funny, affecting coming-of-age drama that confirms Belinda Bauer’s reputation as our most inventive crime writer’ – Metro

‘Bauer at her best: a psychological thriller narrated by a lonely, overweight little girl called Ruby Trick who lives with the harassed mother she hates, and the drunken, unemployed father she adores, in a fading seaside village called Limeburn… This is a thoroughly unsettling novel, whose depiction of life in a dank, forgotten backwater marks Bauer out as the true heir to the great Ruth Rendell.’ – Mail on Sunday (Thriller of the week)

‘This gripping, unsettling tale blends a murder mystery with a blackly comic look at the gradual erosion of ‘normal’ family life. You won’t want to put it down.’ – Bella Magazine

‘The novel lingers in the mind like an unwelcome guest, albeit one with a dark sense of humour…powerful, compelling reading.’ – Andrew Taylor, Spectator

‘A thoroughly unsettling novel, which marks Belinda Bauer out as the true heir to Ruth Rendell.’ – Mail on Sunday

“…another mini-masterpiece, the story of bullied ten-year-old Ruby Trick… Bauer is brilliant at writing children and she gets right into Ruby’s heart and soul.” – RadioTimes

Online Reviews

“This is a bleak thriller but that does not make it depressing, far from it. It is a very different sort of book and not your conventional thriller or serial killer novel and because it did not fit a nice pigeon hole is the reason I really enjoyed the book.” – Josbookjourney.wordpress

“Crime is the most dramatic of transgressions and takes a reader, and the writer, to a more exciting and dangerous...