Cover Image: Snap


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Member Reviews

Imagine, being an eleven year old and having your mother...poof...disappear.  We've all experienced a car breaking down and that is what puts Jack into this situation.  The difference?  He's in charge of his two sisters.

Years pass and Jack is now fifteen and still taking care of his family.  All while he's stays under the radar, not attracting social services.  Because his mother truly disappeared on that fateful day years ago.

Enter a burglar aptly called Goldilocks, who loves sleeping in the beds of the houses he burglarizes.  How are the two connected?  Will Jack ever find his mother, or possibly her killer?
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Unfortunately I didn’t love this one as much as I was hoping to. I liked the idea behind it and the storyline, but it fell flat for me. I can see why some people love this one, but it just wasn’t for me. However I am looking forward to reading more from Belinda Bauer in the future.
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Snap by Belinda Bauer has got to be one of the most underrated books out there. This plot is reviting, one to rival No Exit by Taylor Adams. This has a bit of a slow start, but that's just setting the stage. Stick with it and hang on, because it's about to take you for a thrill!
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Bauer has now become one of my got to crime novelists. Her writing is beautiful, her characters arE incredibly well drawn, and her plotting is deviously delicious. Snap is no different. It’s hard to describe what the story is about - murder, revenge childhood loss. All I can say is it’s fascinating and different from any other crime fiction out there. Highly recommended.
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A story full of drama and secrets to uncover!

The Bright Family. When our story starts, children Jack, Joy and Merry are on a car journey with their mum when their car breaks down on the M5. Eileen leaves the children in the car as she walks to the emergency phone… but she never comes back. After waiting an hour, the children decide to follow her but when they get to the phone, ‘the orange receiver was dangling from the box’…

Three Years Later: Eileen Bright has never been found and, suffering unbearable grief, her husband went out one day for milk and never came back. Jack is fourteen years old and angry. For two years, he has kept the children together, fed them and kept them safe and hidden from the authorities in a house where his sister’s hoarding is out of control. His methods are unconventional and not necessarily legal… Every night, he dreams of finding his mum.

The While Family: Catherine is pregnant. Very pregnant. She and her husband Adam can’t wait to meet their new little bundle of joy. One night when Adam is away, Catherine wakes, convinced that there is someone in the house. Her waking prompts the intruder to leave before he is seen, but he leaves behind a knife and a note. Catherine knows she should call the police, but her decision not to is to have far-reaching consequences…

The Police: DCI Marvel misses the Met and even more than that, urban London. Sergeant Reynolds – IQ 138 – and Marvel do not see eye to eye. Their policing could not be more different – Reynolds does everything ‘by the book’. Marvel believes that sometimes you have to bend the rules to succeed. They are brought together to solve the ‘Goldilocks’ case – a series of more than a hundred burglaries – which will bring them in the path of both the While and Bright families.

“I only snapped once. I’d never do it again.”

I would like to thank both Net Galley and Grove Atlantic for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Jack is left to tend to his little sisters while his mother goes to get help but their mother doesn’t come back. Three years have passed and Jack is still in charge of his sisters trying to keep them together which is increasingly getting more difficult as neighbors start to pay attention and he’s caught making bad decisions. Still he thinks that he may be on to finally finding out what happened to his mom.

DCI John Marvel, is not a team player but he is effective. He is determined to catch the burglar who is involved in home invasions. I think what I particularly liked about these book was that sometimes the results were not due to effective police work but just coincidences.

It is this, that I think sets this story apart from other typical mystery novels. I felt like felt more real and makes you wonder how often solving a crime is just a matter of a lucky break.

A mystery I highly recommend.
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This book was amazing! It has all the workings of a very suspenseful thriller but also a heart wrenching story of three siblings whom are willing to never lose each other as they had lost their mother. Not only was this a nail biting page turning, it also offered a sort of dark humour between characters. It was a very enriching experience to be able to see how one snap decision could change many different lives. I would give this book a 4 star rating. It was well written and kept me on edge. The few things that kept me from a 5 star review was, though very well written, it seemed to start off slow but built momentum as it went on. I also did not favor so many coincidental situations that each character seemed to get into. Overall, I would most definitely recommend this read to anyone who loves a thrilling crime mystery. It would not be a regrettable "Snap" decision to crack this great novel open.
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This book was a slow and steady read, with plenty of twists and turns along the way! I enjoyed the book thoroughly and can't wait to read more of this talented author.
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enthralling, atmospheric, chilling, unsettling, and eye-opening!

   Erin Kelly has crafted a compelling story that starts with a whisper and ends with a shout. This is a slow burner that becomes more and more riveting as the story progresses. The story was cleverly constructed, Creating a constant air of mystery, and a continuous need to know. A story about living a life always fearing that the truth will come out. An institution that meant different things to different people. A real and raw look at Women and mental health throughout history.

   The story jumps around in time and is told from multiple perspectives. The book opens with Marianne returning home to help care for her ailing mother. Her loving husband has a surprise for her, A luxury apartment to stay in rather than camping out on her sister’s couch. The thing is the apartment is located in a renovated mental hospital, The place where all Mariann’s secrets are buried. Home also comes with the risk of running into her ex-boyfriend Jessie who is still bitter and blames her for the past. The story then bounces back in time to 1988 where we learn what Marianne and Jessie were up to. Then we jump back even further to 1958 where we meet a young Helen. I felt structuring the story this way was tremendously impactful. We got to meet the characters and then we got to understand why they were the way they were and what their motivations were.

   I found all these characters compelling, but I have to admit I found Helen’s story the most intriguing. The treatment of women who did not conform in the 1950s and earlier, in both the UK and the US was disgusting and disturbing. You really got to know and understand all these characters perspectives. They all wanted different things for different reasons and a lot of these things were conflicting, but I completely understood where each of them was coming from. Didn’t always agree with their actions, but I understood their motivations.

   This was an extremely well done, genre defying book that I won’t soon forget!

🎧🎧🎧 this audiobook was narrated by three different narrator’s. Giving each character their own unique voice. I thought each narrator did a really good job.  I need to give major props to whoever narrated Marianne she did an amazing Jessie voice. I think the English accents especially the regional accents really added to the overall atmosphere of this book.

*** many thanks to Minotaur Books and MacMillan Audio for my copy of this book ***
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An excellent read! Snap starts out with a gripping portrayal of three children left in their stalled car by their pregnant mother who has gone to call for help.  Eleven year old Jack has been left in charge of his two younger sisters, a responsibility he continues to hold for the years following because their mother never returns and their father tries to drown himself in a bottle.  Young Jack turns to breaking into homes whose owners are on vacation, also eating their food and sleeping in their beds, earning himself the sobriquet of the Goldilocks burglar.

DCI John Marvel, involved in an unfortunate incident as head of London homicide has temporarily been transferred to Somerset, and is now in charge of a rural burglary unit trying to apprehend the Goldilocks burglar.  He hopes however to eventually recover his position in London.  There's no surprise when Jack's and Marvel's worlds collide, but it does make for an enjoyable read!

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title. #Snap #NetGalley
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Thank you #NetGalley for an advanced copy of #Snap!

I decided to read this book after I saw it listed as one of the most anticipated thrillers... boy was that list wrong! For me, this book was so incredibly slow, the characters for the most part were very unlikeable, and the entire plot was so predictable... everything I assumed in regards to “who is Goldilocks” and “who killed Jack’s mom, Eileen Bright” was exactly right which left no suspense or shocking twist, which is my favorite part of a book. To be honest, if I wasn’t 60% done with the book I would’ve stopped reading. The highlight of this book for me was 5 year old Merry who was barely a main character in the book!
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With it having been longlisted for the 2018 iteration of the Man Booker, going into this one I already had extraordinarily high expectations and honestly, it very immediately and very clearly disappointed them. I mean, there was already contention about its appointment to the list; the fact that it was genre fiction as opposed to plain ol’literary fiction. But, the fact of the matter is that, the book’s inclusion in the longlist didn’t even really factor into my final thoughts. Because, it is not just a not-very-good Man Booker book, it is plainly just not even a good mystery/thriller.
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3.5 stars. <i>Snap</i> is a blend of psychological thriller and police procedural, that ends up working out pretty well. It starts with several seemingly unrelated stories and slowly brings them together into one cohesive whole. There aren't a lot of big twists, but it manages to slowly build tension throughout. And I do mean slowly--I didn't really get into it until about a third of the way through, but then I was hooked! We're following a young teen named Jack whose mother died, and who now cares for his two younger sisters, a pregnant woman named Catherine, and several disgruntled police officers--we can tell the stories all relate back to Jack, but the why is elusive until about halfway through the story. 

I liked this book, but didn't love it. But if nothing else, reading it gives you a chance to weigh in on the controversy about whether a crime novel (and in particular this crime novel) deserved to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize. Though I did enjoy it, I don't think I would have picked this book for a major prize, but it was entertaining and I'd recommend it to lovers of crime fiction.
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Belinda Bauer's Snap opens in August 1998, with three kids sitting in a sweltering, broken-down car, waiting for their mother to return from the call box up the road. After more than an hour, the children, ages two to 11, go searching on foot for her, finding only a phone with the receiver dangling by its cord.
Their nightmare continues three years later, when the children are living alone in their house, trying to avoid attracting neighbors' and social services' attention by keeping the lawn mowed and lying about their father. Jack, now just shy of 15, takes care of his siblings by stealing food and other necessities from nearby homes. In one, he makes a chilling discovery that indicates the owner might know what happened to Jack's mother.
Bauer once again delivers a fast-paced, suspenseful, and heartbreaking story laced with extra-dry humor and well-defined characters. Detective Chief Inspector John Marvel returns from The Shut Eye with his grump and thirst for a good murder case intact, though he's been exiled from the Met in London and sent to Somerset to investigate burglaries. Jack and his sisters, Joy and Merry--ironic names--are complex in ways one would expect of traumatized children. Bauer does not tug at readers' heartstrings; she simply shows how harsh life can be for the most vulnerable and youngest among us. The detectives can be a bit slow to pick up on clues, but thriller fans should snap up this one.
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I have had this book on my tbr list for a while but I was two minds whether to read it when it was on the Man booker list, that put me off. However from the first few pages I was hooked! Brilliant premise with lots of twists and turns. Cant wait to read more from Belinda Bauer.
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A while ago I read and loved "The Beautiful Dead", my first Bauer book. When I learnt that she had a new book coming out I was extremely excited about it. I should probably have kept such feelings at bay since  high expectations often lead to disappointment. 

Snap seemed to have been written by Lisa Jewell at an uninspired moment. 

A car breaks down. The driver, a mother of three, leaves the kids in the car to look for a phone box and never comes back. Father becomes too depressed and ends up leaving home. Kids fend for themselves, keeping up the pretence that their folks are still around so that Social Services does not intervene and split them up. 

Meanwhile, some police officer who has appeared in other novels by the author has just been transferred to the Avon and Somerset police force. He is assigned to investigate some Break and Entry cases, which he finds beneath his skill and experience.. 

The book is extremely slow paced, the West Country depiction is very stereotypical and I was gobsmacked to learn that Snap ended up being longlisted for the Booker Prize.
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On a hot summer day in 1998 car trouble caused the pregnant Eileen Bright to leave her three children in a car, just for a few minutes, while she went to call for help. Jack 11, Joy 9 and Merry 2 never saw their mother again. The story then jumps ahead to 2001 and we learn that, since their father abandoned them, the children have been kept alive and together with the aid of Jack's criminal activity. The police in Taunton don't seem like the brightest group, and they never discovered what happened to Eileen. Jack still dreams of her and can't let go of the idea of solving the mystery. Jack is a terrific character - smart, responsible, caring and a quick learner. His sisters are a couple of very eccentric little girls. Also in 2001, Catherine While's husband Adam is away when she encounters an intruder in their home.  He gets away without stealing anything, but he leaves a strange, vaguely threatening note behind and that's not the last time Catherine will hear from him. The Bright and While families eventually intersect. 

While this book fits into the thriller genre, it's not formulaic like so many seem to be these days. Each book that I've read by this author is a standalone and I much prefer that to series. The characters in this book are relatable and feel like unique individuals rather than stereotypes (and that includes the police officers). There's no unreliable narrator and the author didn't feel the need to come up with some contrived twist. This is just a compelling story that held my interest from beginning to end.  And I loved the ending. 

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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Abandoned children waiting in a car for their mother to return with help. Their mother never returns. 3 years later, the young son that was left in charge while waiting for his mother is still in charge, caring for his siblings alone in their house. A dark criminal called Goldilocks is terrorizing the town, and the eldest son starts to unravel clues about who hurt his mother and where she went. Loved it, a dark and emotional book you won’t want to miss!
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AMAZING! Belinda Bauer has done it again!

In 2015 I read the novel “The Shut Eye” and quite fell in love with the curmudgeonly Detective Inspector Marvel. In “Snap” my love affair continues. That is not to say that this is a sequel to the previous novel. Readers can be confident that “Snap” can be read as a stand-alone.

“Dreams died, but the nightmare of reality went on.”

The three abandoned children in the novel tugged at my heartstrings. So traumatized, yet so resilient, each in their own way. Jack, livid with anger. Anger that he feels abandoned – anger that he shoulders WAY too much responsibility. At the tender age of fourteen, Jack valiantly tries to keep the house going, the bills paid etc. so that the social services will not take his sisters away – Jack is plagued with dreams…

Joy, shut away beneath myriad piles of newspapers, quietly mourning how life used to be.
“For the first time, Jack felt sorry for her. For the first time he realized that Joy was not crazy – only heartbroken. And for the first time, he wondered if they were the same thing…”

Tiny Merry, full of life in an otherwise lifeless house, stoically loving her pet tortoise. Reading vampire books and mowing the lawn at the tender age of five…

“He couldn’t just abandon her because she’d already been abandoned. Twice. And that made him angriest of all…”

Catherine While, pregnant and so vulnerable, was a favorite character. The reader could empathize with her whilst wishing she needed more of an emotional support system. She seemed so alone… Her fear was palpable.

The police team headed by DCI John Marvel was quirky yet worked well. Slovenly Marvel working with the fastidious Reynolds was a treat to read about. Marvel, with his old-fashioned policing methods based on logic, cunning, and gut instinct. Reynolds with his high IQ score, vanity, and insecurities. DC Elizabeth Rice was the perfect foil for Reynolds. DC Parrot, an older man comfortable in his job and rife with local knowledge, made up the fourth member of the team.

The Somerset/West Country setting really added to my enjoyment of the novel.

The outstanding writing brought the multi-layered plot together seamlessly.

At the risk of sounding gushy, I think Belinda Bauer is brilliant. She writes of serious crimes yet includes enough humour to lighten the narrative. Her characters are fully-rounded and memorable (at times lovable). This wonderful thriller, which begins and ends on the hard shoulder of the M5 motorway was a delight to read. This title will without doubt be included in my list of favourite reads of 2018. 

Highly recommended!
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The story begins with a mother who is pregnant and her 3 children who have found themselves in a broken down car. The mother decides to go for help and tells her 11 year old son, Jack, that he is in charge. Sadly, Jack's mother does not return. Later it is discovered that she has been murdered and the affect on the family is devastating. 

Three years later Jack is scrambling to provide for his family. He is stealing and breaking into homes. We meet a pregnant woman named Caroline and something particularly scary has happened to her. Her home has been broken into. A note is left that is a threat on her life. What's the connection if any?

The characters are so well written in this book. I really connected to them and their fears and hopes. The plot gives you a lot to think about. My heart especially hurt for Jack at times. His anger, resentment, fear, and appetite for vengeance took over his young life. Way too much responsibility and guilt for someone so young. This was heartbreaking at times. 

The book has a very satisfying climax and I thought, "Well played." But, you will have to read it to decide that for yourself. Caroline proved to be very strong and a hero in my opinion. 

This was a very good thriller and I highly recommend it. Many thanks to Transworld Digital and Belinda Bauer for a digital copy thru NetGalley to read and review. 4 Stars!
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