EXCERPT: In the front bedroom an old man was leaning out of a bed by the window, trying to reach a walking stick that had apparently fallen on to the wooden floor. He propped himself on an elbow, glared at Felix and grumbled:
‘You took your time!’
Took in the gaunt grey face, the frail body, the bedside table filled with pills . . .
Then he stepped backwards out of the room and pulled the door smartly shut behind him.
Amanda was at his shoulder now. ‘What is it?’ she said, but Felix couldn’t speak because all the words he’d ever known seemed to be whirling round inside his skull like bingo balls.
The ones he needed finally dropped slowly from his numb lips.
‘We killed the wrong man.’
ABOUT ‘EXIT’: IT WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE MURDER …Pensioner Felix Pink is about to find out that it’s never too late … for life to go horribly wrong.
When Felix lets himself in to Number 3 Black Lane, he’s there to perform an act of kindness and charity: to keep a dying man company as he takes his final breath … But just fifteen minutes later Felix is on the run from the police – after making the biggest mistake of his life.
Now his routine world is turned upside down as he tries to discover what went wrong, while staying one step ahead of the law.
MY THOUGHTS: Belinda Bauer’s books always take me by surprise. Exit starts out as a gentle slow burn then veers off in directions I could never have foreseen.
I love Bauer’s characters . . . they just jump right off the page, they are so realistic. The main two characters are Felix, a seventy-five year old widower who became an Exiteer after his son died of cancer, then his wife of dementia. The second main character is policeman Calvin Bridge who suffers from a lack of confidence, exacerbated by his wife leaving him. Neither of these characters have gotten over their losses, and both are vulnerable.
Bauer injects the subject of assisted dying with wit and humour, but doesn’t lessen the gravity of the subject at all. She cleverly presents both sides of the argument wrapped up in a heartrending and heartwarming story that could almost be called a comedy of errors. I both laughed and cried during this read.
This is one of those stories that grew on me as I read and became embroiled in the characters lives. Bauer has written an entertaining piece of crime fiction that also poses a moral dilemma.
#contemporaryfiction #crime #mystery
THE AUTHOR: Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa. She has worked as a journalist and screenwriter, and now lives in Wales.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Bantam Press, for providing a digital ARC of Exit by Belinda Bauer for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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