Author: Belinda Bauer
Published by: Atlantic Monthly Press on Feb. 2, 2021
Genres: Dark Comedy, Mystery/Thriller
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Publishers Group Canada
Book Rating: 10/10
Belinda Bauer is “Britain’s most original crime writer” (Crime Scene), one of the few authors in the genre to be longlisted for the Man Booker prize. Now she returns with a heart-pounding, heartbreaking, and often hilarious new crime novel in which it’s never too late for life to go fatally wrong.
Felix Pink is retired. Widowed for more than a decade, a painfully literal thinker, he has led a life of routine and is, not unhappily, waiting to die a hopefully boring death. He occupies himself volunteering as an Exiteer–someone who sits with terminally ill people as they die by suicide, assisting with logistics and lending moral support, then removing the evidence so that family and friends are not implicated in the death. 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 whether what went wrong was a simple mistake–or deliberate. Murder.
Belinda Bauer continues to redefine the boundaries of crime fiction, with a novel that is part murder mystery, part coming-of-old-age story–however short that future may be. With the compassion and dark humor of Jonas Jonasson and the twisted thriller plotting of Rear Window, Exit is a novel readers will not soon forget.
Clever, darkly comedic, and touching!
Exit is a twisty, mischievous tale that takes you on a journey into the lives of an elderly widow who likes to help people pass peacefully, a neighbour with good intentions, an unscrupulous loan shark, an accidental victim, a slovenly cleaner, and a police office determined to keep his family full of misfits a secret.
The prose is tight and witty. The characterization is spot on with a whole slew of characters who are eccentric, sharp-witted, and endearing. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine into an irresistibly thrilling tale of deception, compassion, manipulation, moral dilemmas, drama, tragedy, skewed perception, oddball shenanigans, slapstick moments, and unlikely friendships.
Overall, Exit is a fresh, edgy, intricate tale by Bauer that was so much better than I ever expected. It thoroughly entertained me, and I absolutely loved it.
This novel is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.