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Publisher's Summary

As a boy, William Bellman commits one small cruel act that appears to have unforeseen and terrible consequences. The killing of a rook with his catapult is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games.
And by the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, he seems indeed, to be a man blessed by fortune. Until tragedy strikes, and the stranger in black comes, and William Bellman starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed.
Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, he enters into a bargain. A rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business. And Bellman & Black is born.
©2013 Diane Setterfield (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By the typist on 01-11-14

Save your credit!

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I've no idea who is going to like this book, after writing such an audacious debut novel it can only be read as a painfully dull follow up.

What was most disappointing about Diane Setterfield’s story?

It was told as some sort of parable, very basic and limited - no layering, no complexity. What you read is what you get. A moralistic tale with an achingly dull story at the heart of it.

Would you be willing to try another one of Daniel Philpott’s performances?

No, the narrator had none of the gravitas that might have lifted this dirge to something with a bit more about it.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I stuck with it, so maybe it's not so bad. But then again, I think I only kept listening because I was sure at some point it would become as gripping as her last book. It never did.

Any additional comments?

Save your credit and listen to the unanimously mediocre reviews.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Nibor on 05-28-16

What's with the obsession with death??

What would have made Bellman & Black better?

Seemed interesting at first, but why so much death everywhere? Eventually I became inured to it, and stopped caring. Deeply disappointing as "The Thirteenth Tale" was so good.

Has Bellman & Black put you off other books in this genre?


Would you listen to another book narrated by Daniel Philpott?


If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Bellman & Black?

Most of the second half.

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