So, it’s been a long, long number of years awaiting a new Diane Setterfield novel. 7 years to be exact. The Thirteenth Tale was a favoured book for me for certain. Now, thanks once again to Random House Canada, I have been awarded her latest and much anticipated Bellman & Black. Just in time for some hauntingly great reading!
There is a quick, quick book trailer here for you to view which gives only slight insight as to what Bellman & Black is about. The Rook is a featured character (made obvious by this trailer), and her description of them is pure pleasure for the reader’s eyes.
Setterfield is not disappointing me so far as she writes with great beauty and description but none of it over-done or superfluous in any way. For example, Setterfield’s Rook:
“A rook’s feathers can shimmer with dazzling peacock colours yet factually speaking thee is no blue or purple or green pigment in a rook. Satin black on his back and head, on his front and towards his legs his blackness softens and deepens to velvet black….His black feathers are capable of producing an entrancing optical effect….He captures the light, splits it, absorbs some and radiates the rest in a delightful demonstration of optics, showing you the truth about light that your own poor eyes cannot see.”
As a boy, William Bellman commits one small cruel act that appears to have unforseen 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. (dianesetterfield.com)