Released: (Upcoming) November 5th, 2013.
William Bellman’s life has been like a roller-coaster ride, his success has steadily increased but life’s obstacles always remind him that he’s not in control of the bigger picture. As a boy, Bellman commits one small, cruel act, and he wonders if this has left him with life-long consequences. He’s built a name for himself, and he’s become quite successful, but his success can’t save his wife and children when they all suddenly fall sick. The whole town is suffering from this illness, and Bellman can’t do anything but standby. During the many funerals he’s attended during his life, Bellman always notices a man in black, he’s always lurking, always watching, and no one seems to know who Bellman is talking about. When his youngest daughter lies on her death bed, and Bellman is contemplating suicide, he makes a deal with the man in black.
Bellman and Black is Diane Setterfield’s second novel, her first The Thirteenth Tale was a huge success. I loved The Thirteenth Tale and couldn't wait to read this one as well. Overall, I really enjoyed the story. Bellman is a great character, and readers will be drawn to him. There’s not a lot of action that takes place through the novel, at times it does feel a little slow but I was steadily engaged. Setterfield's writing is eloquent, and very atmospheric.
Bellman and Black is a difficult book to review. I think it’s going to be a book reader's will either love or hate. It really shouldn't be compared to The Thirteenth Tale, because I felt that her debut novel was much more captivating and memorable. I think readers will need to step away from The Thirteenth Tale and give Bellman and Black a chance. Often times, hype or an author’s previous success leads to too many expectations, and readers feel disappointed. I think this could easily happen with Bellman and Black.