Exit – Belinda Bauer

Meet Felix Pink. The most unlikely murderer you’ll ever have the good fortune to spend time with.

When Felix lets himself in to Number 3 Black Lane, he’s there to perform an act of 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 world is turned upside down as he must find out if he’s really to blame, or if something much more sinister is at play. All while staying one shaky step ahead of the law.

‘Fresh, funny, flawless. The best crime novel you’ll read this year.’
Clare Mackintosh

‘Bauer’s judgement of tone is perfect throughout a captivating whodunnit that’s often hilarious . . . beady-eyed yet tender, it resembles a collaboration between Agatha Christie and Muriel Spark.’
Sunday Times

Book Info: Print length: 326 pages. Publisher: Transworld Digital. Publication Date: 21 Jan 2021

Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa and now lives in Wales. She worked as a journalist and a screenwriter before finally writing a book to appease her nagging mother. With her debut, Blacklands, Belinda was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year. She went on to win the CWA Dagger in the Library for her body of work in 2013. Her fourth novel Rubbernecker was voted 2014 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. In 2018 her eighth novel, Snap, was longlisted for the Man Booker prize. Her books have been translated into 21 languages. She has also written the thriller High Rollers under the pen-name Jack Bowman.

My Review:

Having read and loved Snap and Rubbernecker, I knew that I would enjoy Exit, Belinda’s latest standalone crime novel, but what I forgot was how much I enjoy her wonderful writing and unique storylines.

Exit is a clever and original crime thriller about Felix Pink, a 75 year old widow who works as an Exiteer, having nursed his wife through dementia until her death. The Exiteers are a small group of volunteers who witness the death of those terminally ill who have chosen to end their suffering through assisted suicide. The Exiteers do not assist in the act, they just oversee it and stay with the sufferer until they pass.

Felix cares about his work and his “clients” ensuring their passing is peaceful and dignified. He is professional, careful and takes his responsibilities very seriously.

As the Exiteers always work in pairs, Felix is paired with a new recruit, a young woman called Amanda and they travel to the home of an elderly man with terminal cancer. Everything seems to be in order, the disclaimer has been signed, the Will is prepared and all they have to do is watch Charles Cann take his last breath….. however this doesn’t go to plan when Amanda breaks protocol and chaos ensues.

I don’t want to give anything away in this review so you should definitely read it to find out what happens, but I will say that I absolutely LOVED Felix Pink. It was refreshing to have a senior citizen main character and just proves that not all heroes have to be young, fit and healthy! His life experiences, thoughts and observations were fascinating and moving and I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster following Felix.

I fully admit to having leaky eyes towards the end of the book and whilst the premise of the story is dark, the author deals with the subject matter with sensitivity at all times. The wonderful humour also brings an element of much needed light relief and I would not hesitate in recommending this book.

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