The figurative language of Belinda Bauer

Reading time: About 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of similes from Belinda Bauer….

I didn’t used to read many mysteries, but the Belinda Bauer book, Snap, was a gift from a friend. I raced through it, enjoying the plot-rich elements.

Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa and now lives in Wales. She worked as a journalist and a screenwriter before starting to write books.

Her debut novel, Blacklands, earned her 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. Snap, which was her eighth novel, was long-listed for the Man Booker prize.

This book also carried the added twist of the plot being told from the view of the murder victim’s young son. I agree with the critics who said that Bauer has a superb eye for the life of children.

She also used some fine figurative language. Here are my favourite examples:

  • It was so hot in the car that the seats smelled as though they were melting.
  • The windows were down, but no air moved; only small bugs whirred, with a sound like dry paper.
  • The newspapers came through the door every morning in a series of thuds, like dead birds falling out of the sky and on to the mat.
  • Jack Bright’s eyes were narrow as a smoker’s and pale grey, as if all the colour had been cried out of them.
  • Merry had grown into a wan, pinched-looking child, with her brother’s pale eyes and hair the colour of smog.
  • He also disliked facial hair, and Stourbridge had a ridiculously bushy joke-shop moustache.
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