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By Diane Setterfield

Bellman & Black is a heart-thumpingly excellent ghost tale, superbly and irresistibly written, its ratcheting rigidity exquisitely calibrated line by means of line. Its hero is William Bellman, who, as a boy of eleven, killed a sparkly black rook with a catapult, and who grew as much as be a person, his neighbours imagine, who "could visit the nice or the bad." And certainly, even though William Bellman's lifestyles initially turns out blessed--he has a contented marriage to a gorgeous girl, turns into father to a brood of vibrant, powerful little ones, and flourishes in business--one through one, humans round him die. And at each one funeral, he's startled to work out a wierd guy in black, smiling at him. before everything, the useless are far-off family members, yet ultimately his personal childrens die, after which his spouse, abandoning just one baby, his favorite, Dora. Unhinged by way of grief, William will get under the influence of alcohol and stumbles to his wife's clean grave--and who will be there ready, however the smiling stranger in black. The stranger has a proposition for William--a mysterious enterprise referred to as "Bellman & Black" . . .

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Bloomsbury Publishing, London, Berlin and New York First published in Great Britain in 2008 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 36 Soho Square, London, W1D 3QY This electronic edition published in April 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Text copyright © Chris Priestley 2009 Illustrations copyright © David Roberts 2009 The moral rights of the author and illustrator have been asserted All rights reserved You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this publication (or any part of it) in any form, or by any means (including without limitation electronic, digital, optical, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Bloomsbury Publishing, London, Berlin and New York First published in Great Britain in 2008 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 36 Soho Square, London, W1D 3QY This electronic edition published in April 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Text copyright © Chris Priestley 2009 Illustrations copyright © David Roberts 2009 The moral rights of the author and illustrator have been asserted All rights reserved You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this publication (or any part of it) in any form, or by any means (including without limitation electronic, digital, optical, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Bloomsbury Publishing, London, Berlin and New York First published in Great Britain in 2008 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 36 Soho Square, London, W1D 3QY This electronic edition published in April 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Text copyright © Chris Priestley 2009 Illustrations copyright © David Roberts 2009 The moral rights of the author and illustrator have been asserted All rights reserved You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this publication (or any part of it) in any form, or by any means (including without limitation electronic, digital, optical, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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