From the renowned author of The Thirteenth Tale, Setterfield's latest novel Bellman & Black is the story of William Bellman. At 10 years old, he accepts his friends' dare to kill a rook resting in a far away tree. Regrettably, Will kills the bird with his slingshot. He immediately feels remorse but quickly forgets the small but cruel act.
Fast-forwarding into the future, Will marries, has a family and becomes a successful businessman. As friends and acquaintances die one by one, Will notices a stranger dressed in black attending their funerals. Each time, the stranger acknowledges Will with a nod or a smile before he disappears -- and Will is the only one who sees him. Tragedy then strikes Will's family and at his weakest moment, Will reaches out to the man in black and makes a deal to change his life.
This book made me stop and think about Will's priorities in life. Driven to succeed, he was often absent from his family and realized what he was missing a little too late. Folklore is woven in-between several chapters, adding a bit of fantasy and mystery. This is a beautifully written book and perfect if you are looking for a thoughtful, different read.
Recommended by Pam Wiseman