The protagonist, Felix Pink, is one of life’s invisible people. A retired accountant, Felix’s life was as beige as the jacket he wore. He was elderly, alone, and led an unexciting life. All this changed when the wrong person was killed.
Felix is an Exiteer. He and others like him accompany those who wish to take their own lives because of terminal illness or advanced age. He does not want anyone to die alone and his reasons for doing what he does is empathetic and altruistic.
Felix is no dummy. He quickly realizes that there is more going on here than what he first took at face value. Was he set up? Who was meant to die that day? and… more importantly, why?
Meanwhile, DC Calvin Bridge is tasked to work on the murder investigation despite his not normally working as a detective. Calvin is in his late twenties and has no vices other than that he likes to bet on the horses. He comes from a family of criminals and degenerates and keeps this fact a secret from his police co-workers. He is deeply ashamed of his family and wants to separate himself from their reputation. When Calivin meets Felix, he is charmed by him and treats him with the utmost respect.
I have read six of the nine novels Belinda Bauer has written so far and all were great reads. This one was a perfect read – original, engaging and amusing while still retaining the ‘crime’ aspect that we have come to know and love with Bauer’s writing.
I loved Felix Pink. He was a kind, intelligent and morally minded man who only wanted to do what was ‘right’. No stranger to tragedy, he is lonely, a widower with only his little dog Mabel for company, his forays with the Exiteers were really his only social interactions.
His blossoming friendships throughout the novel were entertaining and heart-warming to read. What happens to Felix, and a few other of the characters reads almost like a comedy of errors at times. I chuckled aloud on several occasions.
Told via the points of view of Felix Pink and the detective Calvin Bridge, I was glued to the novel and cheered these characters on throughout the story. I also loved the various dogs and cats that played a part in the book.
Highly recommended to those readers who enjoy a quirky crime caper with liberal does of levity throughout. With a memorable and touching ending, this was… all in all, a great read.
Belinda Bauer shares her thoughts on what spurred her to write “Exit“.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel at my request from Atlantic Monthly Press via NetGalley.
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. For 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. Her fourth novel, Rubbernecker, was voted Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Her eighth novel, Snap, was a Sunday Times bestseller. It was longlisted for the Man Booker prize and voted Crime & Thriller Book of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Her books have been translated into 21 languages.