Most helpful positive review
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Gruesome but gripping
on 31 March 2011
Having loved SJ Bolton's first three novels, which had a psychological/supernatural feel to them, I wasn't sure what I'd make of this one, which from the blurb seemed to be more of a straightforward crime/police procedural thriller. However, it soon becomes evident that Lacey Flint is not a straightforward police officer.
We first meet Lacey when she returns to her car after interviewing a witness to find a dying woman sprawled across it. She quickly secures herself a place on the team investigating the murder, and pretty soon they realise they've got a sadistic serial killer on their hands who seems to be mimicking the crimes of Jack the Ripper (Lacey's favourite "historical character"). The murders are brutal and Bolton doesn't spare any of the gruesome and chilling details, making for some very uncomfortable reading at times.
Lacey is a complex and enigmatic creation, and her dark side comes to the fore very early on in the book. She tells the story in the first person and, as with all good unreliable narrators, the reader is never sure whose side she's on and what to make of her version of events. There are some very clever twists and turns and a cliffhanger at the end of virtually every chapter, which meant that I just had to turn the page and keep on reading. The denouement is frantic (if a little far-fetched) and it isn't until the last few pages that the 'real' Lacey Flint is finally revealed.
I'm not sure if I'd prefer SJ Bolton to carry on with this sort of crime fiction or return to the more atmospheric/brooding style of her first three books, but I do know that whatever she comes up with I'll be reading it.