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4.6 out of 5 stars167
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 May 2013
I first came discovered SJ Bolton from a recommendation for " Dead Scared" in Good Housekeeping magazine last year. How fortuitous was that casual perusal of a magazine at the hairdressers, as I have now read all of her books, albeit in the wrong order! I eagerly awaited the release of Like This, For Ever and I wasn't disappointed; definitely up to scratch. Being a romantic at heart, I can't wait for the next book and the progression ( hopefully) of the Flint/Joesbury relationship. I have found the conclusion of all her books incredibly exciting and never has the phrase "page turner" been more applicable.
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on 20 April 2013
I can't resist new books, but that means I have to go back to the beginning of the series - and I'll be doing that with this one!
D.I. Dana Tulloch is leading the investigation by Lewisham's Major Investigation Team into the disappearance of five young boys aged between eight and eleven. Two bodies have been found so far, by the Thames. Then the twins are found - like the others their bodies have been drained of blood but otherwise unharmed. A profiler works with the police team, and there are some suspicions that the killer could be a woman.
Detective Lacey Flint is on sick leave, but can't help herself becoming involved in the investigation taking place so near where she lives. Also fascinated is eleven-year-old Barney, her neighbour, who wonders why his dad is always out of the house when the boys go missing. One contributor to the Facebook page seems to know too much about the latest developments in the case.
I couldn't put this down, and suspected all the main characters (and several minor ones) during the course of the story. Though I don't know London well I felt very familiar with the riverside areas by the end of the story, and can add this to the geographical knowledge gained through my love of crime fiction: Edinburgh, Glasgow, South-East Scotland, Yorkshire, Nottingham, the West Country and even Denmark and Sweden!
Definitely five stars - and as this is the fourth of the books featuring Lacey Flint and her team I have three books to read as soon as I can!
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on 1 June 2013
S J Boltons first books were each totally different while being equally compelling which is why I have headed this 'originalty'. Even though here recent books have the same characters the story lines are so different and retain that originality. They are also however dealing with what are current concern in real life and this gives a sharp edge to the story line and peoples personal dilemas. Altogether a gripping formula beatifully constructed. (perhaps that should be my heading)
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on 6 October 2014
3.5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publishers and this is my honest opinion of the book.

Young boys are going missing around London, their bodies being found days later, the latest, twins, found on a beach laid peacefully next to each other. The police have little to go on, and what they do know is being hampered by interfering TV experts and a crazed contributor to Facebook. Twelve year old Barney thinks that he knows what is happening, and who the killer is. The thought is almost to painful to bear, hiding it from everyone, including next door neighbour Lacey Flint.

This is the third outing for Lacey Flint and we find her still on sick leave following the events in Dead Scared. She is adamant that she will stay out of this investigation but soon finds herself drawn into what is happening. All the while she is fighting her own demons, struggling with what had happened to her previously and her with her feelings for DI Mark Joesbury.

This is more of an ensemble novel, all the main side characters from the first two books in the series are there, getting equal footing with Lacey, and indeed we see more of the development of these characters. The character who gets the most page time seems to be Barney, a boy with special gifts, brought up by his father and searching for the mother he can barely remember.

It took me longer to get into this book than it did Now You See Me and Dead Scared. This may have been because I had read the first two back to back but I don't think I was getting Lacey Flint jaded. I did however find myself flying through the last two hundred pages to the gripping conclusion, the fact that I'd guessed the outcome making it no less gripping.

This has all the things I've come to expect from a Sharon Bolton novel, a darkness to the story, a great cast of characters both old and new, good and bad and once I had got into it, a gripping read. On finishing the last page I went and dug out my copy A Dark and Twisted Tide, the latest in the Lacey Flint series.

NB This book is released under the title Lost in the US
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on 31 March 2014
This is the 3rd major outing for detective Lacey Flint; a character that will grow on the reader and scare them in equal measure. Here she is off sick following possible career ending events in Cambridge - previous novel. Back in London the river Thames flows through this book like a dark and menacing force and something of the dark thriller of book one also resurfaces.
The writing is compact and economical despite being a long book. Sharon Bolton writes her characters well and here demonstrates great skill in capturing a young person's perspective through the eyes of a pre-teenage lad. Poor Barney is a loner and pre-occuppied with searching for his Mother while his world is being turned upside down as a serial killer is active murdering boys of his age. The tension never lets up once the book gets going; you feel despair for the parents and the fear of Barney and his mates who seem helpless to prevent one of their own becoming the next victim. The cleverness of the writing is that Lacey although a Police officer is always on the outside and a degree of mistrust continues among some of her colleagues. This enables Lacey herself even to fall under suspicion as the culprit, but the writing is so good there are credible suspects throughout.
Despite the length this is a quick book to read, short chapters, well paced and character driven. Indeed a real quality of the storytelling is that while lots of material may have been edited in producing the book; Sharon writes whether intentionally or instinctively in such a way that what if left unwritten, unsaid by her characters fills and gives depth to the novel beyond the number of pages.
Happily a new episode is due out in May 2014 which can only add to the standing of this brilliant thriller writer.
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on 13 March 2014
BEWARE!!! Although this is an excellent book as we have come to expect from Ms Bolton, don't make the same mistake I did. I ordered this book thinking it was a new release - the advertising certainly gave that impression - but it is actually the same book as "Like This For Ever" but with a different title, presumably for the American market although this was not mentioned on the website. I now have to go to the trouble of sending it back. Not impressed!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 January 2014
Not many crime thrillers justify close to 500 pages; this one emphatically does.

It is not easy to place in terms of the usual crime fiction headings. It is not really a police procedural, not least because the narrative is driven principally by a young boy. One of the many attractions of this novel is the way in which it features young people in central roles without lapsing into either sentimentality or into stereotypical two-dimensional figures plucked from patronising generalisations about children in current society. Certainly one of the things I found most refreshing about the book is the natural and convincing way in which intelligent and articulate children hold our attention.

It is via the shifting perspectives on events that Sharon Bolton ratchets up the tension. As twist follows twist the suspense builds ever upwards without weakening towards the highly dramatic ending. It is, perhaps, in the nature of a crime melodrama. The sharp, physical actuality caught up in the action centred along the Thames (almost Dickensian in the powerful atmosphere evoked) and the natural dialogue coexist with a spiralling plot that holds effortlessly our willing suspension of disbelief.

All takes place against a network of human relationships that in itself compels our absorbed interest. This is, I believe, the third book in the series and if there is a weakness it is that the character of Lacey remains rather shadowy, largely realised through less than explicit references to her traumatic experience before the events here begin. Nonetheless, this is a minor criticism of a crime novel that is beautifully written and is a compulsive page turner. I shall certainly now read the earlier novels.
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Lacey Flint's third outing shows Bolton at her best - inventive plotting, great characterisation, plenty of humour, much of it black, and a sense of tension that builds throughout to a thrillingly dramatic climax. (I say third outing, but it's really the fourth if you count the short novella If Snow Hadn't Fallen, in which we first met Barney, Lacey's young neighbour.) The book starts with the discovery of the body of twins under Tower Bridge, the most recent victims of a serial killer who steals young boys and cuts their throats. The MIT squad, still led by Dana Tulloch, is getting nowhere fast - these murders don't fall into the normal pattern as there's no sign of a sexual angle. Dana and the squad are already feeling the pressure and it's going to get worse...

Meantime DC Lacey Flint is in a bad way psychologically after her horrific experiences in the last book, Dead Scared, (I'm not surprised - I'm still pretty shaken up over that one myself!) and hasn't yet returned to work. Spending more time at home, she's getting to know young Barney better, and is concerned that Barney seems to be left alone a lot while his dad is working late. But Barney and his friends are more fascinated than frightened by the killings and are following every twist and turn in the investigation on social networking sites.

In this outing, with Lacey being outside the main investigation, we get to know the rest of the team better and the book is much more of an ensemble piece. Lacey is still trying to deny her feelings for DI Joesbury, but he's not planning on giving up on her just yet. Added to the usual characters are Barney and his friends, and Bolton handles them brilliantly - they're completely convincing in their interactions with each other and with the various adults, and add a lot to both the humour and the tension. And when I say tension, I mean nail-biting, spine-tingling, up-till-4 a.m.-because-you-need-to-know-how-it-finishes tension!

One of the things I enjoyed most is that there's an old-fashioned whodunit at the heart of this very contemporary book. Bolton gives us all of the clues and a huge cast of suspects, and then uses her consummate skills in the art of misdirection to keep us guessing. I suspected everyone in turn, many of them twice! But Bolton still managed to keep me on tenterhooks right up to the thrilling end. A great addition to a great series - highly recommended!

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.
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on 2 March 2014
A very readable book, which is the third outing for quirky DC Lacey Flint.

The story is engaging, and well-written, though the 'Hardy-Boys-and-Nancy-Drew' antics of the teeny-bop gang get a bit tedious after a while. However, I realize this is relevant to the plot.

Sharon Bolton paints a vivid and realistic portrait of South London, capturing the social diversity and changing character of the area. The plot trundles along at a comfortable pace - neither too fast to avoid a decent delve into character development, nor too slow to become leaden and tedious. The ending did make me think 'really...?!', but at least it wasn't predictable.

Whilst Mark Joesbury comes across as a bit bland, and Lacey Flint just too weird to fully appeal to the casual reader, DI Dana Tulloch is both interesting and credible. I frequently found myself wishing this was Dana's book rather than Lacey's. There's enough of an insight into her personal life to flesh her out beyond mere investigative policewoman, but her professionalism and strength of character help to drive the narrative.

Overall, a good, contemporary, chic crime novel, with convincing characters and a strong story.
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on 7 May 2013
The only problem I have with books by S. J. Bolton is..........finishing them! I never want them to end because I know I'll have to wait so long for the next one! She never disappoints! Her books are atmospheric, which I think a lot of authors miss the boat on. Wonderful read if you like British authors (wonderful read even if you don't!).
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