Dead Scared: Lacey Flint Series, Book 2 Hardcover – 26 Apr 2012
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"S. J. Bolton is changing the face of crime fiction - if you only read one crime novel this year, make it this" (Tess Gerritsen)
"Spine-tingling suspense!" (Lisa Gardner)
"A darling of the crime fiction world, S J Bolton's thriller is terse, unflinching and one you might think twice about reading before bed" (Stylist Magazine)
"Mesmerising" (The Times)
"Treading a fine line between horror and thriller ... seriously rich yet relentlessly disturbing" (Daily Mirror)
Keep telling yourself it's only fiction . . . as you read this sensational thriller. Are you scared yet?See all Product description
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In this outing we find Lacey heading undercover in Cambridge where a spate of suicides has rocked the College. Posing as a student, her brief is to appear fragile and wait to see what happens. With each suicide becoming more violent and creative, Lacey is determined to discover what is going on...despite being told she is not there to investigate, investigate she does. Of course.
What I love about S J Bolton is the way she slowly but surely builds the tension over the course of her books until you can barely breathe - towards the end of this book I was completely lost in the tale, frantically turning pages to get to the end before my heart gave out. I found the ongoing tension between Lacey and Joesbury well written - although just a small note - I hope Ms Bolton doesnt keep the "will they won't they" theme between these characters ongoing for TOO long over the course of the Flint novels because, much as in television shows where they do the same, eventually it can get dull and the reader loses interest. That is for the future - for now, their relationship is still intriguing and because of their separate personalities it makes for a good "sub" plot. I was also extremely pleased to see Evie again (Blood Harvest) and the introduction of a new character, a possible love interest for Lacey made me look forward to finding out what happens next in her life. The resolution was clever if abrupt and very satisfying.
Ms Boltons plotting is superb - some of the best I've found in crime novels. I know some readers were worried about her move into more straightforward crime fiction but I, for one, think that STILL her books are atmospheric and haunting - this one in particular was both of those things and so crime fiction or not, the ambience is the same. Brilliant. More please.
The second in Sharon Bolton’s series of books featuring DC Lacey Flint from the Metropolitan Police. Flint is an innovative Officer not noted for following procedure but who also carries with her some significant personal baggage which she chooses to keep to herself.
Assigned in an undercover role within a particular college in Cambridge University Flint is tasked to observe happenings around her. There has been an unprecedented increase in the number of female suicides within the student population. Each victim is known to have had serious emotional issues and whilst the public perception is that of unfortunate events there are some suspicions that the reasons for the deaths may not be as apparent as originally thought.
Despite the instructions of her senior officers Flint is soon directly engaging with events. She slowly starts to unveil links that could seriously challenge the reputation of the University not to mention the perception of public institutions within the city. Under the surface of one of England’s leading academic institutions something is rotten.
Bolton is not afraid to tackle the issue of evil within individuals and groups. The concept of gain exceeds significantly any compassion people may have for their human feelings. It paints a negative picture of the human psyche which in turns creates a depressing picture of people and human nature. That does not diminish the book but if you are after the milk of human kindness where everything is bright and sunny and people live happy ever after then this is not for you. However if you want life in the raw then it is more than worth a look.
Lacey Flint is a detective constable who is persuaded (rather easily) to go undercover as a psychology student in Cambridge, not to investigate a spate of bizarre suicides by vulnerable undergraduates, but to observe in a general way and report anything odd? For me this didn't ring true. I also felt that the cast of characters, and suspects, was too limited. Having said that there is some pretty reasonable characterisation and good tension building. Although there are no wow moments or real surprises, there are some twists and turns and uncertainties which kept me gripped and reading on.
I like that there is a palpable sexual tension between Lacey and Mark and wanted this to develop further, but I also admire her willingness to admit to, and follow up, her attraction to others.
This is the second Lacey Flint book and it isn't as good as the first in my opinion but it isn't at all bad, and it has more than enough appeal to make me want to read the next in the series. I also think this would stand alone if you haven't read the first one but it is always difficult to assess this when you have.
It's really between 7 and 8 out of 10 for me, but I have round up to 4 stars as it is definitely better than a three star book. There is a lot to like about this book and I would recommend it if you like psychological thrillers or police/crime novels.