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This review is from: Like This, For Ever: Lacey Flint Series, Book 3 (Paperback)
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.