HE’S WATCHING HER. AND SHE HAS NO IDEA…
When a baby is snatched from its pram and cast into the river Thames, off-duty police officer Lacey Flint is there to prevent disaster. But who would want to hurt a child?
DCI Mark Joesbury has been expecting this. Monitoring a complex network of dark web sites, Joesbury and his team have spotted a new terrorist threat from the extremist, women-hating, group known as ‘incels’ or ‘involuntary celibates.’ Joesbury’s team are trying to infiltrate the ring of power at its core, but the dark web is built for anonymity, and the incel army is vast.
Pressure builds when the team learn the snatched child was just the first in a series of violent attacks designed to terrorise women. Worse, the leaders of the movement seem to have singled out Lacey as the embodiment of everything they hate, placing her in terrible danger…
What I Thought:
Goodness me! Sharon Bolton has made a welcome return to the Lacey Flint series with The Dark, which was published this week, and what a return it is!
I have been a firm fan of this series, since winning the first book, Now You See Me, in a Twitter competition some years ago and after an extended break – in which Sharon Bolton didn’t actually take a break, as she wrote several excellent standalone novels – Lacey is back with all of the ingredients that make these novels so compelling.
In The Dark, we delve a bit further into some of the details of Lacey’s life that we already know from previous novels, but then are bang up to date with terrorist activity from a group of incels who are terrorising London’s women. Using the quick connection methods of social media, they are gathering to disrupt a landmark event taking place in the capital – with Flint, and Mark Joesbury trying to stop them.
In this novel, as in all her other books, Sharon Bolton is expert at leading the reader up the garden path – like a good magician, you won’t notice the misdirection until she’s ready, but the payoff is just brilliant!
I think what makes Sharon Bolton’s novels so terrifying is that some of the crimes and plots she describes are perfectly believeable. Groups similar to that in this novel are in the news, we know they exist online, if you spend any time at all on social media, you see their hateful comments towards women, so it’s not a huge leap to consider that the events in this novel could happen.
Alongside this immediate threat, there is a direct threat to Lacey, which is tied to her early life – but could it explain some of what is happening to the rest of London’s women?
I can’t heap enough praise on this book, and this series. Sharon Bolton shows that there is plenty of life left in Lacey’s story and so many more threads that could be picked up in future and, if you’d like to, you could read this book in isolation, but you really would be missing a treat! I can’t recommend them enough.
The Dark is published by Orion Books.
About the Author:
Sharon (formerly SJ) Bolton grew up in a cotton-mill town in Lancashire and had an eclectic early career which she is now rather embarrassed about. She gave it all up to become a mother and a writer.
Her first novel, Sacrifice, was voted Best New Read by Amazon.uk, whilst her second, Awakening, won the 2010 Mary Higgins Clark award. In 2014, Lost, (UK title, Like This, For Ever) was named RT Magazine’s Best Contemporary Thriller in the US, and in France, Now You See Me won the Plume de Bronze. That same year, Sharon was awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library, for her entire body of work.
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book, via Netgalley, for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own – but I did also buy a finished copy because it’s amazing…