Book Review: Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton

I reviewed S.J. Bolton’s first Lacey Flint novel, Now You See Me, a while back and said at the end the I was looking forward to reading the second book, Dead Scared. I have now done so and I have to say that it is equally as riveting and beautifully crafted as that first book.

dead scared_500x760DC Lacey Flint, barely finished with her previous Jack the Ripper case, is asked to go undercover at Cambridge University, where a spate of student suicides has one of the college counsellors concerned. Ordinarily there’d be no case, but counsellor Evi Oliver is an old friend of Lacey’s boss, DI Tulloch so it becomes a case. Under normal circumstances, Lacey would go nowhere near a case where vulnerable girls, too much like her, are killing themselves, but when DI Mark Joesbury asks her to go, she agrees without question.

Yet again, S.J. Bolton has crafted a brilliantly twisty novel that leads you down one path, before slapping you in the face and turning you back in the other direction. Enough hints are dropped to allow you to think that you’re ahead of the game, but all the time the novel isn’t even about what you think it’s about.

S.J. Bolton’s cast of regular characters are fewer in number, as the novel is based outside London, but this allows us to get closer to Flint and DI Joesbury, with the seeds of a ‘will-they-won’t-they’ relationship firmly sown; we know that they love each other, but neither is willing to put themselves on the line and admit it. I love the dynamic of their relationship, but can’t help secretly wishing that they’d get together – what can I say? I like my heroines to be happy!

I said in my previous review that I hoped the Lacey Flint books would become a must-read series and I’m happy to say that, for me, it certainly has.

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