Dead scared

S. J. Bolton

Book - 2012

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MYSTERY/Bolton S. J.
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Suspense fiction
New York : Minotaur Books 2012.
1st U.S. ed
Physical Description
378 p. : map ; 25 cm
Main Author
S. J. Bolton (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

In this follow-up to Now You See Me (2011), Detective Constable Lacey Flint, fresh off solving a string of Ripper-like murders in London, is given an undercover assignment in Cambridge. The university has been hit with a string of suicides by female undergraduates, and Lacey is to pose as an emotionally fragile student and is assigned to live in a dorm with the former roommate of the last suicide victim. Still traumatized by her previous case, Lacey has little trouble simulating vulnerability but finds the academic atmosphere intimidating. Her main contact is disabled psychologist Evi Oliver, who gives Lacey the background on the students who seem to be committing suicide in increasingly grisly ways, including self-immolation and decapitation. Meanwhile, Lacey must report her findings to DI Mark Joesbury; their unspoken attraction for each other is just one of the sexual undercurrents running through this dark and twisting crime novel. Although the short chapters can seem gimmicky, credible characters, an evocative setting, and a chilling group of clever sadists make the latest from Bolton a satisfying and suspenseful read. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Bolton's second novel featuring London police officer Lacey Flint is as suspenseful a psychological thriller as Now You See Me. Working again with Mark Joesbury, Flint goes undercover as a student in Cambridge when a higher-than-usual suicide rate is reported, and authorities begin to suspect that someone is pushing vulnerable students to take their own lives. However, Flint doesn't realize that her own past makes her the perfect victim, and she finds herself alone and vulnerable among strangers. When terrifying nightmares disturb her sleep and strange encounters occur in her waking hours, Flint begins to question her hold on her sanity. VERDICT Although Now You See Me is tough to beat, Bolton comes close with this sequel. Readers will be caught up in the twists and turns that leave them hanging until the final paragraph. [Library marketing.]—Lisa Hanson O'Hara, Univ. of Manitoba Lib., Winnipeg [Page 87]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Det. Constable Lacey Flint goes undercover in Bolton's outstanding follow-up to 2011's Now You See Me. As a new recruit to SO10, "the special crimes directorate of the Metropolitan Police that deals with covert operations," Flint masquerades as psychology undergraduate Laura Farrow at Cambridge University's St. John's College, where she stays in the same room as a first-year medical student who lit herself on fire during a Christmas party, the latest in a string of suicide attempts. Besides Det. Insp. Mark Joesbury, her boss at SO10, Flint can trust only psychiatrist Dr. Evi Oliver, the head of the university's counseling staff who appeared in 2010's Blood Harvest. Not only has there been a spike in suicides, but the women who've killed themselves—many in particularly gruesome ways—reported vivid night terrors and dreams of being raped. Though Joesbury wants Flint to simply observe student life, she takes the investigation much deeper and becomes part of the dangerous game she's meant to be preventing. Bolton (winner of two Mary Higgins Clark Awards) never eases up the tension; her tightly coiled plot and heroine on the edge work perfectly in tandem. Agent: Anne-Marie Doulton, the Ampersand Agency. (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Going undercover as a vulnerable college student when a suspicious rash of suicides occurs at Cambridge University, DC Lacey Flint finds her tragic past and insecurities rendering her a more susceptible target than she realized.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Going undercover as a vulnerable college student when a suspicious rash of suicides occurs at Cambridge University, DC Lacey Flint finds her tragic past and insecurities rendering her a more susceptible target than she realized. By the author of Now You See Me.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

When a rash of suicides tears through Cambridge University, DI Mark Joesbury recruits DC Lacey Flint to go undercover as a student to investigate. Although each student's death appears to be a suicide, the psychological histories, social networks, and online activities of the students involved share remarkable similarities, and the London police are not convinced that the victims acted alone. They believe that someone might be preying on lonely and insecure students and either encouraging them to take their own lives or actually luring them to their deaths. As long as Lacey can play the role of a vulnerable young woman, she may be able to stop these deaths, but is it just a role for her? With her fragile past, is she drawing out the killers, or is she herself being drawn into a deadly game where she's a perfect victim? Dark and compelling, S. J. Bolton's latest thriller--a follow-up to the acclaimedNow You See Me--is another work of brilliant psychological suspense that plumbs the most sinister depths.