Dead scared

S. J. Bolton

Book - 2012

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

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.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

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 [London] 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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Cambridge University under siege. A rash of suicidesthree this year, four last year, three the year before thatso exceeds the statistical norm that Scotland Yard has placed undercover agents at Cambridge University to find out what's going on. DI Mark Joesbury, he of the turquoise eyes who sends DC Lacey Flint's pulse racing (Now You See Me, 2011, etc.), has Lacey billeted as Laura Farrow in the St. John's college room recently vacated when Bryony Carter was hospitalized for setting fire to herself. Bryony, a patient of Cambridge psychiatrist Evi Oliver, had been depressed, struggling with coursework and tormented by violent dreams of a sexual nature. Dr. Oliver, the only person at Cambridge aware of Laura's real identity, thought that Bryony might have been goaded to self-immolation by websites encouraging suicide. Another student, Jessica, complains of bad dreams, sleeplessness, whispering voices and images of the things she's most scared of: clowns. Will she attempt suicide too? Dr. Oliver herself isn't sure what's real and what's delusion, and matters escalate when weird toys appear in her home, then disappear, as do e-mails and foggy messages on her mirror. Like the hounded others, Laura begins to feel that someone is watching her, creeping into her room at night and terrifying her. While Dr. Oliver and Laura try to puzzle out what's happening, more die, perhaps urged on by someone using suicide as a murder method. Suspicion falls on a falconer and a man involved in the sadistic hazing of Laura. Will the women be driven to suicide by their deepest fears? Love triumphs, but barely. Menacing and then some. But when the goose bumps recede, there are several major plot holes.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Dead Scared 1 Friday 11 January (eleven days earlier)   A LL BAR ONE NEAR WATERLOO STATION WAS BUSY, WITH nearly a hundred people shouting to make themselves heard above the music. Smoking has been banned in the UK's public places for years but something seemed to be hovering around these folk, thickening the air, turning the scene around me into an out-of-focus photograph taken on a cheap camera. I knew instinctively he wasn't there. No need to look at my watch to know I was sixteen minutes late. I'd timed it to the second. Too late would look rude, or as if I were trying to make a point; too close to the agreed time would seem eager. Calm and professional, that's what I was going to be. A little distant. Being a bit late was part of that. Except now he was the one who was late. At the bar, I ordered my usual drink-for-difficult-occasions and stretched up on to a vacant bar stool. Sipping the colourless liquid, I could see my reflection in the mirrors behind the bar. I'd come straight from work. Somehow, I'd resisted the temptation to leave early and spend the better part of two hours showering, blow-drying my hair, putting on make-up and choosing clothes. I'd been determined not to look nice for Mark Joesbury. I fished my laptop out of my bag and put it down on the bar -not actually planning to work, just to make it look that way - and opened a presentation on the UK's laws on pornography that I was due to give the following week to a group of new recruits at Hendon. I opened a slide at random - the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act. The recruits would be surprised to learn, because most people were, that possession of all non-child pornography was perfectly legal in the UK until the 2008 Act outlawed extreme pornographic images. Naturally, they'd want to know what qualified as extreme. Hence the main content of the slide I was looking at. An extreme pornographic image depicts a sexual act that: • threatens, or appears to threaten, a person's life. • results in serous injury to sexual organs. • involves a human corpse. • involves an animal I changed a spelling mistake in the second bullet point and added a full stop to the fourth. Joesbury hadn't arrived. Not that I'd looked round. I would know the minute he walked through the door. Twenty-four hours earlier I'd had a five-minute briefing with my DI at Southwark Police Station. SCD10, still colloquially known by everyone as SO10, the special crimes directorate of the Metropolitan Police that deals with covert operations, had requested my help with a case. Not just any young female detective constable but me specifically, and the lead officer on the case, DI Mark Joesbury, would meet me the following evening. 'What case?' I'd asked. DI Joesbury would fill me in, I was told. My DI had been tight-lipped and grumpy, probably on account of having his staff filched without being told why. I checked my watch again. He was twenty-three minutes late, my drink was disappearing too quickly and at half past I was going home. I couldn't even remember what he looked like, I realized. Oh, I had a vague idea of height, build and colouring, and I remembered those turquoise eyes, but I couldn't conjure up a picture of his face. Which was odd, really, given that he was never out of my head for a second. 'Lacey Flint, as I live and breathe,' said a voice directly behind me. I took a deep breath and turned round slowly, to see Mark Joesbury, maybe just a fraction over six feet tall, strongly built, suntanned skin even in January, bright turquoise eyes. Wearing a thick, untidy, ginger wig. 'I'm undercover,' he said. And then he winked at me. DEAD SCARED. Copyright (c) 2012 by S. J. Bolton. All rights reserved. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010. Excerpted from Dead Scared by S. J. Bolton All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.