Barney Roberts is a twelve year old boy with twin obsessions. He desperately wants to find the mother who abandoned him when he was young, and he is fascinated with a series of local murders – the murders of young boys just like him, their bodies washed up by the Thames. He has a special talent for spotting patterns – but when he starts to uncover the truth, he discovers something too horrible to believe.
Lacey Flint wants nothing to do with this case or any other. After the traumas suffered in Cambridge, she has withdrawn from her few friends. But as the police make no progress, Lacey finds herself drawn into the case – a case that seems to be all about blood, something that Lacey knows far too much about…
One of the downsides of the blog is that by attempting to read as many authors as possible, I end up neglecting authors that I’ve enjoyed. For some reason, it tends to hit authors with a smaller back catalogue than others. This is the third book in the Lacey Flint series and I’ve enjoyed the other two quite a bit. With the publication of book four (A Dark And Twisted Tide) earlier this year, I thought it was time to return to see how Lacey was getting on.
Lacey’s not the most well-balanced individual in the world – if you’ve read Now You See Me and Dead Scared, you’ll understand why. I’d recommend you do read them, by the way. Sharon Bolton (she’s changed from S J for some reason) has done an exceptional job of not spoiling the events in those books while not diminishing the effect of the events on our heroine and her supporting cast, but you’ll naturally get more out of the book if you have read them. For a large part of the book, she’s not the focus, as the view shifts from Barney to the police team while occasionally dropping in on Lacey. Don’t mistake me, though, it’s still clearly her book.
I think I lost count of the number of times the author had me looking in the wrong direction. She dangles some well-crafted red herrings for the expert mystery reader to swallow. Full credit to her, as I fell for them every time while missing the truth completely. And, for mystery fans out there, the clues are there – I went back and checked – although I’d be surprised if anyone spots it. It does help if you’re familiar with a certain classic book – I’m not – but that shouldn’t spoil the enjoyment of the book.
And it’s a great read. One of those books that reminds you what a page-turner is – I’ve been carrying my kindle around with me grabbing an odd chapter at a time, desperate to find out what happens next. A thriller, a mystery and a well-written page turner… need I say, this is Highly Recommended.