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"What's the worst thing that could happen to you Karen?"
This... thinks Karen, her eyes tightly closed. This is the worst thing that could happen to me.
After reading the blurb on the back cover of Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton, the first novel by the author to feature DC Lacey Flint, I was suitably intrigued. I had also purposely sought out this particular book, having read the subsequent Lacey Flint novel 'Dead Scared' a few months back and realising there were other books in this series and I was actually reading them in the wrong order.
Not that this matters really, as I thoroughly enjoyed 'Dead Scared' as a stand alone novel and now having read this first book, I can honestly say it doesn't matter if you read the Lacey Flint series in the wrong order or just read one as a stand alone novel, as the author provides you with everything you need to know to ensure you are not lost off when reading.
Now You See Me also introduces us to DI Mark Joesbury, Dana Tulloch and the rest of the team who also feature in subsequent novels too.
Now You See Me is another captivating thriller from S.J. Bolton, as a savage murder takes place on London's streets, 120 years to the day since Jack The Ripper claimed his first victim. The coincidence doesn't end there however, as the murder also bears all the hallmarks of a copycat 'Jack The Ripper' murder.
DC Lacey Flint has never worked on a murder case but having found the first victim, she finds herself involved and having to try and outwit a psychopath whose infamous role model has never been found.
When the murderer strikes again, Lacey agrees to be the bait to lure out the killer, but things don't go quite to plan as the killer appears to be one step ahead and fixated on Lacey too.
Once again, I enjoyed the writing style of S.J. Bolton, with short and punchy chapters ensuring a riveting read from start to finish. There is no lengthy character history or explanation, instead, small snippets are gradually released throughout.
Lacey Flint is a flawed character who has one or two secrets of her own. Her past is a little mysterious and she appears to be quite hard and stand-offish at times. This makes her somewhat irritating at times and quite difficult to like, but there is something intriguing about her too. I still can't decide whether I like her or not after reading two books, but I want to read the others so it hasn't put me off.
The copycat Ripper killer seems intent on involving Lacey from the start and it soon becomes clear this is personal. Suspicions abound with Lacey herself not escaping suspicion from DI Mark Joesbury. As the investigation unfolds, Lacey's past becomes entangled with her present and this makes for some exciting reading with just enough questions raised to allow the reader to beging guessing the answers.
There is some sexual tension between Lacey and Joesbury which was also evident in the other book I read and whilst at times it bordered on being a little silly, at other times it added perfectly to the tension of the story, so it didn't bother me too much.
About halfway through the book Lacey's fear of what may happen is suddenly revealed to the reader, as are her sudden plans, which came as quite a shock but I think this was the intention. It immediatedly made me question everything and I couldn't really come up with any explanation or answers and it threw me a little. If I was to elaborate further on this it would spoil things for the reader, but suffice to say, I was confused for a little while and began wondering if I was going to enjoy the remainder of the story or if it was going to make sense.
The story moved on but I found I was feeling slightly irked, as Lacey's actions and plans now seemed to be on hold or forgotten, which I partly understood given how events unfolded, but they weren't referred to again for some time and I felt a little explanation here would have allayed my frustration. I felt I was led in a certain direction only to suddenly change to another and then back to the original again without explanation. Although everything is revealed in the end, I found myself thinking back to the mid section of the book whilst reflecting on the story and thinking it could have been handled better.
Apart from this I enjoyed the twists and was definitely kept guessing until the end which I personally enjoy when reading this type of novel and it worked very well at keeping me off balance. I certainly don't enjoy reading a book where I can guess who done what pretty much from the off and find I am right.
There are a number of references to the Jack The Ripper killings which made for interesting reading as I have never really read up on this infamous killer prior to reading this book. The story also features sexual assault and gang rape, apart from the killings themselves, which makes for some graphic content at times.
I enjoyed the fact that Lacey Flint is as much an enigma here as the case is and the author makes sure all is not revealed, paving the way for her character to develop further in the other novels. Whilst the case here is solved, you just know there is still more to learn about Lacey and even though she can be a difficult character to like, you are strangley left intrigued enough to want to know more, which I am sure is the author's intention here, so full credit to S.J. Bolton as she has ensured I will be reading the other Lacey Flint novels!
I am happy to recommend Now You See Me to readers of crime and thriller novels and am looking forward to reading the other novels in the Lacey Flint series.
Heading back to her car one evening, Lacey finds a woman slumped over her car door. The woman has been fatally stabbed and lies dying in Lacey's arms. Not only is this only the beginning of a brutal murder investigation, but it's also the start of a personal nightmare for Lacey.
Somebody is going around imitating the Jack the Ripper murders and the young D.C. Lacey Flint finds herself in the middle of it all. Thankfully, Lacey has a life-long fascination with the Jack the Ripper cases, but will that help the inexperienced detective solve the case? Lacey's never seen a corpse up close or been part of a murder case, until now...
I loved reading Now You See Me! It's the first book S. J. Bolton book I have read, but it certainly won't be the last. I was hooked from the very first chapter right until the end of the book and I found it very difficult to put down. It's one of those books you think about even when you're not reading it.
There are parts of the book where you wonder what relevance it has to the story, but as the story reaches it's compelling end, it all becomes clear. This is a book that will have you thinking and guessing. I had an inkling of what might be, but S. J. Bolton is full of surprises and just when you think you know something, you realise that maybe you didn't!
The book is narrated by DC Lacey Flint and her character is complex (just like real people are) and sometimes I didn't quite know what to make of her. She has her dark side and her colleague Joesbury makes you doubt her at times. Is she telling us all she knows?
Now You See Me is built with short bursts of chapters. I found this style, along with the gripping storyline, compelled me to keep reading. I kept telling myself I'd read one more chapter and then but the book down... Several chapters later and I would still be reading! I enjoyed it so much that I read it in 3 sittings. With twists and turns, and a ripper-thread, what's not to love?!
S. J. Bolton has a new fan! If you enjoy crime thrillers then why not pick this up? I'm sure you'll love it!