Dead Scared – Sharon Bolton – Review

Bantam Press/Corgi


“A series of suicides. Each one a female university student. Each one more horrifying than the last.

The police know it cannot be coincidence. But they can’t prove it.

They need someone to go undercover. A young policewoman, as vulnerable as the others. As unprepared for the nightmare that will greet her.

Watch your back, Lacey Flint . . .”

3.5 of 5 stars

There have been a high number of suicides at Cambridge University. The numbers don’t stack up and Dr Evi Oliver has called in a favour with DI Joesbury’s boss, a former University Pal. DI Joesbury, though used to undercover work, isn’t exactly suitable for the roll of undercover cop on this occasion, so he calls on Lacey Flint. Under no circumstances is she to investigate and he assures her there is probably nothing untoward happening. But Lacey can’t help but investigate once she arrives at the historic University, and in doing so uncovers more than she bargained for.

Having just finished the first in the Lacey Flint series, Now You See Me, I was keen to start the next. So keen in fact that the next book I picked up was Dead Scared, book two in the series, after tracking down a copy at my local library.

Again this is another engaging read from Sharon Bolton. She has the ability to draw you in from almost the first page and I soon found myself rapidly reading to the conclusion of the story. The characters as before are well written and engaging. DI Mark Joesbury is back and he is as entertaining, and maddening as ever. Lacey addresses her feelings towards him more in this novel and we see more from Joesbury’s point of view and his thoughts on Flint are revealed.

There is a dark sense of malevolence written throughout this book, with it playing on the psychology of the characters. Some of the deaths were disturbing for their violence, made even more disturbing that those described were self inflicted deaths. It is gritty, dark and deals with a difficult subject in a new and unusual way. The psychological torment of characters was not my favourite of story lines, I was always wondering if it would go a little too far, though thankfully it didn’t. However this is just personal preference. It didn’t stop me racing through the book to its breathless ending and it certainly didn’t put me off the series. In fact the next book I pick up will be the third outing for Lacey Flint, Like This, Forever.


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