Monday, February 18, 2013

Dangerous Ivory Towers

From the Mary Higgins Clark awards short-list:

Dead Scared (Lacey Flint #2) by S.J. Bolton (Minotaur hardcover, 5 June 2012).

Detective Constable Lacey Flint has just recovered from the injuries she suffered apprehending a Jack the Ripper copycat (Now You See Me, 2011).   Although assigned to a task force on serious crimes against women, Detective Inspector Mark Joesbury, with whom she worked on the Ripper case, has asked her superiors to let her go undercover as a Cambridge psychology student.

At first, Flint is reluctant, apart from her strong attraction to the very attractive Joesbury (much is made of his "turquoise eyes"), she doesn't feel emotionally prepared to immerse herself in another difficult case.  But once she understands that they are investigating a rash of apparent student suicides, and sees the results, both successful and not, she agrees.

The suspicions were first raised by Dr. Evi Oliver, a counsellor at the university clinic who had expressed her concerns to a former Cambridge connection, Joesbury's colleague DI Dana Tulloch.
Lacey's assignment is to pose as Dr. Oliver's research assistant Laura Farrow, and is installed in St. John's College in the room where the most recent victim had lived.

This is a complex story.  Though told primarily in the first-person from Lacey's point of view, the short chapters also focus on other characters in third-person narrative, and jumps around in time.

This very dark psychological thriller is utterly consuming and difficult to put down.  Be warned, it may not be a wise choice for bedtime reading.

FTC Full Disclosure:  I borrowed this book from my local library.


  1. Complex and consuming. My kind of book. Thanks for the review.

    1. I think it really is your kind of book, L.J. Let me know what you think.

  2. Warnings about a book not being a wise choice for bedtime reading are like those new Dunkin' donuts with brownies inside. I just gotta.

    1. Well, hopefully you're not as much of a wuss as I am, Peg. And, lucky fo rme, there are no Dunkin' Donuts in this area.


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