19 January 2013

Dead Scared; S.J. Bolton

Dead Scared (Lacey Flint, #2)Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Almost as good as the first (Now You See Me) and just as dark. Equally good is the fact that there's very little "if you didn't read the last book you won't understand this but..." - perfect sequel work!

This time we're in Cambridge, and Lacey's undercover as a potentially fragile student prone to depression. Why? Because there have been other suicide attempts there and the head of clinical services is concerned. Turns out that there have been five or more suicides per academic year for the past few years, statistically anomalous, and the methods have been strangely violent for women (who tend to use non-violent methods of killing themselves).

So far, so good. I like the dark atmosphere, love the setting. The twists - who's behind it, who's really trustworthy - are interesting and again, I didn't catch them all.

The one star loss is for two reasons. The first: Lacey and Mark's relationship doesn't feel as real as it did in the previous book. There's banter that doesn't work, let alone sound like two people who might have a professional relationship in addition to the personal one. The second: one of Lacey's "charms" is that she frequently goes awol in order to follow her hunches, and if the Met didn't want her to do that, why send her to Cambridge? Why not give her all the information she needs before goes and then let her do her thing? I know, I know, it's because without that there's little tension between Lacey and Mark professionally. But really? Sigh.

Six months (ish) before the third. Looking forward.

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