Lost by S.J. Bolton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Lacey Flint series started dark and has kept on going...
Lacey's recovering from the events in Cambridge (Dead Scared) and wondering if she wants to return to the force; she's also avoiding DI Mark Joesbury, who is approaching stalker status as he spends nights in his car, parked where he can see her front door. Barney Roberts, just in his teens and suffering from OCD and other emotional issues, is her neighbor and so observant he notices Mark's nocturnal waiting before Lacey does. They live in South London, currently rocked by the abductions of five boys all near Barney's age: four have been found dead, throats slit and drained of blood but no other injuries. Barney and his friends wonder if they'll be next, all the while staying out later than might be safe and breaking in to the local community center. Because of her proximity to Barney and his friends, Lacey is (unwillingly) drawn into the investigation.
I know several mothers who avoid books where Bad Things happen to children. If you're one of them, this is not the book for you!
Meeting Barney was a lot of fun, and seeing more of him would be nice (but only if he doesn't turn into the Hadiyyah of Elizabeth George's Lynley/Havers mysteries). The Mark/Lacey pairing still suffers from clunky moments and dialog, but is better than the previous outing. And Lacey? Still struggling with her past. While her "prison connection" worked here, I hope we tread carefully with that.
Can't wait for the next one!
ARC provided by publisher.