Out now from Bantam Press
When a Cambridge student dramatically attempts to take her own life, DI Mark Joesbury realises that the university has developed an unhealthy record of young people committing suicide in extraordinary ways.
Against huge personal misgivings, Joesbury sends young policewoman DC Lacey Flint to Cambridge, with a brief to work under-cover, posing as a depression-prone vulnerable student.
Psychiatrist Evi Oliver is the only person in Cambridge who knows who Lacey really is – or so they both hope. But as the two women dig deeper into the darker side of university life, they discover a terrifying trend . . .
And when Lacey starts experiencing the same disturbing nightmares reported by the dead girls, she knows that she is next.
Don’t be fooled by the friendly face of S.J.Bolton, or by her lovely nature and personality – this lady can keep you welded to the pages, digging into your deepest darkest fears and nightmares, her books holding you captive until only she agrees to let you go.
Over the course of her previous four novels; Sacrifice, Awakening, Blood Harvest & Now You See Me, she has racked up the tension and created her own brand of creepy gripping crime fiction. And, if you were scared by all of the previous books, now prepare to be Dead Scared!
The initial premise of the start of the investigation, that of a cluster of suicides akin to those we all remember from Bridgend a few years back, but you just know that there is going to be a lot more here than just a simple copycat or trend occurring -this is, after all, an S.J.Bolton book.
It would spoil the plot to give too much away here, but I would say that the fears played upon in the novel are handled in her customary terrifying manner, racking up the tension through such simple objects as plastic toys and masks – but, oh my god, are they creepy!
The suicides are creative and very untypical violent for the female characters – which is what sparks DC Lacey’s investigation further and her playing the part of Laura Fallow as her under-cover character is well handled and only adds to her frustration in having to keep her identity secret from those around her to keep herself safe. Her initiation to the university as ‘fresh meat’ is very disturbing and at times we are almost into gothic or Hammer Horror territory, with some particularly inventive and gruesome suicides and the aftermaths of same.
It’s great to have the characters of Lacey and Joesbury return after Now You See Me, and to see their, at times, very difficult working and personal relationship develop in this new book.
Although the themes within the book have all been dealt with at some point in other books and movies, S.J.Bolton has mixed them here in a fantastically creepy and well-crafted piece of crime fiction of the type she and she alone can write.
This is fiction on the terrifying brink of reality and you may never really trust a dream again.
Go, on, check the video and order here – dare ya!