When a rash of suicides tears through Cambridge University, DI Mark Joesbury recruits DC Lacey Flint to go undercover as a student to investigate. Although each student’s death appears to be a suicide, the psychological histories, social networks, and online activities of the students involved share remarkable similarities, and the London police are not convinced that the victims acted alone. They believe that someone might be preying on lonely and insecure students and either encouraging them to take their own lives or actually luring them to their deaths. As long as Lacey can play the role of a vulnerable young woman, she may be able to stop these deaths, but is it just a role for her? With her fragile past, is she drawing out the killers, or is she herself being drawn into a deadly game where she’s a perfect victim?
Dead Scared is the second book in the Lacey Flint series, a series that has already become one of my all-time favorites. This second book was even better than the first! I absolutely loved Now You See Me, don’t get me wrong, but with Dead Scared I felt like I was about to have a heart attack.
This was a deeply disturbing book, especially because of the topic. Young women are committing suicide in college and no one knows why. These women suffered from depression and they clearly weren’t happy, but there are way too many of them, it can’t be a coincidence. Months after seeing each other for the last time, Mark Joesbury asks Lacey to work undercover and collect information. But she obviously can’t do just that, so she begins to investigate the deaths and soon she starts suffering the same symptoms as all those women before her…
It was like the world had conspired against me and no one wanted me to finish the book. This was clearly a novel that I would’ve devoured in one sitting, but sadly, life got in the way. I was about to discover the villain when suddenly I had a dinner to attend and then I had to sleep because of work and then I remembered I had made plans. I couldn’t concentrate during all those hours, as I was thinking of Lacey (and Joesbury, ahem ).
This was a cleverly plotted novel, one of those compulsive reads that everyone seems to love. There’s no doubt that Sharon Bolton knows how to create complex mysteries and what I love the most about her is that you can never guess the whole thing. You can be close, you can even suspect the killer, but you never get the whole picture until the very end. She manages to surprise you every time and that’s not something that can be said about every thriller author.
Lacey is a fierce protagonist and I love her more with every book. Her chemistry with Joesbury is so magnetic and powerful that I could read a whole story featuring just the two of them. I might also be a bit jealous of the way Joesbury loves Lacey, I admit it. There’s something about him!
The prologue caught my attention immediately, as you can’t help but ask yourself: how the hell did it come to this? And well, the journey is certainly thrilling. I was never bored, not for one second. The ending was suspenseful and brilliant and I can’t wait to know what comes next.
Bantam Press, 2012