Having been involved in three very traumatic cases in a short space of time (which you can read about in Now You See Me, Dead Scared and Like This, For Ever) Lacey is now living alone on a houseboat in Deptford Creek, just off the River Thames, and trying to come to terms with her recent experiences. She has also abandoned her career as a detective to become a uniformed police officer again, hoping that her new position patrolling the river with the Marine Unit will be less stressful. While out swimming in the Thames early one morning (not something to be recommended!) she discovers a dead body floating in the river, wrapped in a white linen shroud. It seems that Lacey’s plans for a more peaceful life have been thwarted already…
I wish I could discuss the plot in more detail as it was fascinating, but if I say any more I’ll be giving too much away and spoiling the mystery for future readers. Instead I’ll mention the setting and the atmosphere, which were both as wonderful as I’ve come to expect from Sharon Bolton’s novels. The story is set almost entirely on the Thames and I loved the descriptions of the creeks and waterways, the derelict pumping station and the marina where Lacey’s boat is moored. I didn’t find this book quite as creepy as some of Bolton’s others, but there were a few scenes involving crabs that weren’t very pleasant!
If you’re new to this series you could start here if you wanted to (it’s a complete novel, with a beginning, middle and end), but my recommendation would be to begin with Now You See Me and read the series in order so that you can watch Lacey’s character develop book by book. She’s such a complex and secretive person that although you learn a little bit more about her in each novel you’re always left with the feeling that there’s still a lot more to learn. I particularly enjoy reading about her trips to Durham to visit the prisoner Toc, possibly the only person who really knows and understands Lacey and her troubled past.
Of course, Lacey is not the only interesting character in the series – another is Detective Inspector Dana Tulloch. I’ve never liked Dana much before and her treatment of Lacey in the previous book really annoyed me, but I found myself warming to her at last. In this book, she and her partner Helen make the decision to have a child and I’ll be interested to see how that storyline continues in the next book – assuming there is going to be a next book! I was disappointed, though, that Mark Joesbury doesn’t have a big role to play this time – although he does have a very good reason for his absence.
This is not my favourite book in the series – that would still be the third one, Like This, For Ever – but I did enjoy reading this dark and twisted tale.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review.