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Dead Scared (Lacey Flint Novels) (original 2012; edition 2012)

by S. J. Bolton

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2902538,756 (4)16
Member:Boekenbeestje
Title:Dead Scared (Lacey Flint Novels)
Authors:S. J. Bolton
Info:Minotaur Books (2012), Editie: First Edition, Hardcover, 384 pagina's
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Dead Scared by S. J. Bolton (2012)

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Dead Scared
4 Stars

Several months after the events of Now You See Me, DI Marc Joesbury requests the help of DC Lacey Flint on a case involving a suspicious suicide at Cambridge University. As Lacey delves deeper into life as a student, she soon discovers that the questionable suicide is the latest in a series spanning several years and that someone is deliberately targeting emotionally vulnerable girls. Will she be able to stop them before she becomes the next victim?

Series note: This book references characters and events from Blood Harvest, which is unrelated to the Lacey Flint series. It is not necessary to read it before Dead Scared although it may add nuance to the story.

A solid thriller that requires a healthy does of suspended disbelief.

The most significant problem with the book is the promising, yet also unrealistic, plot premise. To begin with, the nature of the suspicious deaths self immolation, self decapitation, hanging oneself from a tree, etc. makes it difficult to understand how any adequate police force would perceive them as suicides. Nevertheless, the reader is required to simply accept the illogical and improbable situations.

Moreover, the explanation for the crimes is quite predictable and the only question pertains to the identity of the culprit. In this regard, the investigation itself is interesting with several red-herrings and tense moments to keep the reader on edge. The ultimate resolution is satisfying with an action packed climax although one or two loose ends remain.

In general, the characterization is compelling, particularly the insights into Lacey and Marc’s psychological make-up and the developments in their relationship. However, Evi Oliver, the Cambridge psychologist, is not as consistent. On the one hand, she is an intelligent, insightful and self-sufficient woman, but on the other, she is easily manipulated and even questions her sanity despite the fact that someone is obviously targeting her with malicious pranks.

In terms of the writing, the POV alternates between 1st person for Lacey and 3rd person for several other characters including Marc Joesbury, Evi Oliver, the villain (at different times of life) and some of the victims. While this is initially disorienting, it becomes less so as the tale progresses and it ultimately contributes to the eerie intensity of the rather creepy events of the story.

In sum, Dead Scared is a well-written yet intensely dark and disturbing story that shows us just how vulnerable anyone can be under the right set of circumstances. I look forward to the next installment in Marc and Lacey’s unconventional pairing. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Jun 1, 2016 |
The suicides were suspicious. Young, beautiful college students jumping from heights, stabbing themselves, even beheading themselves. They had gotten the notice of DI Mark Joesbury. Sending DC Lacey Flint in undercover seemed like a good idea at the time but he soon learned that these were so much more than common suicides and involved people he never dreamed could be involved. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

READ IN ENGLISH

I just finish Dead Scared, reading the last 200 pages in only three hours.



It was creepy. Sharon Bolton is really good at creating tension and a creepy atmosphere. I even asked myself why I was reading this just before going to sleep, but I couldn't stop reading it either. It really is a shame this has been on my TBR for almost a year!



Lacey Flint gets called to Cambridge for an under cover operation, as figures show there is an unusual high suicide rate. Psychiatrist Evi Olliver believes someone might be promoting suicide. The truth is even more macabre.



I particularly liked the first three hundred pages. You know something is going on, but you don't know who does it or how it's done. That's what makes a good detective, for me. I'd figured the story mostly out by then, I thought, and it indeed turned out that I was mostly right. The pace is very fast and it was nice to read. At first I wasn't too sure about Sharon Bolton's decision to start writing a series, but so far I really likes Lacey Flint and this series. I'm already looking forward to reading the third Lacey Flint novel. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
Dead Scared is book 2 in the Lacy Flint series.

DI Mark Joesbury recruits DC Lacey Flint to go undercover at the Cambridge University as a student. There have been several suicides, but the London police aren't convinced that the victims acted alone. Could there be someone out there preying on insecure students? And, is Lacey herself being put in danger?

It was quite nice to return to this book series. The first book was good and I was interested in reading and learning more about Lacey, and, of course, Joesbury since they have a very deep connection. And, that connection is clearly still there as Joesbury has to worry throughout the book about Lacey's safety. I just love those two in the first book. Both are very fond of each other, but there are barriers between them.

What I really like with this series is that Lacey is such an interesting character, if you have read the first book will you know what I mean and if you haven't well all I will say is that she has been through a lot in her life. And, her past is perfect for her to play a vulnerable student, but it can also be extremely dangerous for her if the police are right and it's a killer out there trying to get vulnerable students.

The story was good, the case; suicides at a university didn't feel not overused and I especially liked that, despite that I figured things out was I still surprised by the ending when certain things were revealed that I hadn't figured out. The book started with the ending and after that, it was a countdown through the days as the story progressed to the scene in the beginning of the book. I'm not always that fond of that kind storyline when we get a glimpse of what will happen at the ending of the book at the beginning, but in this case, it worked. And, that ending. Loved it. Although I felt that some things were left unresolved, but perhaps next book with deal with that. Still, wow what an ending!

You can probably read this without having read the first book. But to understand Lacey do I think reading the first book would be prudent.

4.5 stars ( )
  MaraBlaise | Feb 9, 2016 |
Dead Scared was the first, but not the last book, I read written by this author. I'll have no idea why I haven't noticed her books before. But as this was an excellent read I will buy and read all of her books. That means the best possible rating, five stars. Sharon Bolton a.k.a. S. J. Bolton is well known, and much liked. Signed, first editions of her first books are already quite expensive. ( )
  Bengan | Apr 1, 2015 |
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Epigraph
What are fears but voices airy?
Whispering harm where harm is not,
And deluding the unwary
Till the fatal bolt is shot!


William Wordsworth
Dedication
In memory of Peter Inglis Smith:
kind neighbour, great writer, good friend.
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When a large object falls from a great height, the speed at which it travels accelerates until the upward force of air resistance become equal to the downward propulsion of gravity. (Prologue)
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Going undercover as a vulnerable college student when a suspicious rash of suicides occurs at Cambridge University, DC Lacey Flint finds her tragic past and insecurities rendering her a more susceptible target than she realized.

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