When a Cambridge student dramatically attempts to take her own life, DI Mark Joesbury realizes 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 undercover, 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.
©2012 S J Bolton (P)2012 Random House AudioGo
S J Bolton has written five novels, with some recurring characters. I had previously read Now You See Me, which involved Lacey Flint and Mark Josebury, and whilst it’s possible to read Dead Scared on it’s won, I would recommend reading Now You See Me first.
I wasn’t quite as keen on Now You See Me, but it does tell you a lot more about Lacey’s character, and her relationship with Joesbury. Lacey is a complex character, with a colourful, traumatic background – she’s hard to completely like, but is certainly interesting.
In Dead Scared, there are concerns over strange suicides at the Cambridge University, concerns mainly raised by Evi Oliver, the university psychiatrist. Evi is also in one of the earlier books.. her past does seem important, but I’m not sure how much is explained in the earlier book.
Lacey is sent undercover to the university, simply to observe – but she soon gets pulled into the case. Being a detective, she’s unable to sit back and not investigate, and with her background, she soon becomes involved herself.
The suicides are in deed strange – the victims seem to experience strange dreams and hallucinations, although it’s unclear how or why these are happening. Once Evi and Lacey start experiencing the same thing, you pulled into the experience, trying to work out exactly is going on.
I enjoyed this book because it offered more than a basic crime story – it’s tenseful, and the strange circumstances surrounding the suicides offer an added layer to the suspense.
Recommended for those looking for something a little different – I hope we get to find out more about Lacey and Mark’s future.
This is one of the creepiest books I've read in a long time. I'm not usually affected in any way by thrillers but for some reason found this one disturbing. I was a little sceptical about the old 'university' campus setting again but it was well written and you felt that you were in the main character's shoes, experiencing things with her.
Not the best thriller I've read or listened to this year. You don't have to have read S.J. Bolton's first book featuring the heroin, Lacey Flint, but it would help. Felt like it had been written by a committee following a list of criteria for a modern thriller e.g. "write it in the first person", "let's have short chapters", "we should have a few gory details", "let's have a strong female lead, but vulnerable too" .
The final few chapters are implausible and a bit silly.
This is the second in the Lacey Flint crime series and it is a huge disappointment. I loved the first book 'Now you see me ' and gave it 5 stars, this however is much weaker and although I listened to the end it was tempting to give up sooner. The plot and characterisation is very weak in this book. There was little insight into the characters of the victims and the fact that there were so many victims sometimes made it difficult to distinguish who was who. I am still gripped by the relationship between Lacey and Mark Joesbury and as ever Lisa Coleman is a fantastic narrator.
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