A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton
Publication date: 8 May 2014
Publisher: Bantam Press
Length: 448 pages
Age group: Adult
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Buy it: Amazon UK | The Book Depository
Former detective Lacey Flint quit the force for a safer, quieter life. Or that’s what she thought.
Now living alone on her houseboat, she is trying to get over the man she loves, undercover detective Mark Joesbury. But Mark is missing in action and impossible to forget. And danger won’t leave Lacey alone.
When she finds a body floating in the river near her home, wrapped in burial cloths, she can’t resist asking questions. Who is this woman, and why was she hidden in the fast-flowing depths? And who has been delivering unwanted gifts to Lacey?
Someone is watching Lacey Flint closely. Someone who knows exactly what makes her tick…
There are only a handful of crime writers whose new books instantly go to the very top of my wish list, and Sharon Bolton is one of them. After reading all three books in the Lacey Flint series, as well as an e-book short story, I’m convinced that no matter what she writes about or how she does it, I’m going to end up loving it. All of her books are so well-researched, so twisted and mind-boggling and so well-written that it’s impossible not to be captivated by them. A Dark and Twisted Tide is no exception.
Bolton’s ability to grab your attention within seconds and to keep up this suspense, this tension throughout the book is one of the reasons why I love her work as much as I do. As our killer and his/her soon-to-be victim make their appearance at the very beginning of the first chapter, the reader cannot help but wonder what is about to happen, why is s/he doing it. And of course Lacey can’t stay out of it either. A Dark and Twisted Tide pretty much continues from where the previous book ended, with Lacey leaving her team and joining the Marine Unit in the hope of a quieter, less stressful life. But someone has other plans. After discovering the first victim during her early morning swim in the Thames and a handful of (seemingly) practical jokes it becomes obvious that someone is keeping a close watch on her. And, once again, the killer will make sure that Lacey is very much part of his/her twisted game.
I had my suspicions about the killer throughout the book and right before the end I thought I’d be right but, once again, the ending completely took me by surprise and I didn’t see it coming at all.
The only reason why I decided to give this book 4.5 stars instead of 5 is that I still miss that intensity, that terrifying white-knuckle ride quality that I fell in love with in the first two books. A Dark and Twisted Tide is just as brilliantly written and just as twisted as Now You See Me and Dead Scared were but its focus shifts to Lacey and Lana’s personal lives in the first two thirds of the book, making the investigation seem a bit slower and less intense. I do love Lacey and I still think she’s one of the most interesting and most complex fictional detectives I’ve read about but for me the last two books in the series still lack something the first two had.
Other than that, it’s a brilliant read every crime reader needs to pick up (along with the first three books in the series). It’s a dark, sinister tale with a unique main character and plenty of twists to keep you guessing until the very last page.