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
I live in a big house by the Baltic sea in Gävle, Sweden. I am married and have three teenagers and one dog. I read books, buy books and blog about books. If I don´t read I knit, sew or quilt.
I really liked this one! Scary, interesting and very good. I want more!!! And the performance is excellent!
Dead Scared is the second of the Lacey Flint novels. Lacey Flint, a London detective, is seconded to an undercover assignment as a university student at Cambridge. The book continues to explore the difficult relationship between Lacey and DI Joesbury, her superior.
The book also introduces other characters (Dr. Evie Oliver and Harry the vicar) who are more front and centre in Awakening, an unrelated novel.
The plot twists and turns and is full of surprises, red herrings, and potential suspects. Vulnerable university students are somehow undergoing psychotic episodes and attempting to commit suicides.
The identity of the bad guys in this book is even harder to figure out and more surprising than in Now You See Me. S.J. Bolton is very good at surprising the reader without being unbelievable.
Some of the chase scenes are hair-raising, and I was on the edge of my seat more than once. For a lot of the book, DI Joesbury's involvement is somewhat unsatisfying, because there is no explanation of why he's hanging around and why he's interested in the case. But all loose threads are woven in at the end.
As with the previous book, Lisa Coleman's narration is excellent. Her performance is fabulous, and she's a master at vocal intonation and accents.
As a second book, this one is every bit as good as the first, and is well-deserving of a credit.
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.
"Thrilling from start to finish"
This time Lacey is embroiled in uncovering an unsavoury gang involved in driving young girls to their deaths within the hallowed walls of Cambridge. The author is really very good at keeping the reader guessing which if you are an addict to thrillers you will know is no easy task.
The other strong point is that the author does not indulge in long digressions about the main characters' former encounter in the previous book. You do not need to have read the first in the series to comprehend the attraction between Lacey and Joesbury. We do find out however that Joesbury is divorced with an eight year old son but thankfully the author does not dwell on rambling on about this former relationship.
The action is absorbing and there are no slow passages so you are carried along in the whirlwind of events. There is also a solid dose of humour in this book too which provides relief to the dramatic goings on. I am off to buy the next one in the series!
"Great continuation of series"
I have now read several of S.J. Bolton’s books and enjoyed them all. They are so well written and gripping. I can never guess what is going to happen and when the plot is revealed I am always surprised.
I like the character of Lacey Flint and how she interacts or not with DI Mark Joesbury. In Book One Now you see me Lacey was quite a loner until her character was somewhat revealed at end of book. In this book she is a much more rounded character although she still has hidden demons. She is working undercover in Cambridge and Joesbury is still working with her but they are working quite separately and really I did not feel the closeness between them from book one and really did not feel any sexual tension between them although Joesbury alluded to it.
The deaths are more statistically concerning than anything else as no foul play can really be suspected as suicide seems clearly to be the reason for the deaths. I really liked the relationship that developed between Lacey and the college psychiatrist Evie Oliver. Evie was a lovely character and I enjoyed hearing about her and her past life. Evie has previously been in Blood Harvest another of Bolton’s novels. Evie was aware of Lacey’s undercover role and was very supportive of her.
The story moves on a pace towards the end and remains interesting and gripping throughout. The ending is good and finishes off things nicely although leaving unfinished business between Lacey and Joesbury as usual to draw the reader back to the next novel and I am going to read on as soon as I can.
I would highly recommend this one. It can be read as a stand alone book but I would recommend read following book one of series to get insight into character of Lacey.
"Absolutely loved it!!"
Fantastic book, brilliant characters, gripping story...I listened practically in one sitting and was bereft when it ended!!
Really interesting to have an excellent police thriller with a romantic twist!
Can't wait to start the next one and find out what happens to Lacey and Mark!!
Nice to have some characters recognised from a previous listen not in this series (without needing to have heard/ read the other book). Enjoyed this, fast paced, and good to keep listening to the relationship development between the two main cops.
A few things not explained, and seemed to end in a bit of a rush. Also a few occasions where characters didn't do the obvious course of action, which was basically to phone someone else to check. Maybe characters in novels are just developed lacking a basic common sense part of their DNA.
Narration would have been better with more pauses between each different section - many times I got confused in the first sentence or two of the new section about someone different. Take a breath, relax, pause, then start the next section!
"Tension and shock build in equal measure. Great!"
I think it would be a 'page turner' either way
I like surprises in mysteries of course (!) and there are always a few in this novelist's work but what I really admire is the way that that it isn't even the resolution of the mystery that is the most satisfying. It's the fact that I care about what happens to Lacey and that is so much more than a mystery potboiler.
Great characterisation of Lacey. Manages to convey both toughness and vulnerability.
Yes and I did listen to it all in one sitting
I love SJ Bolton's books and am listening to the Lacey ones in order. I have to ration myself though as her books are both dark and disturbing so there is only so much I can take into my psyche over a period of time!
"Lacey Flint No.2"
The sense of evil and the building of tension.
The moments where something is coming in the dark and Lacey is alone - particularly running in a dark forest.
I felt the narrator did a great job. Lacey is an excellent protagonist as she is so flawed and makes mistakes.
I also liked the linking in of characters from the first book - following their story along was interesting.
I didnt laugh or cry but I certainly had an increased heart rate!!!!
No one does the 'wake up in the night to a noise' type drama better.
Bolton is writing gripping, satisfying and substantial British crime and is a pleasure to 'read'. I find aspects of her writing fulfilling in that they have quite a literary sense to them rather than the short, choppy writing of some crime authors. She is good at vulnerability without being soppy - we dont get overdone with romance although there are hints. Her female characters are particularly clear and unsentimental.
I look forward to more!
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.
Report Inappropriate Content