Book Review: LOST by S. J. Bolton
Wait, what? Could this be…a new blog post? Gasp!
In case you were wondering where I disappeared to, I’m still here, just up to my front teeth in deadlines for various projects. I’ve been editing as usual, reviewing lots of books for Shelf Awareness (one of which I’m sharing below), took on a columnist gig (will reveal where after the first article runs), and last weekend I had a great time as part of the faculty (!) at the California Crime Writers Conference in Pasadena, doing a seminar with Brett Battles on the nuts and bolts of self-publishing. I talked at a podium and everything, like an adult.
I have a giveaway I’ll post either later this week or early next week, and after I get some time to review the Stalker Award ballots submitted weeks ago, I’ll announce nominees, too.
Meanwhile, here’s my review of S.J. Bolton’s Lost (Lacey Flint #3), which originally ran in Shelf Awareness for Readers. I recommend this series if you like dark, creepy stuff.
As Lost begins, twelve-year-old Barney and his friends are concerned about the local killings of boys around their age in south London. They obsessively monitor a Facebook page named Missing Boys to see latest updates on the police investigation. Someone who posts regularly seems to have inside info before the cops do, and Barney is startled one day when this mysterious person turns out to know personal details about him, too, including where he lives.
Detective Constable Lacey Flint lives next door to Barney and is on leave (following the events of Bolton’s previous novel, Dead Scared). Lacey notices Barney is often left alone at night by his single dad, so she watches after the boy and sometimes keeps him company. She suspects he knows something about the murders that he’s not telling her, and though she’s not technically on the job, Lacey will put her life on the line to prevent Barney from being the killer’s next victim.
Bolton is adroit at ratcheting up tension in a story that’s hard to stop reading despite its creepiness and unsettling plot points. Children being murdered doesn’t make a heartwarming tale, but readers will care about what happens to the brave and resourceful Barney.
Lacey is difficult and abrasive, but more likable than if she were glossy or bland. She makes mistakes and even does something very troubling to herself. The sexual chemistry between her and Detective Inspector Mark Joesbury is tantalizing and could use a bit more attention, but it’s OK, too, if Bolton wants to keep readers lost in suspense for a little while longer.
When deadlines are hammering at my door, the blog sometimes gets neglected, but I miss writing and connecting with you here. I hope you’re having a great summer; let me know what you’re up to in the comments.
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