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If Snow Hadn’t Fallen by S. J. Bolton (Lacey Flint #1.5)

At less than 100 pages If Snow Hadn’t Fallen is a rather short novella in the Lacey Flint crime series by S. J. Bolton. The story picks up shortly (I think about a week) after the events in Now You See Me, which was the first book in the series featuring a range of gruesome murders done by a Jack the Ripper copycat.

Lacey is recovering from the traumatic events and has literally cut any ties with anyone from the police force, including DI Mark Joesbury, her current love interest (well, more interest and less consumed love really).

On a cold November night in a park near her home, Lacey comes across a brutal crime in progress where a gang of 5 masked men have surrounded and are watching a man burn alive as if daring anyone to go near and try to save the victim. When Lacey gets there, the masked me get away, and soon it looks like the murder is, in fact, a hate crime. The victim is a British Muslim and all fingers (including those of the victim’s family members) point to specific white men who had it in for the minority in the area.

The investigation is very tricky as the whole London is enraged by the hate crime. While Dana Tulloch and her team are focusing on that aspect, Lacey goes off on her own, as she usually does, to find the culprits.

Things get really strange when she starts seeing a veiled and black-robed woman appearing every day at the crime scene, which makes Lacey seek another angle than her coworkers lead by Dana at the police force. I won’t reveal more of the plot, as since the book is so short, I might just give away some spoilers that would make it less fun for people to actually pick up the book to read.

However complications soon arise once Lacey gets involved, and as usual with the Lacey Flint books, her life will be in danger too.

I am not the biggest fan of novellas because the short number of pages make for a less than complete story in most cases, and there is hardly any character development – if at all. Most authors race through the story just to give it an end, which makes for a rather disappointing read. Not with Sharon Bolton, however.

The story was complete and I never had the feeling that I was missing something in way of storyline or Lacey’s background. We got to learn more about her, which will help overall with the next novels in the series.

The writing is superb and there is no lack of thrill or suspense in the book. It was a very satisfying read. Sure it was short, but I never got the feeling of being cheated out of my money for buying this book. Recommended.

Other Sharon Bolton books: Now You See Me, Dead Scared, Like This Forever, A Dark and Twisted Tide

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