Last Updated on May 11, 2018
Like This Forever (also called Lost in other editions) is the third book in the Lacey Flint series by S. J. Bolton (aka Sharon Bolton). It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but a quick trip down memory lane brought it all fresh to my mind. Which is a good sign, since pity the book that doesn’t stay long with you once successfully devoured.
Reading the Sharon Bolton books in order means picking up every single book (even the short novella) in the series. Trust me, it will be worth your time.
As we’ve already seen in the first two books in the series, Lacey is what it’s called ‘damaged goods’, with a lot to hide from her past. She is very secretive and doesn’t open up much to anyone – except here and there to Mark Joesbury, the man she secretly loves, even though she is still in denial about her feelings for him.
After the events in the previous books, Lacey is really tired, exhausted (afterall she was involved in the copycat Jack the Ripper case, and helped solve the Cambridge university murders) and she takes a leave of absence from the force. She is already in a very fragile emotional state of mind, so it doesn’t take long for her to start cracking. And she knows that if she remains at the force for long, it will be the end for her.
She is now trying to recover and avoids any calls from her colleagues at the police force (including those from Mark), not wanting to get involved in any more cases anytime soon. Unfortunately for Lacey, the cases do seem to seek her out anyway, and the latest spree of missing kids from her own neighborhood push her to perk up enough to want to find out what is going on with these kids. Especially when one of the kids involved is Barney, her neighbor kid whom she really feels close to.
In this book, Lacey is not on the murder squad, despite having been asked to help with the case. And yet, there she is smack right in the middle of things, putting herself in danger while solving the case on her own. I guess police work is in Lacey’s blood after all, despite her not seeing it that way at all.
Throughout the story we learn more about Barney, we see things from his perspective, and we learn to care about him. We also get once again inside Lacey’s head and learn a bit more about her demons, fears, and insecurities. While she has all but given up on life, Joesbury doesn’t want to give up on her. They are both aware that something is between them, but they don’t dare act on their feelings just yet.
In Like This, For Ever the story is full of suspense, and as we have already learned from the previous books, the author knows how to give us those red herrings, knowing that we will grab them with both hands before we realize we’ve been had once again.
Every time I thought I figured out who the killer was, it turned out it was anyone but that person. And when it was finally revealed, I was still searching for a possible culprit, so the whodunit did come as a surprise to me, along with the motives involved.
The writing is well crafted and before you know it, you get gently, but willfully sucked into the story and its dark atmosphere. Once you start to read the book, you simply can’t give it up, not until you reach the end. At least this is how it was for me for this and the previous two books in the series as well. There is some dark humor, which works really well for the story. It does break up the tension a bit, as can get a bit overwhelming at times.
Overall Like This, For Ever is a heck of a great book, well worth reading. But if you read it, make sure you start with the first one in the Lacey Flint series, Now You See Me. There is too much character development going on in the previous books to want to miss out on learning more about Lacey, Joesbury and the rest of the team, which I equally love.