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Now You See Me is the first book in the Lacey Flint mystery/thriller series by Sharon Bolton. I had most of the books in the series for a while now, and since I’ve just bought the very latest one, I figured it’s time to read them all – in the proper chronological order.
I’ve read 4 books in the series already, although that might have been a mistake: I should have reviewed the first before reading the next, as now as I know already a lot about Lacey’s past, so I’ll have to be very careful to not give away something that comes in one of the later books.
If you want to read the Sharon Bolton books in order, you should start with this one.
Lacey Flint, D.I., is a young police officer in London. She is rather quiet and keeps to herself. Her apartment is rather empty, lacking personal items that would make it more comfy with that ‘at home’ feel. But this suits Lacey just fine.
The story starts when Lacey heads to her car one night from having interviewed a witness in a rape case when she comes across a dying woman right next to her car. All Lacey can do is head over to her and hold her a bit, murmuring soft words to her, before the woman dies right in her arms.
She was murdered right next to Lacey’s car seconds before her arrival, but there is no sign of the perpetrator anywhere around. Not that Lacey is very interested in finding any criminal when her main concern at the moment was the dying woman.
Lacey calls it in and invariably gets tangled in a web of killings that seemingly are a Jack the Ripper copycat with lots of relevant and gory details that only a true Ripper fan would know. And for some reason the killer has chosen Lacey as her point of interest, sending tabloid reporter letters about the killings with Lacey’s name mentioned on each of them.
“Dear Miss Bolton
I keep on hearing Saucy Jacky is back. How I have laughed. Is it true?
If it is, I hope the police are clever, and on the right track.
Ask DC Flint for me – Did the lady squeal? No time to clip her ears but plenty of times for funny little games.
Hope you like the red proper stuff”
reads the first letter.
As the murders continue, Lacey gets involved in the investigation, especially when it gets known that she is kind of Ripperologist – knowing more about Jack the Ripper than anyone else on the force. She is asked to make the connection between each murder and the original Ripper’s killings.
At some point, some DNA is found and soon the police celebrate catching the Ripper wannabe. Until things go wrong again when the killings start again, and Lacey realizes that the murders go way beyond Jack the Ripper, and they all have a direct connection to her. And the past that Lacey is trying so much to get away from seems to come crashing down on her big time.
The story is chilling, fast-paced and really well written. The author definitely knows her Ripper lore. The characters are well portrayed, and I really enjoyed what was developing between Lacey and DC Mark Joesbury, one of the main investigators.
There are a few places where the more squeamish among us might feel queasy reading, however overall it’s a fun read for anyone who loves their crime thrillers as juicy as they come.
The ending came as a surprise, and now that I’ve read several books in the series, this is another reason why I suggest you read the Sharon Bolton books in order because even though this particular story ends, the relationship between Lacey and the killer will take another level in subsequent novels.
I enjoyed the romance that was forming between Lacey and Mark (a dream guy I’d say), and since I’ve read more books in the series in the meantime, this relationship is a big part of my attraction towards the entire series.
Each of the main characters has their own issues to deal with. Lacey has a past that she is running from (is Lacey even her real name?), Joesbury has his own devils chasing after him (more of that in next books), and Dana Tulloch, the woman in charge of the investigation is very good at her job, but more or less ‘damaged goods’ as they say. This definitely makes them all real people in my book.
Overall, this first book in the Lacey Flint series by Sharon Bolton gave me a strong positive vibe, which made me pick up the next book the same day I finished this one. It was that good.