Friday, 9 May 2014
A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton
review by Maryom
Sharon Bolton is back with an extraordinary thriller set among the old wharfs, abandoned warehouses and industrial relics of the Thames. Ex-detective Lacey Flint is living and working right in the heart of them; her home is an old houseboat moored in a marina off Deptford Creek, and her work-place is on the river as part of the Metropolitan Police's Marine Unit. She'd hoped that quitting her detective role and getting back to 'proper' policing would lead to a quieter life - but things are rarely that easy.
Out for a morning swim in the Thames, Lacey discovers a partially submerged body wrapped in a shroud-like cloth, and Lacey just can't help getting pulled into the investigation. The body is quickly linked to other disappearances, and it soon appears that someone is abducting and murdering young (probably illegal) immigrant women along the banks of the Thames. It's just coincidence that Lacey seems to always be the one to find the bodies, isn't it?
I came a bit late to the Lacey Flint series - jumping in at book 3 Like This, For Ever which I found a bit confusing with its on-going personal story-arcs. Now I know the characters and slipped back into their world comfortably. Lacey's private life is pretty much on hold for now as the man she loves, Mark Joesbury, is off undercover somewhere, out of touch with anyone and everyone, but there are still the prison visits to serial-killer Toc and enticing glimpses of Lacey's past.
A Dark and Twisted Tide starts chilling and tense, and stays that way! A complex story developing in unforeseen ways, involving people trafficking and other things too plot-spoiling to mention, it's, as you may guess from the title, as dark and twisted as you could wish for. I thought I'd unravelled the whole back-story to the murders and found myself expecting the story to move in certain directions - but I hadn't and it didn't! I love it when a thriller writer can manage that!
It's not necessarily easy to keep track of everything as the story is told from multiple points of view and the time line jumps about a bit,so it's only towards the end that everything slips nicely into place. But it's a story that grabbed me and had me reading late into the night. I'm not an explorer of caves, tunnels or anything under ground, so having action set in a half-flooded drainage tunnel with a rising tide is NOT my idea of fun - all of which made for an extra-dramatic nail-biting climax.
Something that delighted me was the way A Dark and Twisted Tide opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on London - not the bustling shopping areas or seedy backstreets but the marinas, creeks and inlets that lead into the Thames - for the most part dingy and polluted but in the midst of them an almost enchanted garden that I'd love to explore.
I'm now truly hooked on the Lacey Flint series and want to find and read the earlier ones (sadly not in stock at my library, as I checked yesterday) and can't wait to read Book 5 - no pressure on the author there!
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Bantam Press
Genre - adult, crime, thriller
Buy A Dark and Twisted Tide: Lacey Flint Series, Book 4 from Amazon