Crime Fiction Alphabet: N is for …

 … Now You See Me by S J Bolton

I’ve enjoyed S J Bolton’s earlier books, but I hesitated several times before deciding to read Now You See Me, because it begins with such a brutal killing. I’d read the opening pages on Amazon using the ‘Click to Look Inside‘ feature and didn’t like it. I usually steer clear of books with such graphic descriptions of murder, but I knew that I liked S J Bolton’s writing and that others had given it good reviews, so eventually I read further on.

I’m glad I did because, despite the brutal murders, it is compelling reading, with a complex plot and convincing characters.

Summary from S J Bolton’s website:

Despite her life-long fascination with Jack the Ripper, young detective constable Lacey Flint has never worked a murder case or seen a corpse up close. Until now ‘¦

As she arrives at her car one evening, Lacey is horrified to find a woman slumped over the door. She has been brutally stabbed, and dies in Lacey’s arms.

Thrown headlong into her first murder hunt, Lacey will stop at nothing to find this savage killer. But her big case will also be the start of a very personal nightmare.

When Lacey receives a familiar letter, written in blood, pre-fixed Dear Boss, and hand delivered, it is clear that a Ripper copycat is at large. And one who is fixated on Lacey herself. Can this inexperienced detective outwit a killer whose infamous role model has never been found?

I don’t have a fascination with Jack the Ripper and began to be a bit  weary about the copycat nature of the killings, but then the scenario changed and it became clear that there was more to the killings than just copying the Ripper. It’s narrated by Lacey, a strong character, one who thinks for herself, is a loner, and is not content to merely follow police procedure. But I didn’t warm to her until near the end of the book. She knows more than she is letting on to her fellow police officers and I was very suspicious of her motives and conscious that she was not a reliable narrator.

S J Bolton is very skilled in leading the reader up the garden path, providing plenty of hints that could be significant or be dead ends. This book (like her others) is fast-paced, full of suspense and tension, with a chilling and dramatic ending.

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552159816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552159814
  • Source: My own copy
  • My Rating: 3.5/5

For more Crime Fiction Alphabet posts see Kerrie’s blog Mysteries in Paradise. The posts must be related to either the first letter of a book’s title, the first letter of an author’s first name, or the first letter of the author’s surname, or even maybe a crime fiction “topic”. But above all, it has to be crime fiction.

8 thoughts on “Crime Fiction Alphabet: N is for …

  1. Margaret – Interesting choice for N! I’m not much of a one at all for brutal murders either – at all. But it sounds as though there’s a lot more to this one than just that and I’m glad you thought it was worth the read.


  2. I have yet to read any SJ Bolton, but have heard good things about them. I am missing doing this challenge, but personal events meant that I just fell behind, and was not in the mood for crime.


  3. I’ve never heard of S. J. Bolton. Like you I’m not one for the hardboiled, gory murder story but this one sounds interesting especially with a strong character like Lacey. Thanks for the review.


  4. When I saw that you had reviewed this title, I remembered that my husband asked me earlier if sounded like a good book. So it is good to see this review and get some first hand knowledge. Even with the brutal murders, the writing sounds good and worth a try. And I have read good things about the other books too. Thanks for the reminder.


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