Title: Lost by S.J. Bolton
Lacey Flint Series Book Three
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 396 pages
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Like everyone reading the newspapers these days, 10-year-old Barney Roberts knows the killer will strike again soon. The victim will be another boy, just like him. The body will be drained of blood, and left somewhere on a Thames beach. There will be no clues for London detectives Dana Tulloch and Mark Joesbury to find. There will be no warning about who will be next. There will be no real reason for Barney’s friend and neighbor, Lacey Flint, on leave from her job as a London police detective, to become involved…and no chance that she can stay away. With the clock ticking, the violence escalating, and young lives at stake, Lacey and Barney both know they can’t afford a single wrong step if they hope to make it through alive.
S.J. Bolton, an award-winning author of five novels, delivers her most compelling novel to date, in which a fragile police detective and a courageous, lonely eleven-year-old boy must work together to unmask a killer. Lost provides all of the pulse-pounding suspense, beautifully drawn characters, and intricate plotting thriller fans could hope for—and more.
Please note, this title is published in the UK as Like This For Ever.
Lost is another complex and riveting murder mystery in S.J. Bolton’s Lacey Flint series. This fast paced and chilling novel keeps readers glued to the pages as fellow detectives Dana Tulloch and Mark Joesbury race to catch a killer targeting young boys before he or she kidnaps and kills another innocent victim.
With Lacey Flint on leave as she continues to recover from the horrifying events of her undercover job as a college student, Dana Tullock and Mark Joesbury take center stage in Lost. However, just as she is contemplating her future as a police detective, Lacey is reluctantly drawn into the investigation by her young neighbor Barney Roberts. When the case takes a personal turn, it will take all of Lacey’s investigative prowess to rescue the latest victim before tragedy strikes.
Unlike the other novels in the series, Lost is written in third person from different points of view. The investigation into the gruesome kidnappings and deaths are told from Dana’s perspective as she and the other detectives painstakingly collect evidence and pursue leads. Barney plays a prominent role as he and his friends, who just happen to be around the same ages as the victims, follow the case via a Facebook page dedicated to the missing and deceased children. Lacey remains on the periphery of the investigation despite Joe’s attempts to lure her into working on the case. It is not until Barney reveals his suspicions to Lacey and another boy goes missing that Lacey takes an active role in her pursuing the killer.
Lacey’s character continues to evolve as she undergoes therapy to help her deal with trauma from her last case. Lacey is still drawn to Mark, but she persists in denying her feelings for him and goes to great lengths to avoid him. Lacey’s relationship with Dana takes an unexpected turn early in the novel and Lacey’s visits with a prisoner cast further suspicions on her throughout the novel.
Ms. Bolton’s expert use of red herrings and misdirects keeps the readers guessing the identity of the killer for much of the novel. An early clue gave me a pretty good idea who the murderer might be, but plot twists and certain revelations caused me to doubt my guess time and again. However, in the end, my deduction proved correct while the motive for the killings proved elusive until Lacey puts the pieces of the puzzle together.
Lost is another outstanding novel in this exceptionally well written and compelling series. Excellent character development, an intriguing storyline and numerous twists and turns keep the story moving at a fast pace. S.J. Bolton is a master storyteller and I am impatiently awaiting the next installment of the Lacey Flint series.
Read my review of the first book in the series, Now You See Me, HERE.