Late one night after interviewing a witness, Lacey Flint, a young detective constable, stumbles onto a woman brutally stabbed just moments before. Within twenty-four hours, a reporter receives an anonymous letter pointing out alarming similarities between the murder and Jack the Ripper's first murdera letter that calls out Lacey by name. If it's real, and they have a killer bent on re-creating London's bloody past, history shows they have just five days until the next attempt.
No one believes the connections are anything more than a sadistic killer's game, not even Lacey, whom the killer seems to be taunting specifically. But as the case unfolds, the details start reminding Lacey of a part of her own past she'd rather keep hidden. And the only way to do that is to catch the killer herself.
Fast paced and riveting, S. J. Bolton's modern gothic novel Now You See Me is nothing less than a masterpiece of suspense fiction.
About the Author
SHARON BOLTON is a Mary Higgins Clark Award winner and an ITW Thriller Award, CWA Gold Dagger, and Barry Award nominee. Her fascination with British folklore, especially the dark and haunting side of those legends, fuels her writing. She grew up in Lancashire, England, and now lives near Oxford with her family. This is her fourth novel. Sharon Bolton was previously published as S.J. Bolton.
Read an Excerpt
Friday 31 August
A DEAD WOMAN WAS LEANING AGAINST MY CAR.
Somehow managing to stand upright, arms outstretched, fingers grasping the rim of the passenger door, a dead woman was spewing blood over the car's paintwork, each spatter overlaying the last as the pattern began to resemble a spider's web.
A second later she turned and her eyes met mine. Dead eyes. A savage wound across her throat gaped open; her abdomen was a mass of scarlet. She reached out; I couldn't move. She was clutching me, strong for a dead woman.
I know, I know, she was on her feet, still moving, but it was impossible to look into those eyes and think of her as anything other than dead. Technically, the body might be clinging on, the weakening heart still beating, she had a little control over her muscles. Technicalities, all of them. Those eyes knew the game was up.
Suddenly I was hot. Before the sun went down, it had been a warm evening, the sort when London's buildings and pavements cling to the heat of the day, hitting you with a wave of hot air when you venture outside. This was something new, though, this pumping, sticky warmth. This heat had nothing to do with the weather.
I hadn't seen the knife. But I could feel the handle of it now, pressing against me. She was holding me so tightly, was pushing the blade further into her own body.
No, don't do that.
I tried to hold her away, just enough to take the pressure off the knife. She coughed, except the cough came from the wound on her throat, not her mouth. Something splashed over my face and then the world turned around us.
We'd fallen. She sank to the ground and I went with her, hitting the tarmac hard and jarring my shoulder. Now she was lying flat on the pavement, staring up at the sky, and I was kneeling over her. Her chest was still moving – just.
There's still time, I told myself, knowing there wasn't. I needed help. None to be had. The small car park was deserted. Tall buildings of six-and eight-storey blocks of flats surrounded us and, for a second, I caught a movement on one of the balconies. Then nothing. The twilight was deepening by the second.
She'd been attacked moments ago. Whoever had done it would be close.
I was reaching for my radio, patting pockets, not finding it, and all the while watching the woman's eyes. My bag had fallen a few feet away. I fumbled inside and found my mobile, summoning police and ambulance to the car park outside Victoria House on the Brendon Estate in Kennington. When I ended the call, I realized she'd taken hold of my hand.
A dead woman was holding my hand, and it was almost beyond me to look into those eyes and see them trying to focus on mine. I had to talk to her, keep her conscious. I couldn't listen to the voice in my head telling me it was over.
'It's OK,' I was saying. 'It's OK.'
The situation was clearly a very long way from OK.
'Help's coming,' I said, knowing she was beyond help. 'Everything's going to be fine.'
We lie to dying people, I realized that evening, just as the first sirens sounded in the distance.
'Can you hear them? People are coming. Just hold on.' Both her hand and mine were sticky with blood. The metal strap of her watch pressed into me. 'Come on, stay with me.' Sirens getting louder. 'Can you hear them? They're almost here.'
Footsteps running. I looked up to see flashing blue lights reflected in several windows. A patrol car had pulled up next to my Golf and a uniformed constable was jogging towards us, speaking into his radio. He reached us and crouched down.
'Hold on now,' I said. 'People are here, we'll take care of you.'
The constable had a hand on my shoulder. 'Take it easy,' he was saying, just as I'd done seconds earlier, only he was saying it to me. 'There's an ambulance on its way. Just take it easy.'
The officer was in his mid forties, heavy set, with thinning grey hair. I thought perhaps I'd seen him before.
'Can you tell me where you're hurt?' he asked.
I turned back to the dead woman. Really dead now.
'Love, can you talk to me? Can you tell me your name? Tell me where you're injured?'
No doubt about it. Pale-blue eyes fixed. Body motionless. I wondered if she'd heard anything I'd said to her. She had the most beautiful hair, I noticed then, the palest shade of ash blonde. It spread out around her head like a fan. Her earrings were reflecting light from the streetlamps and there was something about the way they sparkled through strands of her hair that struck me as familiar. I released her hand and began pushing myself up from the pavement. Gently, someone kept me where I was.
'I don't think you should move, love. Wait till the ambulance gets here.'
I hadn't the heart to argue, so I just kept staring at the dead woman. Blood had spattered across the lower part of her face. Her throat and chest were awash with it. It was pooling beneath her on the pavement, finding tiny nicks in the paving stones to travel along. In the middle of her chest, I could just make out the fabric of her shirt. Lower down her body, it was impossible. The wound on her throat wasn't the worst of her injuries, not by any means. I remembered hearing once that the average female body contained around five litres of blood. I'd just never considered quite what it would look like when it was all spilling out.
'I'M OK, I'M NOT HURT. IT'S NOT MY BLOOD.'
I wanted to stand up; they wouldn't let me move.
Three paramedics were huddled around the blonde woman. They seemed to be holding pressure pads against the wound on her abdomen. I heard mention of a tracheotomy. Then something about a peripheral pulse.
Shall we call it? I think so, she's gone.
They were turning to me now. I got to my feet. The woman's blood was sticky against my skin, already drying in the warm air. I felt myself sway and saw movement. The blocks of flats surrounding the square had long balconies running the length of every floor. A few minutes ago they'd been deserted. Now they were packed with people. From the back pocket of my jeans I pulled out my warrant card and held it up to the nearest officer.
'DC Lacey Flint,' I said.
He read it and looked into my eyes for confirmation. 'Thought you looked familiar,' he said. 'Based at Southwark, are you?'
'CID,' he said to the hovering paramedics who, having realized there was nothing they could do for the blonde woman, had turned their attention on me. One of them moved forward. I stepped back.
'You shouldn't touch me,' I said. 'I'm not hurt.' I looked down at my bloodstained clothes, feeling dozens of eyes staring at me. 'I'm evidence.'
I wasn't allowed to slink off quietly to the anonymity of the nearest police station. DC Stenning, the first detective on the scene, had received a call from the DI in charge. She was on her way and didn't want me going anywhere until she'd had chance to speak to me.
Pete Stenning had been a colleague of mine at Southwark before he'd joined the area's Major Investigation Team, or MIT, based at Lewisham. He wasn't much older than me, maybe around thirty, and was one of those lucky types blessed with almost universal popularity. Men liked him because he worked hard, but not so hard anyone around felt threatened, he liked down-to-earth, working-class sports like football but could hold down a conversation about golf or cricket, he didn't talk over-much but whatever he said was sensible. Women liked him because he was tall and slim, with curly dark hair and a cheeky grin.
He nodded in my direction, but was too busy trying to keep the public back to come over. By this time, screens has been erected around the blonde woman's body. Deprived of the more exciting sight, everyone wanted to look at me. News had spread. People had sent text messages to friends, who'd hot-footed it over to join in the fun. I sat in the back of a patrol car, avoiding prying eyes and trying to do my job.
The first sixty minutes after a major incident are the most important, when evidence is fresh and the trail to the perpetrator still hot. There are strict protocols we have to follow. I didn't work on a murder team, my day-to-day job involved tracing owners of stolen property and was far less exciting, but I knew I had to remember as much as possible. I was good at detail, a fact I wasn't always grateful for when the dull jobs invariably came my way, but I should be glad of it now.
'Got you a cup of tea, love.' The PC who'd appointed himself my minder was back. 'You might want to drink it quick,' he added, handing it over. 'The DI's arrived.'
I followed his glance and saw that a silver Mercedes sports car had pulled up not far from my own car. Two people got out. The man was tall and even at a distance I could see he was no stranger to the gym. He was wearing jeans and a grey polo shirt. Tanned arms. Sunglasses.
The woman I recognized immediately from photographs. Slim as a model, with shiny, dark hair cut into a chin-length bob, she was wearing the sort of jeans women pay over a hundred pounds for. She was the newest senior recruit to the twenty-seven major investigation teams based around London and her arrival had been covered officially, in internal circulars, and unofficially on the various police blog sites. She was young for the role of DI, not much more than mid thirties, but she'd just worked a high-profile case in Scotland. She was also rumoured to know more about HOLMES 2, the major incident computer system, than practically any other serving UK police officer. Of course, it didn't hurt, one or two of the less supportive blogs had remarked, that she was female and not entirely white.
I watched her and the man pull on pale-blue Tyvek suits and shoe covers. She tucked her hair into the hood. Then they went behind the screens, the man standing aside at the last moment to allow her to go first.
By this time, white-suited figures were making their way around the site like phantoms. The scene-of-crime officers had arrived. They would establish an inner cordon around the body and an outer one around the crime scene. From now on, everyone entering the cordons would be signed in and out, the exact time of their arrival and departure being recorded. I'd learned all this at the crime academy, only a few months ago, but it was the first time I'd seen it in practice.
A gazebo-like structure was being erected over the spot where the corpse still lay. Screens has already been put up to create walls and within seconds the investigators had a large, enclosed area in which to work. Police tape was set up around my car. Lights were being unloaded from the van just as the DI and her companion emerged. They spoke together for a few seconds then the man turned and walked off, striding over the striped tape that marked the edge of the cordon. The DI came my way.
'I'll leave you to it,' said my minder. I handed him my cup and he moved away. The new DI was standing in front of me. Even in the Tyvek suit she looked elegant. Her skin was a rich, dark cream and her eyes green. I remembered reading that her mother had been Indian.
'DC Flint?' she asked, in a soft Scottish accent. I nodded.
'We haven't met,' she went on. 'I'm Dana Tulloch.'
'OK,' SAID DI TULLOCH. 'GO SLOWLY AND KEEP TALKING.' I set off, my feet rustling on the pavement. Tulloch had taken one look at me and insisted that a Tyvek suit and slippers be brought. I'd be getting cold, she said, in spite of the warm evening, and I'd attract much less attention if the bloodstains were covered up. I was also wearing a pair of latex gloves to preserve any evidence on my hands.
'I'd been on the third floor,' I said. 'Flat 37. I came down that flight of stairs and turned right.'
'What were you doing there?'
'Talking to a witness.' I stopped and corrected myself. 'A potential witness,' I went on. 'I've been coming over on Friday evenings for a few weeks now. It's the one time I can be pretty certain not to see her mother. I'm trying to persuade her to testify in a case and her mother isn't keen.'
'Did you succeed?' asked Tulloch.
I shook my head. 'No,' I admitted.
We reached the end of the walkway and could see the square again. Uniform were trying to persuade people to go home and not having much luck.
'Guess there isn't much on TV tonight,' muttered Tulloch. 'Which case?'
'Gang rape,' I replied, knowing I could probably expect trouble. I didn't work on crime involving sexual assault and earlier that evening I'd been moonlighting. A few years ago the Met set up a number of bespoke teams known as the Sapphire Units to deal with all such offences. It was the sort of work I'd joined the police service to do and I was waiting for a vacancy to come up. In the meantime, I kept up to speed on what was going on. I couldn't help myself.
'Was the passage empty when you came out of the stairwell?' Tulloch asked.
'I think so,' I said, although the truth was I wasn't sure. I'd been annoyed at the response I'd got from Rona, my potential witness; I'd been thinking about my next move, if I even had one. I hadn't been paying much attention to what was going on around me.
'When you came out into the square, what did you see? How many people?'
Slowly, we retraced the last time I'd walked this way, with Tulloch firing questions at me every few seconds. Annoyed with myself for not being more alert earlier, I tried my best. I didn't think there'd been anyone around. There'd been music, some sort of loud rap that I hadn't recognized. A helicopter had passed overhead, lower than normal, because I'd glanced up at it. I was certain I'd never seen the blonde woman before tonight. There had been something, for a second, as I'd looked at her, something niggling, but no, it had gone.
'I was looking back at this point,' I said, as I turned on the spot. 'There was a loud noise behind me.'
I met Tulloch's eye and knew what she was thinking. I'd looked back and had probably missed seeing the attack by seconds. Split seconds.
'When did you see her?' she asked me.
'I was a bit closer,' I replied. 'I was fumbling in my bag as I was walking – I thought I might have left my car keys behind – then I looked up and saw her.'
We were right back in the thick of it. A white-suited figure was taking photographs of the blood spatter on my car.
'Go on,' she told me.
'I didn't see the blood at first,' I said. 'I thought she'd stopped to ask directions, that maybe she thought there was someone in the car.'
'Tell me what she looked like. Describe her to me.'
'Tall,' I began, not sure where this was going. She'd just seen the woman in question for herself.
She sighed. 'You're a detective, Flint. How tall?' 'Five ten,' I guessed. 'Taller than both of us. And slim.'
Her eyebrows went up.
'Size twelve,' I said quickly. 'From the back I thought she was young, probably because she was slim and well dressed, but when I saw her face, she seemed older than I expected.'
'She looked good,' I went on, warming to my theme. If Tulloch wanted endless detail I could oblige. 'She was well dressed. Her clothes looked expensive. Simple, but well made. Her hair had been professionally done. That colour doesn't come out of a bottle you buy at Boots and there was no sign of roots. Her skin was good and so were her teeth, but she had lines around her eyes and her jawline wasn't that tight.'
'So you'd put her age at ...'
'I'd say well-preserved mid forties.'
'Yes, so would I.' There was movement all around us, but Tulloch's eyes weren't leaving my face. There could have been just the two of us in the car park.
'Did she have ID?' I asked. 'Do we know who she is?'
'Nothing in her bag,' said a man's voice. I turned. Tulloch's companion of earlier had joined us. He'd pushed his sunglasses on to the top of his head. There was scarring around his right eye that looked recent. 'No ID, no car keys, some cash and bits of make-up,' he went on. 'Mystery how she got here. We're some distance from the Tube and she doesn't strike me as a bus type.'
Tulloch was looking at the large blocks of flats that surrounded the square.
'Course, her car keys could have been stolen along with the car. A woman like that probably drives a nice motor,' he said. He had a faint south London accent.
'She had diamond studs in her ears,' I said. 'This wasn't a robbery.'
He looked at me. His eyes were blue, almost turquoise. The one with the scarring around it was bloodshot. 'Could have been fake,' he suggested.
'If I was slitting someone's throat and cutting open their stomach to rob them, I'd take any visible jewellery on the off-chance, wouldn't you?' I said. 'And she had a nice-looking wristwatch too. I could feel it scratching against my hand as she died.'
He didn't like that, I could tell. He raised his hand to rub his sore eye and frowned at me.
'Flint, this is DI Joesbury,' said Tulloch. 'Nothing to do with the investigation. He only came out with me tonight because he's bored. This is DC Flint. Lacey, I think, is that right?'
'Which reminds me,' said Joesbury, who'd barely acknowledged the introduction. 'Lewisham want to know when you're bringing her in.'
Tulloch was still looking at the buildings around us. 'I don't get it, Mark,' she said. 'We're surrounded by flats and it isn't that late, dozens of people could have witnessed what happened. Why would you murder someone here?'
Excerpted from "Now You See Me"
Copyright © 2011 S. J. Bolton.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part One - Polly,
Part Two - Annie,
Part Three - Elizabeth,
Part Four - Catharine,
Part Five - Mary,
Also by S. J. Bolton,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Like many others, I have been intrigued by the Jack the Ripper legend. That's one of the main reasons I wanted to read this novel. And the action begins right away when Constable Lacey Flint is nearly knocked down by a woman who has her throat slashed and blood gushing from her wound. Soon she is caught up in the investigation which somehow resembles that of Jack the Rippers' killing spree of 1881. Flint is very knowledgeable in Ripper folklore and is asked to assist in the search for the killer. But Flint has secrets of her own and seems to be taunted by the killer. This novel is quite suspenseful and makes you think. The characters are well developed and the information on Jack the Ripper makes it that more entertaining. With the various plot twists, it is wonderful read and the climax is was a surprise.
As in S J Bolton's other novels, she keeps you on your toes as fingers (and evidence) are pointed at one and then another character. Trademark to Bolton, just when you think you have it all figured out, she throws a curve ball to take the story in a totally different direction. Consistent with her other fabulous works, better fasten your seat belt for a surprise ending. Now you See Me is another page-turned. Get it on your Nook!
An exciting beginning to a new suspense series. Since I have started reviewing books on a regular basis, I find that I am reading a lot of books by both new authors and "new to me" authors. I am beginning to feel like I start all of my reviews with the phrase. "[book title here] is my first book by [author name]". Once again, I have a book to review by an author that I have never read before. Now You See Me by British mystery writer S.J. Bolton falls in the second category, and is one of the best thrillers that I have read in quite a while. In my opinion, there are a few things that all of the best thrillers have in common; a plot that takes me in in such a way that I am compelled to read, intriguing characters, and the author's ability to craft a story in such a way that by the end I feel both satisfied and wrung out. Now You See Me has all of that and more. As far as being a compelling read, this book hit the trifecta. First, from the beginning, when a dying women falls into the arms of the main character, to the very end, this book is filled with the kind of "edge of your seat" suspense that kept me reading far into the night. Secondly, the twists and turns were so well done that the author was able to keep me guessing, even to the very end. Above populating the story with these great twists and turns, the third piece of the trifecta was the author's ability to actually make me question what I thought I knew about the story. There were times when I actually caught myself wondering whether that events as I thought I understood them were real, or just imagined. Add to the above the way the author wove the mythology and lore of Jack the Ripper into the story, and I was hooked. True crime has always fascinated me, and I have spent many reading hours on stories about the most famous, or infamous, criminals throughout history, especially cases where the crimes were never solved. You can see, then, why a book where Jack the Ripper facts and lore feature prominently would be to my liking. I appreciated the care with which the author did her research on Jack the Ripper, and the intriguing way that she wove that information into the story at large. As for great characters, this book certainly fits the bill there. Lacy Flint, the main character is a strong, independent woman with a nebulous background. As the story unfold, we are continually given little pieces of her background that cements the intrigue of her character. The male interest in this story, one Mark Joesbury, appears to have a bit of a questionable past himself, as do many other of the minor characters. I am hoping to see and learn more about Mark, Lacy, and Detective Inspector Dana Tulloch as the series unfolds. By the time I finished reading this book, I couldn't help but feel that I had gotten my time's worth. I enjoyed every minute that I spent reading it. Part of that enjoyment was wrapped aroung the feeling that I had of having been through a surreal esperience and being around to tell about it. My feelings were so strong, in fact, that I immediately went out and bought the novella that comes after the book, and ordered the second book of the series from my local library. I would like to thank both Netgalley and the author for giving me the chance to read this book for a review.
One of the very best, suspense, thriller, detective, mystery...you name it. Only problem with "page turner," which this is is that you might miss important details. Nonetheless: Highly recommended.
S. J. Bolton is one of my favorite authors!!! She keeps the story moving. It's a great mystery and if you are a fan of Jack the Ripper..you will enjoy this book!
Bolton had me guessing who Cathy and Victoria were right to the end.
Having thought SJ Bolton's first three novels, which had a atmospheric supernatural feel to them, were enjoyable but not memorable I was interested to see what she would do with a straightforward crime thriller. I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised.A modern day Jack the Ripper copy cat killer is killing women in London and young DC Lacey Flint is on board the investigation because of her knowledge of Ripper lore. Right from the beginning you know that there is something in her past that she is hiding that continues to haunt her. It is soon clear that the killer has a link with Lacey and the plot begins to twist and turn.The historical detail of the original Ripper killings and the description of the London setting of the modern day killer are very well done.The author's development of the Lacey character is flawlessness, you are gripped by her darkness and pain and even though she tells her story in the first person you are never sure if she is a reliable narrator, well you do believe her and you doubt her... it's is this rollercoaster of a thread through the book that adds another dimension to this thriller.The book is so compulsively readable with a a cliffhanger at the end of virtually every chapter, that makes you read on and on....you think you have cracked it and then the story is off again in another direction at breakneck speed.I loved the chemistry of the relationship between Lacey and Joesbury, a senior officer on the team who veers between suspecting her of being more involved than she is telling and desire.Love this exchange between them whilst investigating a lead in Cardiff...¿Then we are going to meet a woman called Muffin Thomas, Joesbury went on, in between mouthfuls. Lives somewhere near Splatt or Splott or some such.¿¿Muffin being a very common Welsh name, I said.Joesbury reached into his pocket and pulled out a notebook. He opened it and turned it to face me.¿Myfanwy I said, deciphering his scrawl. "Say again?""Muff-an-wee" I repeated.Full of intelligent turns, especially that last one but never felt manipulated or deceived by the author.Masterful, mature storytelling
S.J. Bolton's Now You See Me? Couldn't put this one down. If you're looking for a good, suspenseful read that will grip you almost from the first page and not let go until the last, Bolton is an always reliable author, and Now You See Me one of her best stories. Maybe even my favorite so far. I've always thought she does 'creepy' better than just about any other author I've read, but I think she's outdone herself this time. I've thoroughly enjoyed her previous stories, but sometimes a little imagination stretching is required to fully appreciate all the nuances. Not so much this time around. Bolton tries her hand now at a slightly unconventional police procedural with satisfying results. Her books, though they all have contemporary settings, often have a taste of the gothic. As a matter of fact what she writes is considered 'modern gothic'. In the past her stories have relied heavily on legends and folklore that may call for something of a supernatural twist to help explain events. This time around she has a similar slant, but the myth she draws from and gives a twenty-first century spin to is the Jack the Ripper myth. Most people are familiar with Jack who murdered at least five women in the Whitechapel area of London in the 1880s. In Now You See Me, there is a copycat murderer on the loose and he seems awfully interested in DC Lacey Flint who narrates the story.The novel opens with a horrific scene in which a woman who's just been stabbed falls against lacey's car and literally dies in her arms. Lacey had just left the flat of a prospective witness in a case she had been working on. She missed the killer by only seconds and no one in the complex saw anything either. When the police arrive Lacey is covered in the woman's blood so it's hard for the paramedics to figure out who exactly is the victim. Lacey finds herself in the uncomfortable position of being the sole witness to a crime, one that she feels somewhat responsible for. Had she just arrived a second earlier or noticed any oddities, she might have been able to prevent the murder.Lacey, a fairly new recruit, becomes drawn into the investigation, but her position on the team is precarious. She's outside her normal environment and is only allowed to work with the rest of the detectives on this case because she witnessed the crime. Lacey proves useful in another way, however. Just twenty-four hours after the murder a reporter receives a note asking if "Saucy Jacky" is back and naming DC Flint by name. Although the murderer didn't get to finish the job, the note refers to how Jack the Ripper clipped his victim's ears and assures the reporter that he'll have ample opportunity later to do the job properly.Lacey Flint is an interesting character, and the more she tells the story the more uncertain both the reader and the other detectives are about her; well, one in particular anyway. She seems to have an inordinately deep knowledge and maybe even unusual fascination with Ripper lore, which is partially why she is welcomed onto the team of detectives. She's able to fill them in on the intricacies of the orginal Ripper murders, and it's obvious she's well read about them as she can pull fact from fiction. She's also a bit of a loner, living in a flat that is a policeman's nightmare--so easy would it be to enter it. Her habit of picking up men in bars for one-night stands seems like particularly risky behavior to one of the detectives. It's hard to tell whether he's simply worried about her and the killer's interest in her, or if he's doubting just how truthful she's being in the investigation. Probably both.Sorting out who the killer is and just why he's killing and how Lacey is connected makes for a complicated and suspenseful read. Like all good stories of this sort, there are lots of twists and turns and a few surprises along the way and not everyone and everything is as it seems. Since the Ripper murders provide the "inspiration" for the killer
`Now You See Me¿ had me gripped from the outset. In fact, it was downright scary in places and I loved it all the more for that. Whilst not an unfathomable plot it is still original and quite simply thrilling. All the characters are engaging but I found Lacey Flint to be just a tad irritating in places. It isn¿t possible to review a thriller in great detail as there¿s always a chance too much is revealed. The novel is a definite page turner and whilst it isn¿t my favourite read from this excellent author it still deserves a 5/5.
SJ Bolton's "Now You See Me" on the one hand is a stand-alone, however the two principal characters from this book as well as two from Bolton's previous book, "Blood Harvest" appear in the current "Dead Scared" - sounds like a series to me, actually a nice twist on the usual structure. NYSM is about a series of killings that bear remarkable similarities to the Jack-the Ripper killings in the late 1880's. Wounds, dates, posture of the victims, and locations have strong ties to the Ripper case. This gives the police team certain advantages in terms of predicting future murders. Yet there are some key differences. The cast is very interesting, particularly the protagonist, Lacey Flint, a London Police detective who happens upon the first victim and is drawn into the team formed to killer. But Lacey's own background is somewhat suspect and the killer continues to draw her further in through indirect contacts, some very threatening. Then there is this macho, super cop Joesbury who is conflicted by his suspicion of Flint as well as his attraction to her. Tension runs high throughout. I always looked forward to the next opportunity to pick the book up. Characters are very interesting, but for some reason one well developed character, a somewhat mysterious young woman reporter drops out in the last quarter of the book. Why???? And Bolton concludes the romantic relationship between the two leads in the same frustrating fashion she did in BH. Stay tuned.
Now You See Me was a gripping read that didn't let me go until the very last page. Lacey is a young police officer working off-duty on a case when she comes across a woman that literally dies in her arms. This vicious murder propels Lacy into the biggest murder investigation that she has ever been involved in. But unfortunately, the murderer seems to have an eerie attachment to Lacey and the murders seem to be mimicking Jack the Ripper. And of course everything isn't what it seems....Now You See Me is one of those books that sucks you in from the very first page. The main character Lacey was a curious individual that had my interest from the very beginning. Lacey is one of those characters that has secrets, and the secrets add to both the mystery and atmosphere that is constantly present in the story. The atmosphere begins from the very beginning; it was a creepy presence that grew as the book went on. I loved the references to Jack the Ripper and all of the historical tidbits that were included. I felt like they really added to the book and made it just that much more creepy. The plot was both unique and compelling. It really made the book hard to put down! While I was reading, I was constantly trying to figure out what was really going on and who the killer could possibly be. I was left guessing until the very end which made the book stand out for me. And while the ending didn't take me by complete surprise (I guessed one part), the other parts did. I found it to be very satisfying while still leaving questions that left me thinking about the book after I finished.All in all, this was an amazing read that kept me on my toes the entire time. I couldn't put it down, didn't guess the ending, and was left wanting more. What else could you ask for in a book??? I'm eager to read more by this author and have already added the other books to my wishlist. Highly recommended!Bottom Line: A thriller that kept me hooked throughout with atmosphere in spades!Disclosure: Checked out from my local library. This book was an Edgar Award Nominee for the Mary Higgins Clark Award which is why I picked it up as I'm trying to read all of them (personal goal). I'm so glad that I did because this was a great way to start this project!
The serial murder of women suggest a contemporary Jack the Ripper is haunting London. For (DI)Lacey Flint, the murders appear to point directly to her as a suspect with her detailed knowledge about the original Ripper crimes and a past she does not want revealed. Bolton's police procedural is an atmospheric page-turner about justice and revenge. Readalikes: Above Suspicion by Lynda La Plante
Detective Constable Lacey Flint suddenly finds herself a witness in the investigation of a brutal murder with an unsettling resemblance to a Jack the Ripper murder. And, as it happens, Lacey is a bit of an expert on Jack the Ripper. The investigation has a lot of twists and turns as Lacey¿s own mysterious past comes into play. Why does the killer appear to be taunting her and what secret is Lacey desperate to keep?This was a real page-turner, chilling and violent (and not for the faint-hearted). Everytime I thought I had it figured out, I quickly realized I didn¿t. I¿m really looking forward to reading more S.J.Bolton.
I received this book as part of the early readers program. At first Ithought it was going to be just another serial killer book, but once I started to read, I knew it was going to be a great book.Lacey Flint is a newly promoted detective coming out of a witness' building when a women who has been stabbed is thrust on Lacey. Horrified Lacey tries to help but to no avail. Soon Lacey is thrust into the investigation. There seems to be leads until Lacey is convinced that the murderer is trying to recreate the Jake the Ripper murders.This book was a fantastic read. I could hardly put it down.
Lacey Flint, a young London police officer, stumbles upon a women who has just been attacked in a parking garage. The victim, bleeding from multiple stab wounds, dies in Lacey¿s arms. Although the crime has clearly occurred only moments before, there¿s no trace of the killer. Early in the investigation, through an anonymous letter to the press, Lacey and the detectives assigned to the case learn that their killer may be recreating a crime spree from over 100 year ago ¿ that of the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper. The motives of the killer are unclear, but Lacey finds herself caught in the middle of the crime investigation. Is she the killer? Is she the next victim?I really enjoyed this book. SJ Bolton does a great job of blending a modern-day mystery and a historical crime novel. I knew only the basics of the Jack the Ripper story and am not a big fan of history in general. But, the history parts of this novel don¿t feel like a history lesson. By weaving the historical facts within the contemporary context I could really appreciate the story. Bolton has created strong, distinct modern characters with Lacey and her police and media colleagues. At the same time, she¿s done a great job capturing the bustle, grime, and poverty of parts of London during the Victorian era. As for the modern mystery, Bolton introduces enough clues to keep the reader intrigued ¿ I thought I had it figured out a bit over half way through, but I wasn¿t even close. The twists and turns will keep most readers guessing until the end.This was my first SJ Bolton book and I will definitely go back and read her earlier books. If they are anywhere close to as exciting as Now You See Me, I¿ll have to add a new author to my ¿must read¿ mystery/suspense/thriller list.
This is Bolton's best book yet! The twist and turns of the plot will keep you guessing until the end. The Jack the Ripper lore is fascinating and Lacey Flint is a character you'll feel both liking and sympathy for.This is not the average serial killer story. Highly recommend.
Wow! Jack the Ripper-like murders and a detective, Lacey Flint, who has a life-long interest in Jack the Ripper. The perfect combination for an action packed, riveting thriller with many unexpected twists and turns! I really liked this book. It was well written, filled with fast moving action, compelling characters and an outstanding plot. The ending is awesome! This is one thriller fans don't want to miss!
Now you see me by S.J. Bolton was a very pleasant surprise. I was not familiar with the author before. I will however be sure to go back and read her previous books.Anything that has a tie to Jack the Ripper is always intriguing to me. So I was game to read this from the get go. From the first sentence of the prologue, Now You See Me grabbed me and didn't let me go. It's an extremely well written police procedural with very accessible and humanistic characters. There are some incredible twists and turns and the ending. Shocker!This is a great read. Thanks Early Reviewers for making this available.
Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton should come with a warning or at least a dare (as in, "I dare you to try to put this down once you start it"). I've enjoyed Ms. Bolton's other books, but this one is her very best. In this plot about a Police Constable with a past caught up in a bigger investigation than she ever imagined, the twists and turns are unexpected and delicious. Ms. Bolton raises the stakes over and over, each time outwitting the reader with the ingenuity of her mind.This book is a combination of British police procedural and psychological thriller with dashes of Jack the Ripper thrown in for seasoning. The result is a book that I resented having to put down to do things like eat and go to work. I loved the characters, loved the writing, pretty much loved everything about it. Its only flaw is that it's so very good that the next three or four books you read afterwards are likely to disappoint. If you like Ruth Rendell writing either as herself or as Barbara Vine you will gobble down this book like the best chocolates you ever had. Must read!
Detective Constable Lacey Flint has been returning to the same apartment complex every Friday night for months. She has been trying, without any signs of success, to persuade a reluctant witness to come forward and testify in a trial. As Lacey walks to her car, she rifles through her bag, searching for her car keys. When she has them in her hand, she looks up and sees a dead woman holding on to the framework of the car. The woman is standing, breathing, but Lacey knows that no one can survive for long with the kinds of wounds the woman has. Lacey calls for back-up and an ambulance but there is no chance that anything can be done for the woman. When Lacey¿s commanding officer, Detective Inspector Dana Tulloch, arrives, she orders Lacey into the Tyvek suit crime scene investigators wear. Lacey is, herself, a crime scene. The suit is to protect the evidence of the wounds that are on Lacey¿s street clothes. She held the woman and Lacey is evidence of the brutality.Lacey is burdened with guilt. If she hadn¿t been looking into her purse, she might have seen the attacker. If she could see the attacker, the attacker could see her and the woman might not be dead. DI Tulloch discourages Lacey from thoughts that will only serve to drive her crazy but the next day, when an anonymous letter arrives at the home of a newspaper reporter, it seems there might be a connection to Lacey ¿ her name is mentioned in the letter.More frightening is the information in the letter. The killer is re-creating the crimes of Jack the Ripper and this woman, Geraldine Jones, is only the first to die. The killer seems to know something more about Lacey. Since childhood, she has been fascinated by serial killers and she is an expert on the Ripper. The method and the means are a message to Lacey that she can¿t understand. Why? Why has she been singled out? As more women die and there is no connection to Lacey, Tulloch and the rest of the team become convinced that the young and inexperienced detective may be in danger.There have been any number of mysteries and thrillers that have referenced Jack the Ripper but Bolton does it as if the story has never been told before. The author sprinkles the story with credible clues identifying possible killers. Lacey¿s back story contributes to some confusion about the motive and the method of choosing the victims. The book is 400 pages and begs to be read straight through and as the story approaches its end, it might be helpful to have a pen and a piece of paper available to keep the confusion at bay.This is definitely a must read for anyone who enjoys police procedurals that play by the rules but take the reader down unexpected paths. There are descriptions of the extreme brutality inflicted on the victims but, again, it would be difficult to be a fan of this genre without having been exposed to the crimes of Jack the Ripper. It is easy to scan the parts that are too unpleasant and still enjoy the story.
When Detective Constable Lacey Flint leaves her interview with a witness at a London apartment complex, all she is thinking about is getting in her car and driving home for the evening. And when she sees the well dressed woman leaning at the side of her car, at first she thinks the woman may just be looking for directions. That is until the woman turns around and Lacey sees that she has been horribly stabbed and in moments dies in Lacey's arms. At first, Lacey is just a witness, but when a journalist gets a letter from the killer, a letter that points out the similarities between this murder and the murders of Jack the Ripper and a letter that mentions Lacey by name, it is clear that her involvement is much deeper than just a haphazard coincident.Of course, when we discover that Lacey almost wears a disguise to work, to make herself as plain as possible so that she will go unnoticed and that she keeps an 'escape' bag in her apartment, a bag she can grab if she must leave the life she has been living at a moments notice, we know that something else is going on. Lacey has a secret in her past and it is a secret she has worked very hard to keep that way. We don't know what it is...and we will not be fully sure what it is until the very last pages of the book...but the journey to discover her secret and how it ties in to these murders..because there will be more murders...will be a very entertaining one.While I am not a particularly great fan of stories about Jack the Ripper, in this book the author has done a great job at tying together the historical story, with many facts about the murderer's tale that I never knew, together with a great modern day story, weaving it all together into one very good mystery. It is full of all sorts of twists and turns, clues that will having you suspecting just about everyone in the book, with Lacey at the head of the line. Still Lacey is a great character and the reader can't help but like her, so she can't be a murderer...can she? Best of all, just when you thing you may have finally figured it out, Bolton throws in just one more, final surprise.Excellent to the very last page!I have not read any of Ms. Bolton's other books...she has written three, Sacrifice, Awakening and Blood Harvest...but after reading Now You See Me, they will certainly be on my 'to be read' list.
First Line: Leaves, mud, and grass deaden sound.Young Detective Constable Lacey Flint has finished interviewing a witness at a London apartment complex when she stumbles into a woman brutally stabbed just seconds before in the complex's dark parking lot. Within twenty-four hours a freelance journalist receives an anonymous letter pointing out the similarities between this stabbing and Jack the Ripper's first murder-- and this letter mentions Lacey by name. If this is real, London has a killer determined to recreate the city's bloody past-- and the police have just five days until the next attempt.Although the letter writer seems to be taunting Lacey, no one-- even her-- believes the connections are anything but a sadistic killer's game. However, as they begin to investigate deeper into the details of the case, Lacey is reminded more and more of a part of her past that she'd rather keep hidden. The only way to do that is to catch the killer herself.Just when you think Jack the Ripper has been done to death, along comes a talented writer who proves to you that there's still life in the old geezer. What keeps this from being a tired rehash of the Ripper murders is twofold: (1) It's not a slavish copy of the original Jack the Ripper case. The killer is using the bits and pieces that fulfill the purpose, and discarding the rest. It's up to the readers and the police to figure out what the purpose is. (2) Taunting young DC Lacey Flint puts the focus on her and what a serial killer may want from her. As the focus sharpens, it's learned that Lacey has something big in her past that she wants no one else to know-- and her reliability as a narrator is put into question.This book moves quickly and really gave me a workout as I tried to figure out the point the killer was trying to make... and what Lacey was trying to hide from everyone. Bolton lets us get to know Lacey and to trust her before putting her reliability in doubt. As the end of the book gets ever nearer, it's easy to feel that you've put all the pieces together and solved all the mysteries. Don't be too cocksure of yourself, though. I would imagine that Bolton has more than one surprise in store for you.Don't you just love a book whose plot twists and turns, twists and turns, twists and turns... then suddenly stops, faces you, gives you a nice juicy raspberry, and proceeds to twist a few more times before coming to a halt, out of breath and laughing? I do!
Despite starting with an immediate slashing murder, it took a little bit before I really got into this book. However, it rapidly became something I could not put down! I literally tried to go to sleep TWICE that night and had to turn the light back on to read more because I couldn't stop thinking about it. Probably not the best book to start if you have a big job interview the next morning, for example! The heroine of the story is Lacey Flint, a young detective constable, who literally walks into the first victim seconds before she bleeds out. Here's what's sooo good about this book: First, the blending of the story of the current crime with the infamous Jack The Ripper murders. While there are other stories with Ripper copycat crimes, this book did a great job with the history of the original events. I learned a lot about Jack The Ripper, and about Ripperologists (who knew that was a thing?), and about some of the various theories of the identity of the perpetrator. Second, the building up of the suspense was incredible. When you can't sleep because you are thinking of the book, and you absolutely have to keep going to find out how it ends—that is more than just a “hard to put down” book. There were hints throughout the book of things that you will just HAVE to find out about! Third, the twists in the plot were great. Every time I figured out what was going on, then NOPE, I had it wrong! The bad (or really maybe just “less good”): the romance element seemed sort of flat, and I wasn't really feeling it. Also I felt like I wanted more of an explanation of some of the things that happened in the past (but I see that this is only Book 1 of a series, so maybe that's coming up in future books!). Overall, a great book and I will definitely read the others in the series!!
If yiu like thrillers this one will keep you happy!