My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, September 16

Sharon Bolton's Lacey Flint

I’m now reading two English writers, both women, both excellent, both specializing in thrillers. I found the first, S. J. Bolton, by way of Entertainment Weekly, which gave her last book, A Dark and Twisted Tide, an "A" rating. That’s all I need, an "A" rating of a new thriller. So I did what I always do, found all the books she’d written, seven in all, and ordered them through Amazon and then read them first to last. I guess, as I might have expected, the writing, impressively good even in the first, improved in each one. The first three were stand-alone novels, quite bloody, quite frightening, quite complicated. And she somehow managed at each chapter ending, even the temporal breaks within chapters, to leave us with a tiny cliff-hanger. You know, the old, “Oh, no! Don’t open that door!” bit so typical of horror movies. It nearly exhausted me by the time I finished each one. With the fourth, Now You See Me, she introduced me to a character she’d continue to use in the rest of the books, one of the strangest yet most admirable women in fiction. Lacey Flint works with the London police and has layer after layer of secrets from her past, layers that unfold as we see her in the four works in which she’s the main character. In Now You See Me, she’s confronted with a copycat killer, duplicating the Jack the Ripper victims. Many twists and turns that peel away one of the secrets from her past. In the second Lacey Flint, Dead Scared, she goes undercover as a student at Cambridge, where a series of suicides seem to indicate that someone is leading these young students into killing themselves. In the third, Lost, we’re first acquainted with the bloody, muddy Thames that plays such a role in this and the last installment. Barney is a young boy who lives next to Lacey, and when young boys are being kidnapped and then killed along the river, he tries to solve the mystery. And Lacey tries to solve it, along with protecting young Barney. All through her novels, she uses the hidden recesses in cathedrals and mansions and old buildings along the river, all spooky places so English in a way not available to American writers. The Thames is the main setting of A Dark and Twisted Tide, with Lacey now assigned to the marine police that patrols the river, and against the advice, even commands, against swimming in the Thames, she tests herself against the river more often than anyone knows about. And here we find all the hidden nooks and crannies along the shore, secret inlets leading into sewer ways and old abandoned buildings. And I’ve now caught up with another author, waiting for her to write another and another. But, thankfully, in reading through her bio, I learned that she was a friend of the other thriller writer, Belinda Baur, so naturally I went to Amazon and ordered all the books by Ms Baur, about whom and her books I’ll reserve for another post in a few days. But before I leave you, how about just a taste of Sharon Bolton’s writing style: “The river scared Nadia. Even here, high above the city, it unnerved her. The rivers she’d known before hadn’t been like this one. In the countryside she’d left behind, rivers were fast and shallow, clear as glass and cold as night. They bounced over rocks and hurried through reeds, splashed and sparkled in the sun, gleaming like star-shine in the darkness. This river was massive, brown as old blood and unthinkably deep.” Isn’t that nice?
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