One of the best things about mysteries, in my opinion, is how they immerse you in the thick of a plot and pull you along. All the details come together to reveal the stark reality, however gruesome it may be. Sharon Bolton’s novel A Dark and Twisted Tide follows Lacey Flint, former London detective who rejoins the police force on the marine unit. She is living in a boat on the river Thames and swimming in the river every morning, a dangerous and thrilling pastime. The river is a powerful force and when Lacey finds a body in the water the question becomes: Was it purely a coincidence that a body comes floating towards Lacey or did someone want Lacey to find the decomposing body?
5 Reasons to Read:
- Lacey is a classic loner with few friends, but people are drawn to her–even killers–and you will be too.
- The Thames is a charismatic and deadly character in this Lacey Flint installment–its dark waters are the perfect backdrop.
- Although all written in the third person, Bolton tells the story from the perspective of Lacey, Detective Inspector Dana Tulloch, and other more mysterious points of view like The Killer, The Swimmer, and Nadia and Pari, two women far from home. This allows for Bolton to reveal a wide range of details and events in a complex, but systematic way.
- Bolton’s prose is at times unhurried and expressive, at other times swift and vigorous, much like the tides. Either way, you’ll be swept away by her writing.
- This is a book to savor and reread–even once the murderer is revealed you’ll want to go back and unravel the intricacies of the story.
The Long View:
Book 4 in the Lacey Flint series finds Lacey living on a boat in Deptford Creek, down river from Tower Bridge. She is working for the marine unit after leaving her job as a detective. She swims in the river despite the many hazards it poses and finds the body of a woman draped in white cloth. DI Dana Tulloch is also investigating the case. She has recently been artificially inseminated and will be starting a family with her partner, Helen. Although Dana and Lacey are seemingly extremely different they are brought together by their concern for Detective Mark Joesbury. Joesbury is an undercover detective involved with Lacey. When he resurfaces from his assignment Lacey is distracted, but she has enough on her plate considering someone is watching her and leaving strange messages on her boat. Another body similarly draped in white is found on Lacey’s boat. She realizes this is somehow personal. The dead women all appear to have long, dark hair and striking beauty, Pashtuns from Afghanistan or Iran. A past case indicates someone is smuggling young women from Middle Eastern countries up the Thames via boat, but to what end Dana and Lacey aren’t sure. People are drawn to Lacey, even the killer it seems, but she is fiercely private because of a secret she must carefully protect. The only person who seems to see that she is hiding something is Thessa, an old wheelchair-bound woman who lives along the riverbank with her brother Alex, a fertility doctor. She is an herbalist with an extensive garden with secrets of her own. Lacey connects other bodies found in the Thames to the ones left for her to discover. In order to uncover where the women are being taken and why, someone must go undercover. Lacey is ready to risk it all–but it is decided that Dana with her Asian features and light eyes will go. Both women encounter grave danger, but Lacey discovers the true killer lies beneath the surface.
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