Now You See Me
- S.J. Bolton
Publisher: UK – Bantam
Review copy sent courtesy of TransworldDespite her fascination with Jack the Ripper, Detective Constable Lacey Flint has never worked a big case or seen a dead body up close. Until now… As she leaves a south London estate one night, she is horrified to find a woman has been viciously stabbed, right next to Lacey’s car. Thrown headlong into her first murder hunt, Lacey’s quiet life changes overnight. Then Lacey receives a familiar hand-delivered letter, written in red blood, and it is clear the police have a Ripper copycat on their hands. Lacey must be the bait if they are to prevent a second, brutal murder. But can this inexperienced DC outwit a killer whose infamous role model has never been found...?
In 1888 a series of murders in Whitechapel area of London captured the press and public’s imagination due in part to the brutal nature of the crimes and apparently lack of evidence. Know as Jack the Ripper, these crimes have never been satisfactorily resolved and over 120 years later many remain fascinated with these murders. Including an unknown killer, who appears intent on recreating Jack’s famous murder spree... and we follow DC Lacey Flint as she becomes drawn into the killers world.
Lacey is an unusual main character – told in first person from her point view, she brilliant describes the current happenings into the investigation and what is happening at that moment, but we only get short glimpses into her past and her motivations. She hasn’t had a happy upbringing and finds it difficult to trust others – even her fellow police officers. Throughout I was never sure of which characters I trusted as Lacey swung between extremes. Lacy is a brave but damaged character and is as much of a mystery as the crimes are – which means there are plenty of revelations that keep you anxiously turning the pages.
The crimes are brutal and creepy – this is not a book for the squeamish, yet it wasn’t the gore so much as the disturbing circumstances surrounding them that keeps you looking over your shoulder. A killer that disappears, leaving little evidence. Body parts removed and left in public places. And outside of the killings there are other crimes which make for uncomfortable reading – mostly because you suspect they may not be entirely fictional. It brings a level of realism to the story that grounds the story and makes it plausible
Now You See Me is very well written, with plenty of memorable characters, twists and turns and an intriguing central mystery. I loved the way London came to life – not the typical tourist areas but the wider town that sits south of the river and how it added to the atmosphere. I was hooked until the very last page, never sure where the story was going to go to next!
Recommended for fans of Patricia Cornwall and Tess Gerristen. 9 out of 10.