Like This For Ever (Lacey Flint, Book #3)
by S.J. Bolton
Release Date: April 11th, 2013
2013 Bantom Press
Hardcover Edition; 400 Pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
4.5 / 5 Stars
Bright red. Like rose petals. Or rubies. Or balloons. Little red droplets.
knows the killer will strike again soon. The victim will be another
boy, just like him. He will drain the body of blood, and leave it on a
Thames beach. There will be no clues for detectives Dana Tulloch and
Mark Joesbury to find. There will be no warning about who will be next.
There will be no good reason for Lacey Flint to become involved... And
no chance that she can stay away.
Like This For Ever is the third book in the Lacey Flint series and so far it is my favourite one. And this is saying a lot as I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two novels in this series. In this outing, Lacey is on leave and recovering from the events that took place in Dead Scared, considering her future options as a police officer and whether she wants to remain on the force. Befriending her neighbour's son, and drawn to him despite her desire to stay remain isolated from other people, she is slowly drawn into another crime as events swirl around Barney and his friends, and despite herself, becomes interested in the goings-on around her once again.
Lacey Flint is a favourite character of mine despite her prickly behaviour and her attitude towards others. I think one of the things that draws me to her is the flash of vulnerability you tend to see on occasion, and because the author feeds you so little information about her past life, you become interested in her life, and how she got to be the way she is, and feel compassion for her despite yourself. And boy, is she an interesting character. She has a serial killer as a best friend, on whom she depends for advice, and to keep her sanity. It is such an interesting and twisted relationship, but I find myself looking forward to those interactions just to see if we learn more about Lacey and her past. But all I get is little hints here and there and it can kind of be frustrating at times. But the author does write murder/mystery novels, so if she gave us everything at once, it would take all the fun out of decoding Lacey and her mysterious past. And it certainly does keep you interested in the novel as you never know what Lacey will be doing next.
The plot almost becomes secondary to the interesting characters and relationships in this novel. I love the interactions between Mark Joesbury and Dana Tulloch, and I have to admit it was kind of refreshing to see Dana break down a bit in this novel as it made her seem that much more human. And I could relate to her on a whole new level, much more than I could in the previous novels. There was some fun black humour between a lot of the characters. However, I don't want to give a bad impression and make you think the plot was any less interesting than the characters though, as it wasn't. I've always thought that a well-written novel makes a seamless line between the plot and the characters and this one certainly does. And this novel was quite gripping, one that had me flipping the pages, eager to find out who did it - and I'm sorry to say, due to misdirection (something at which she is superb) and missed cues on my part, took me until about 75% of the way into the book to figure it out - and was a real nail-biter. The whole atmosphere of the novel had that flavour of the old mystery novels that I love, with the rain and the mist, and the great descriptions of the Thames River, that lent this novel a much eerier feeling than previous ones.
Like This For Ever is my favourite of the Lacey Flint series so far, although the other ones were quite good as well. Misdirection is one of the strengths of this novel, and although I thought I was more prepared for it in this novel, having read her previous two novels and novella, I managed to still get caught in the trap, something I enjoyed tremendously. I would recommend that readers take a look at the first two novels, Now You See Me and Dead Scared, before reading this one, although it isn't strictly necessary, as it will give you background information that is discussed in this one. I am looking forward to the next installment of the Lacey Flint series, A Dark and Twisted Tide, to be released May 8th, 2014.