A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton
Published by Bantam
8th May 2014
Former detective Lacey Flint quit the force for a safer, quieter life. Or that's what she thought.
Now living alone on her houseboat, she is trying to get over the man she loves, undercover detective Mark Joesbury. But Mark is missing in action and impossible to forget. And danger won't leave Lacey alone.
When she finds a body floating in the river near her home, wrapped in burial cloths, she can't resist asking questions. Who is this woman, and shy was she hidden in the fast-flowing depths? And who has been delivering unwanted gifts to Lacey?
Someone is watching Lacey Flint closely.
Someone who knows exactly what makes her tick...
I am Lacey Flint, she tells herself, as dawn breaks and she lifts first one arm then the other, kicking hard with legs that are longer and more powerful than usual, thanks to a stout pair of fins. My name is Lacey, she repeats, because this mantra of identity has become as much a part of her daily ritual as swimming at first light. Lacey, which is soft and pretty, and Flint, sharp and hard as nails. Sometimes Lacey is amused by the inherent contrast of her name. Other times, she admits it suits her perfectly.
I am Constable Lacey Flint of the Metropolitan Police's Marine Unit, Lacey announces silently to her reflection in the mirror, as she dresses in her pristine uniform and sets off for her new headquarters at Wapping police station, taking comfort in the knowledge that, for the first time in many months, a police officer feels like who she was meant to be.
I am Lacey Flint, she says to herself most nights, as she battens down the hatches of her houseboat and crawls into the small double bed in the forward cabin, listening to water slapping against the hull and the scrabble of creatures setting out for the night. I live on the river, work on the river and swim in the river.
I am Lacey and I am loved, she thinks, as a tall man with turquoise eyes steps once again to the front of her thoughts.
'I am Lacey Flint,' she sometimes murmurs aloud as she drifts away to the world of what-ifs, could-bes and still-mights that other people call sleep; and she wonders whether there might even come a day when she forgets that it is all a massive lie.
This is the fourth book in Sharon Bolton's Lacey Flint series - the others being Now You See Me, Dead Scared, and Like This, For Ever (my review of which is here). You don't need to have read them all to be able to enjoy this as a stand-alone novel, for Sharon Bolton manages, as usual, to weave a tale that draws you in with every ounce of your being.
Constable Lacey Flint, swimming alone in the Thames, comes across a body wrapped in cloth. But who is she, and why and how did she end up bound in the river? As her identity remains unsolved, other clues emerge and so do other bodies. Could there be a tangible link here, and more disturbingly, is this the work of a serial killer?
As Lacey tries to deal with these cases, her lover Mark Joesbury vanishes, leaving Lacey to question whether she really knows the undercover cop as well as she does. And if he does reappear, does she risk putting her job on the line for him, especially when her old nemesis DI Dana Tulloch is brought into the equation.
If you haven't already caught up with her back catalogue, and you are a crime thriller fan, then I recommend you do. For more information on Sharon Bolton, do check out her website, which has the creepiest music ever! As for me, I'm eagerly awaiting the next Lacey Flint story, and have no desire to ever live on a houseboat!