Thursday, June 13, 2013

IF YOU WERE HERE by Alafair Burke

The story is chilling; the storyteller, S. J. Bolton, is extraordinary.  While random murder is horrific, what could be more heartrending than the killing of 10-year-old boys?  Yet that is precisely what’s happening in south London.  The boys are found with their throats slashed lying together as if asleep.  Websites pop up about the boys, and someone by the name of Peter Sweep posts about Dracula while criticizing DI Dana Tulloch’s investigation of the heinous crimes.

Early on we hear the voice of Dana:

“I shouldn’t say this,” said Dana.  “I wouldn’t to anyone else.  I haven’t the faintest shred of___”

“Dana, just say it.”

“I think it’s a woman.”

“Silence for a heartbeat, then, “Oh?”

Somehow, the thought that a woman might be the killer makes the crimes even more horrific.  While trying to recover from a traumatic ordeal Lacey Flint is taking time off from her job as with the London police force.  Lacey’s next door neighbor is Barney, an 11-year-old boy who has been searching for his mother, a woman he has not seen since he was four-years-old.  He also spends time with his friends trying to solve the crimes as he believes his father may be responsible.  It made sense to him because his dad is fascinated by Dracula, and two of the bodies were found on his boat.  Obviously, Barney has a lot on his plate and thinks maybe Lacey can help him.  But, Lacey is fighting demons of her own.  She will have nothing to do with the man who loves her, she doesn’t trust her therapist, and begins cutting herself.

Dana observes Lacey’s behavior and thinks she might be the serial killer of the boys.  Hence, whether she likes it or not or is ready or not Lacey is irrevocably drawn back into police work.  And everyone is running out of time.

With Lost Bolton once again displays the mounting suspense and complex, multi-layered we have come to expect from her.


- Gail Cooke

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