Sharon Bolton returns with her creepiest standalone yet, following a young cop trying to trace the disappearances of a small town's teenagers.
Florence Lovelady's career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Grassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago in a small village in Lancashire. Like something out of a nightmare, the victims were buried alive. Florence was able to solve the mystery and get a confession out of Larry before more children were murdered, and he spent the rest of his life in prison.
But now, decades later, he's dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves. Is someone copying the original murders? Or did she get it wrong all those years ago? When her own son goes missing under similar circumstances, the case not only gets reopened... it gets personal.
In master of suspense Sharon Bolton's latest thriller, readers will find a page-turner to confirm their deepest fears and the only protagonist who can face them.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This deliciously terrifying read is a blend of police procedural and supernatural thriller, exploring both the history of witchcraft and the sexism encountered by women detectives in England. Sharon Bolton shifts her story between 1969, when investigator Florence “Flossie” Lovelady worked to put a coffin maker in prison for child murders, and 1999, when she’s become less sure she helped punish the right man. The coven of witches who advise Flossie are a brilliant and captivating device, and the book’s ending is as shocking as it is satisfying.
In 1969, WPC Florence Lovelady, the heroine of this riveting thriller from Mary Higgins Clark Award winner Bolton (Dead Woman Walking), is assigned to Sabden, England, where a killer is burying teenagers alive. She plays a key role in putting mortician Larry Glassbrook behind bars for the crimes. Florence remains in contact with Glassbrook, who drops a cryptic hint that he knows more about the murders than he has let on: "Tell it to the bees." In 1999, he dies in prison. Florence, who has risen to the rank of assistant commissioner, returns to Sabden for his funeral. Later, under a beehive in the yard of his old house, she finds a clay effigy of a bound female figure that she realizes casts doubt on the original investigation's results. Smart, competent Florence must contend with the disdain of her male colleagues as she doggedly strives to uncover the truth, regardless of the personal or political cost. Elements of witchcraft and the occult take the tale down a dark road toward an ending that's not wholly convincing. Still, readers will race to get there.