It has been 8 years since the fourth novel in the fantastic Lacey Flint series was released (unless you count the two short stories / novellas in 2014 and 2016) and now she is back for another exciting and dangerous adventure, probably her most dangerous yet in The Dark!
PC Lacey Flint is still working with the Metropolitan Police Marine Unit on the River Thames after resigning as a detective. She is enjoying her life and is certainly not ready to go back to detective work, that is until she inadvertently gets involved in a terror attack that will drag her right back in.
It’s a busy bustling day in London where everybody is going about their business as normal, including Lacey Flint who is having lunch with her friends. Then an unthinkable crime occurs – a baby is snatched and if that wasn’t bad enough it is then hurled into the River Thames! Luckily Lacey arrived by water and is able to prevent disaster, but who would want to hurt an innocent child and for what gain?
DCI Mark Joesbury has been on watch for something bizarre to happen and this is it, the start of a new terrorist threat aimed at women. The women-hating group of ‘incels’ (involuntary celibates), known as MenMatter, have started their terror campaign with the first of some shocking and violent attacks.
Living in the dark web, MenMatter and its followers of incels, are hard to infiltrate and the leaders have singled Lacey out as the embodiment of everything they hate – her life is now in danger, and in more ways than one.
With women being harassed, terrified and even murdered from an invisible army of extremist men who want to take back what they see as the right of men using whatever means necessary, a gender war has begun.
Overall, despite the long gap between the books, Sharon Bolton has written an excellent addition to the Lacey Flint series that continues and flows very well. A story filled with dark tension in a fast-paced, edgy thriller based on a very topical subject – the very real threat surrounding violence towards women. As a work of fiction, it is absolutely brilliant, probably because it is totally believable as incels do exist and violence towards women and gender crime is very high at the moment.
The Dark is an excellent story. It sets off at a breakneck speed and doesn’t let up, with the plot twisting like the River Thames that Lacey patrols and never giving up its secrets until totally ready to.
The plot of a group of incels terrorising the country, which even includes a political wing, is excellent, terrifying and could be very real.
Among the plot of baby snatchers and incel terrorist groups is also the underlying of story of Lacey and her murky past, as dark and flowing as the river she now lives on. As Lacey is a dark and secretive character, that fans of her previous books will be very aware of, it makes a very interesting and edgy story to reveal more of the Lacey Flint backstory.
Sharon Bolton’s writing is excellent, a fast-paced thrilling read that holds and tightens the tension and releasing it just in the right places, keeping the secrets and reveals pretty much until the end pages. The characters are brilliant, all having have depth, helping you to believe in them and making them come alive on the pages.
The Dark is an excellent clever story, packed with mystery and thrills but also one that could frighteningly be true. Written extremely well, dark and tense it has an air of authenticity about it. I have loved the entire series, but this is just as good and exciting as the previous four books, if not better. It really does take you down a dark and twisted path that unfortunately is all too real.
RRP: £14.99 (Hardback) / £7.99 (Paperback) / £4.49 (Kindle).