cover image Dead Scared

Dead Scared

S.J. Bolton. Minotaur, $25.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-312-60053-2

Det. Constable Lacey Flint goes undercover in Bolton’s outstanding follow-up to 2011’s Now You See Me. As a new recruit to SO10, “the special crimes directorate of the [London] Metropolitan Police that deals with covert operations,” Flint masquerades as psychology undergraduate Laura Farrow at Cambridge University’s St. John’s College, where she stays in the same room as a first-year medical student who lit herself on fire during a Christmas party, the latest in a string of suicide attempts. Besides Det. Insp. Mark Joesbury, her boss at SO10, Flint can trust only psychiatrist Dr. Evi Oliver, the head of the university’s counseling staff who appeared in 2010’s Blood Harvest. Not only has there been a spike in suicides, but the women who’ve killed themselves—many in particularly gruesome ways—reported vivid night terrors and dreams of being raped. Though Joesbury wants Flint to simply observe student life, she takes the investigation much deeper and becomes part of the dangerous game she’s meant to be preventing. Bolton (winner of two Mary Higgins Clark Awards) never eases up the tension; her tightly coiled plot and heroine on the edge work perfectly in tandem. Agent: Anne-Marie Doulton, the Ampersand Agency. (June)