Monday, September 08, 2014

A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton

Ever heard of “wild swimming?”  I hadn’t, but I was intrigued when I read the inside cover notes of Sharon Bolton’s new crime novel A Dark and Twisted Tide.  I wanted to know more, and I found out in the most entertaining way.

London policewoman Lacey Flint has had a tenuous relationship with the Thames.  In the recent past she nearly drowned in the London river while on the job.  Now she lives on a boat along the bank, with an array of unique characters as her neighbors in the riverboat community.  “Wild swimming,” swimming in a large body of open water, is one of Lacey’s hobbies.  However, the treacherous Thames is a dangerous place to do it.  Currents are strong, river traffic is heavy, and floating debris is common.  If those factors weren’t bad enough, Lacey discovers a body while taking a swim one morning.

An in-depth investigation ensues as additional bodies of young women are discovered by marine police scouting the Thames.  Similar in age and ethnicity, the women are wrapped in linen shrouds and tied securely, sometimes still tethered to drainage grates or sewer pipes along the riverbank.  Are the women illegal immigrants?  What circumstances befell them?  Why are they being killed and ritually shrouded?  While exploring the evidence of the case with her colleagues, Lacey realizes that she is being stalked in her riverboat residence by another wild swimmer in the Thames.  Who’s watching Lacey, and why?

These mysteries and more confound Lacey and investigative team.  Sharon Bolton has created a fast-paced, page-turner of a tome in her fourth Lacey Flint novel.  For other thrillers featuring explicit scenarios of crime and criminal intrigue, try The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams and Simon Beaufort’s Murder House.

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