I like my crime fiction dark and twisty – no cats or caterers-turned-detectives for me, please. My new favorite author does dark and twisty as well as thrilling and creepy and well-written and page-turning. S. J. Bolton is a British author who has published five books so far – three stand alone titles and two in a series. Her books are all set in England, often in small villages, and usually have some aspect of British folklore woven into the crime at the heart of the story. Bolton writes thrillers, to be sure, but they are often more moody and gothic than is typical of the genre. She also throws in just enough of a romantic plot line in each book to keep things interesting among characters but not overwhelm the main story. Quite simply, she’s a fine storyteller.
In Awakening, a reclusive veterinarian discovers the ancient secrets hiding in an abandoned house inhabited by venomous, exotic snakes. In Blood Harvest, young girls are being abducted from an English village and the new vicar must figure out how the disappearances are linked to the church and whether strange woman who is said to haunt the church graveyard is involved. In Sacrifice, an obstetrician relocates to a remote Scottish island and discovers a body in a bog and a strange pattern of deaths among young women on the island.
With Now You See Me, Bolton introduces Lacey Flint, a young police officer with a shadowy background and extensive knowledge of the Jack the Ripper murders. When Ripper-like murders start occurring all over London, she is forced to work with DI Mark Joesbury, who has as many questions about Flint’s past as he does about the murders. In Dead Scared, the pair meet up once again as Flint is detached by Joesbury to go through the Cambridge University gates and deep undercover to investigate an outbreak of suicides among students.
If you like dark and twisty crime fiction, with snakes instead of cats and historic serial killers instead of amateur detectives, give S. J. Bolton and her scary good thrillers a try. Fans of Minette Walters, Barbara Vine, Val McDermid, and Tana French will be especially pleased at what they find within the pages of her books – Susan, LPL Marketing