Book Review: Now You See Me by SJ Bolton

Now You See Me by SJ Bolton

Now You See Me by SJ Bolton - Credit: Archant

A dead woman was leaning against my car...

And so begins the first in a series of crime novels about DC Lacey Flint from Sharon (SJ) Bolton.

It starts with a shocking murder, discovered by Lacey Flint for whom this is her first murder case. She is so haunted by her failed attempts to save the girl’s life, she makes it her mission to catch the criminal responsible for her death.

As further murders and revelations spill from the pages, it appears that the police have a copycat Jack the Ripper killer on the loose. Flint is willing to make any sacrifice in order to uncover the truth, even when she appears to be the next target...

Bolton’s writing is so engrossing that it hard not to get caught up in the story immediately. The chapters are short which ensures a sharp pace and a temptation to read just one more.

Lacey, our protagonist, narrates the story which means we are privy to the emotions and thoughts of quite a complex character. She can be awkward, perhaps a little standoffish and sometimes makes wrong footings with the other detectives but her intelligence, wit and sarcasm make her likeable and authentic. Bolton has created an intriguing female lead to start her series of thrilling titles of with a bang.

The use of the Jack the Ripper murders was very compelling. The mix of historical detail and references was chilling and added more horror to the storyline. Lacey’s knowledge of the famous crimes and her ability to make connections so quickly is impressive and really drives the story along, the reader equally satisfied by her ability to show off her skills in front of the rest of the rather cynical and doubtful detectives. The use of real life historical murders makes the plot more captivating and aspects of the book were as unsettling as the TV show Whitechapel.

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There are several different voices alongside Lacey’s narrative to keep the reader guessing which continually plants more clues, creating further suspicion, terror and suspense. One anonymous voice is particularly menacing and predatory; even more so when we realise Lacey is becoming the target.

The story hops between 1888, modern day and 11 years previously but all the threads are managed and handled with the assured confidence of a talented crime writer. Bolton’s writing style is highly readable and I was surprised how quickly I became absorbed and how much I had read without even realising. Bolton is clearly an expert and accomplished writer in her genre and if you enjoy great crime writing this is the book for you.

Now You See Me is published by Transworld Publishers . To find out more about the author you can visit her website at

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