Once, she saved his life… Now, he’ll take hers: The Dark by Sharon Bolton #bookreview #TheDark #NetGalley

When a baby is snatched from its pram and cast into the river Thames, off-duty police officer Lacey Flint is there to prevent disaster. But who would want to hurt a child?
DCI Mark Joesbury has been expecting this. Monitoring a complex network of dark web sites, Joesbury and his team have spotted a new terrorist threat from the extremist, women-hating, group known as ‘incels’ or ‘involuntary celibates.’ Joesbury’s team are trying to infiltrate the ring of power at its core, but the dark web is built for anonymity, and the incel army is vast.
Pressure builds when the team learn the snatched child was just the first in a series of violent attacks designed to terrorise women. Worse, the leaders of the movement seem to have singled out Lacey as the embodiment of everything they hate, placing her in terrible danger…


Hi and welcome to my review of The Dark! Massive thanks to Tracy for the invite and Orion and NetGalley for the eARC!

Years and years ago I fell in love with Sharon Bolton. I listened to Daisy in Chains, was blown away, read my way through Ms Bolton’s entire backlist and have been keeping up with her new work ever since. Doing so, I became a huge Lacey Flint fan so when, after all this time, I found out that Lacey Flipping Flint was back I jumped for joy! 

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And a collective blissful sigh that sounds suspiciously like FINALLY?

So, Lacey Flint is back for the fifth time, bar a couple of short stories, and no, you needn’t have read the previous books to jump into the series now if you really want to, but yes, I do think that you should read those previous instalments before reading The Dark cos this is an excellent series and how can you even call yourself a reader if you haven’t met Lacey, I should take away your bookworm badge right this minute!

Aaaaaanyhoo, Lacey is back and for what may be the first time, the mystery shrouding her is lifted somewhat. She’s always been a pretty mysterious character but, contradictory though it may sound, The Dark forces her into the light. It forces her to come to terms with her past, to stare it, and herself, in the face, and to accept it, to own it.

Also back is Lacey’s on-again-off-again boyfriend Mark Joesbury, seriously the guy deserves a medal for sheer patience alone, and for the first time in quite a while they have to work together.

The Dark hits the ground running with a baby being tossed into the Thames. So, only a few pages in, I was already clutching my pearls e-reader in suspense, and I really don’t feel it let up until I’d reached the end. Every time things seemed to calm down, another curveball was thrown, another spanner in the works messed with the case and this is honestly one of the most high-octane police procedurals I’ve read in a long time.

Fantastic main characters and lots of action, what’s not to love, but what I admire most about The Dark is the cleverness of the plot. Sure there’s smoke and mirrors but when the good guys figure out what the bad guys are really up to, it just makes so much sense. I always love it in a police procedural, or any story really, when the finale is not pulled from a hat like a white rabbit, revealing that what came before was actually a blatant lie. The Dark gives its reader little nuggets of information, little of which really registered in this reader TBH, and when it all comes together and all is revealed, you find the truth has been staring you in the face all along.

If I need to spell it out, I didn’t do this right, but just to be sure: I had a brilliant time with The Dark! It has everything I look for in a crime thriller and then some. It’s been a bit of a wait, but it was well worth it and with it ending on something of a cliffhanger for Lacey’s personal life, I’m already on tenterhooks for book 6. Highly recommend.

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