After being directly involved in a few high profile cases, Lacey Flint has quit her job as a detective for the sake of her sanity and is now working with the river police. However, that doesn’t mean Lacey has stopped taking risks as she has taken up swimming in the dangerous waters of the Thames and she gets more than she bargained for when she comes across the shrouded body of a woman.
When more bodies are discovered, Lacey soon finds herself working alongside her old colleagues and former boss, Dana Tulloch, when it becomes obvious someone is deliberately leading Lacey to the bodies. Friend or foe? Well, that’s what Lacey has to work out if they are to stop the killer.
In the meantime, Lacey learns the man she loves, Mark Joesbury, has disappeared while on an undercover assignment and may have turned. Lacey refuses to believe Mark is guilty but when a young policeman is killed, there is compelling evidence to suggest she may not know Joesbury as well as she thought.
A Dark and Twisted Tide is the fourth instalment in the Lacey Flint series and I’m glad to see she has relaxed significantly since her previous outing. While Lacey has always been an intriguing character, I was growing a little weary of her destructive behaviour and her inability to put the past behind her. In the hopes of leading a quieter life, Lacey has quit her job as a detective and is now working with the river police, as well as living on a boat.
Despite her best efforts to maintain her solitary life, Lacey has become part of a community of colourful characters who seek her friendship and she finds herself unable to resist them. It seems Lacey is beginning to realise that people do genuinely like her and want to know her better despite her secrets. The romance with Joesbury isn’t exactly brimming with passion as he does not appear in many scenes, however Lacey has finally stopped denying she is in love with him and there are definite signs the relationship is moving in a positive direction.
The case itself is an interesting one and while I did have elements of it figured out, the real culprit did elude me and the twist at the end was awesome. The descriptions of the Thames, and the surrounding waterways, as well as the sewage tunnels lend an eerie atmosphere to the tale which sent shivers up my spine as I have a real phobia of water. Bolton always manages to suffuse a hint of the supernatural into her stories, even though it isn’t necessarily borne out, but it is like adding an extra special ingredient into the recipe.
While I enjoyed this book much more than the previous one, I do think it is time to give Lacey a break and stop having her as the main target in every case.