Published: 2 June 2016
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Maggie Rose has made a career out of getting murderers out of prison on technicalities and she isn't particularly bothered whether they are innocent or not. When the mother of Hamish Wolfe, a convicted murderer, approaches her to take on her son's case, Maggie isn't so sure she can do anything for him and she doesn't take on hopeless cases.
Despite being convicted of the murder of three young women, the handsome and enigmatic Hamish Wolfe has a number of admirers who send him letters and are campaigning to get his conviction overturned. However, Hamish is also a master manipulator and he soon persuades Maggie to visit him despite her misgivings. As Maggie listens to his story, she starts to see ways of helping him but is he telling her the truth or taking advantage?
Daisy in Chains, the latest release from Sharon Bolton, is a welcome departure from her Lacey Flint series and it has so many twists and turns, you will be dizzy by the end of it. I absolutely loved this book, mainly because it is so different from Bolton’s previous offerings and although I had worked out one of the major plot points, there were further twists to come! By the time I had reached the end of this book, I wanted to read it again because I knew it would read differently since everything would be coming from an entirely different perspective. Of course, revealing the amazing twist would completely spoil it so you will have to take my word for it.
As always, Bolton’s characters are completely flawed and this benefits the plot because it creates a lot of uncertainty which keeps everyone on their toes. Maggie is an interesting character who has some unusual quirks but her penchant for getting killers freed has made her very unpopular with the police and brought her a lot of publicity. As the story goes on, Maggie’s layers are slowly peeled back until you get to the point where you’re not sure exactly who she is anymore which is kinda the opposite of what usually happens with characters. While Maggie seems proud of her work, it does become rather unsettling when you realise she doesn’t care whether her convicts are innocent or not, and is in fact certain some are guilty. Maggie’s motives are quite hard to fathom since it is a while before we learn just why she does what she does.
Maggie’s interactions with Hamish Wolfe are quite intense and there are definite sparks between them, however Maggie seems immune to his charms despite his best efforts. Or is she? As Maggie finds herself drawn ever closer to Hamish, she tries to fool herself into thinking he means nothing to her and she isn’t interested in clearing his name but fate seems to be conspiring against her. Maggie’s interest in Hamish draws some unsavoury attention as her house is burgled and the police are soon involved.
Detective Pete Weston has his own reasons for wanting to keep Maggie away from Hamish Wolfe as he is convinced he arrested the right man and doesn’t want Maggie undoing all his good work. Under pressure from his superiors, Pete stays close to Maggie in an effort to find out what she knows and just how she is going to unravel his case. However, just as Maggie starts to enjoy Pete’s attentions, Hamish sows some seeds of doubt by implying Pete may not be as innocent as he seems which leaves Maggie ever more confused.
As if the main plot wasn’t enough to keep you busy, Bolton also adds extra layers by adding in articles about women besotted by serial killers and the extraordinary measures they take to get their attention, all designed to lead the reader down a certain path. We also get transcripts from Hamish’s investigation which again are Bolton’s way of manipulating her reader into a certain way of thinking before pulling the rug from under our feet. Alongside these transcripts are letters Hamish is receiving and sending to a mysterious female but I found these more of a distraction than anything else because they were very hard to read on my Kindle.