June 16, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

A Dark and Twisted Tide

Current Status
In Season
Sharon Bolton
Minotaur Books
Mystery and Thriller
We gave it an A-

I hadn’t read Bolton before. This is her fourth mystery to feature London policewoman Lacey Flint, and it’s so good I’m getting ready to binge-read the first three. Flint, swimming in the Thames one morning, discovers a body bobbing in the fetid water. Not long after it becomes clear that the killer left the young woman’s corpse where Flint would find it, other bodies begin appearing — and then someone starts leaving creepy gifts on the deck of Flint’s houseboat. The pleasures of a first-rate mystery usually lie in the plot, and Bolton has constructed a solid nail-biter. But it’s the characters that infuse A Dark and Twisted Tide with such heart — not just the gritty, damaged Flint but her friends and colleagues, too. A-

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