Title: If Snow Hadn’t Fallen (Lacey Flint #1.5)
Author: S.J. Bolton
Publication date: December 20, 2012
Publisher: Transworld Publishers
Length: 85 pages
Age group: Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Waterstones | Amazon UK
They say that snow covers everything that is mean and sordid and ugly in the world… but beneath the carpet of white, the ugliness remains.
11 November 2012, London. Long-smouldering feelings come to a head in a burst of shocking violence. A young Muslim man is brutally murdered by a masked gang. There is just one witness to the horrific crime: DC Lacey Flint. Or at least that’s what she thinks…
Short stories are a tricky business. Getting everything right, from the characters to a good storyline and a neat ending, in such a short amount of time is, I think, quite difficult. There were many occasions in the past couple of years when some of my favourite authors ventured outside their comfort zone and gave short fiction a try but, as much as it pains me to say this, they failed miserably. Their novels might be spot on but when they were restricted to 80 or 90 pages, their stories either felt terribly rushed or fell a bit flat for me. And this is why I’m still a bit sceptical about short fiction. However, If Snow Hadn’t Fallen didn’t disappoint at all. In fact, I found it just as gripping and fast-paced as Now You See Me (the first book in the Lacey Flint series) was.
The book starts off almost exactly where Now You See Me ended and is, again, narrated by London detective Lacey Flint. Lacey’s boss Dana Tulloch and her friend, reporter Emma Boston make an appearance as well which I was thrilled about – I loved both of them in the previous book so it was lovely to ‘meet them’ again. However, since this book is – obviously – not as detailed as a full length novel, it’s probably better if you read Now You See Me first (if you haven’t read it yet), so that you have a better understanding of the characters and what they’ve been through prior to this story. It’s a great thriller on its own but knowing Lacey’s background story will make it even better.
I absolutely loved this book and I can only echo what I said about NYSM few weeks ago: it’s a must-read for fans of crime fiction. If there is one person who can keep you on the edge of your seat and make you hold your Kindle in a white-knuckle death grip, heart racing and not having the faintest idea what’s coming next, it’s S.J. Bolton. It’s very rare that someone manages to create something so full of twists and turns, something so intriguing in merely 85 pages, but Bolton nailed it. I loved every second of it and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!
“If snow hadn’t fallen, I might never have seen the woman in black. She might have remained hidden amidst the ink-black of a London December, like a mystery whose time has yet to come around. But the sky grew heavy and turned yellow, it sank some thousands of miles closer to earth, until we could almost feel the weight of it pressing down on us. And then it opened, and crisp, white flakes began to fall. They fell about the woman in black, skimming past her swirling robes, and covered the world around her. Like a negative photograph, like the converse of the popular image of a ghost, the slim figure stood silent and alone. But most undeniably there.”