Review: If Snow Hadn’t Fallen – S.J. Bolton

Cover of If Snow Hadn't Fallen by S.J. Bolton

Title: If Snow Hadn’t Fallen (Lacey Flint #1.5)
Author: S.J. Bolton
Publication date: December 20, 2012
Publisher: Transworld Publishers
Format: Ebook
ASIN: B00AQIFMX6
Length: 85 pages
Genre: Thriller
Age group: Adult
Source: Purchased
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Waterstones | Amazon UK

Synopsis

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…

My thoughts

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!

Teaser

“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.”


Rating:
5 star rating

18 Responses to “Review: If Snow Hadn’t Fallen – S.J. Bolton”

  1. Fran says:

    I was interested in your opinion on short stories. Following my first novel I was insprired to write a book of short stories that featured characters from the novel because I just couldn’t put them down. They were still living with me! I hoped that they could stand up on their own as short stories and you wouldn’t necessarily have had to have read the novel to appreciate them. The stories have gotten good feedback from the small audience I’ve shown them to, so far. But short stories are hard. If you’re not careful they can be filled with ‘nothing’ because the writer can’t build up momentum. Thankfully your luck was in this time!
    Fran recently posted..Writers’ Workshop – Friend Or Foe?My Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Usually I’m not a big fan of short fiction, to be frank, but it depends on the author. Some of them write brilliant short stories and some of them don’t (not that I blame them, it must be hard, perhaps even harder than a novel, I would say). Sharon does and I absolutely loved her book, thank goodness. :)

  2. alex :) says:

    I agree with you about short stories, there is a fine art to doing them :) / Some are fabulous and other go wrong and cut off abrupptly :/

    Glad you liked this series though, it seems really good! I will take a peep at it :)

  3. alex :) says:

    the thingy missed out my kisses on the end! :’) xxx

  4. Great review hun! So glad Bolton managed to carry on with the amazingness haha, especially for a short fiction book.

    Glad you liked it.
    Natalie Frampton recently posted..Review : Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn BarnesMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Thank you. Yes, I’m actually starting to be convinced that no matter what she writes I’m going to end up loving it but… we’ll see how the next two books turn out.

  5. Molli says:

    Kinda skimmed this one since I haven’t read anything else in this series, but this sounds really neat. I haven’t read much mystery or crime fiction, but I’d like to. It’s a good sign that you’ve read more than one book by this author, and are still enjoying her work, Vicky!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue
    Molli recently posted..Review + Giveaway: Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren BjorkmanMy Profile

  6. kit says:

    I’ll bear this is mind, as it would be nice to get another chance to see what Lacey is up to! I agree Bolton is really good at keeping you turning the pages and throwing in lots of unexpected twists – glad you enjoyed this one!
    kit recently posted..Review: Now You See Me, S. J. BoltonMy Profile

  7. [...] Review: If Snow Hadn’t Fallen – S.J. Bolton [...]

  8. Witchwood Estate, Going Home @PattyiRoberts7 #WeeklyShorts says:

    [...] Review: If Snow Hadn’t Fallen – S.J. Bolton [...]

  9. Melissa says:

    I’m not so much into crime fiction but your reviews of this author tempt me to give it a go!
    Melissa recently posted..Book Review & G!veaway: Firefly by Belle WhittingtonMy Profile

  10. [...] brilliant first book, this one was just as twisted, haunting and well-written as Now You See Me and If Snow Hadn’t Fallen were and completely lived up to my [...]

  11. [...] reading and absolutely enjoying three (or four, if you count If Snow Hadn’t Fallen, a Lacey Flint short story) books by S.J. Bolton, I think it’s safe to say that no matter [...]

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