Booklist Reviews 2018 August #1
*Starred Review* What is even more terrifying than being trapped in a coffin? Realizing that you are not in it alone. Award-winning master of suspense Bolton manages to transform a campfire ghost story into a riveting novel. Florence Lovelady, now the top female police official in the UK, returns to a small village in Lancashire for the funeral of a coffin-maker she convicted of three child murders 30 years ago. The victims were buried alive. She is faced with new evidence that suggests the prospect of a copycat killer on the loose, or the sickening possibility that she got the wrong man. Bolton is known for folding in elements of the supernatural, and "uncanny" clearly defines this work. Witches and zombies abound, and it is left to the reader to decide if these characters are simply delusional or that this stuff is for real. (There is an added layer of real-life revulsion at the dismissive, if not downright abusive and misogynistic, treatment accorded Florence by her fellow officers back in the 1960s.) Each part of the book bears a Shakespearean quote as its epigraph, but lyrics from "You Do Something to Me" might have worked just as well: "Do do that voodoo that you do so well." Here's hoping for a series with more of Florence, and, please, the witches. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2018 June #1
Many of Bolton's (Dead Woman Walking) previous books have alluded to the dark folklore of the author's native northern England, but it's front and center in this latest stand-alone novel, which was inspired by the 1612 trials of the Pendle witches, among the most famous in English history. In 1999, Florence Lovelady is attending the burial of notorious child murderer Larry Glassbrook—solving those crimes made her career three decades earlier—when she finds a clay effigy like the ones discovered with Glassbrook's victims, and it's definitely not 30 years old. The main story line, set in 1969, follows the original investigation as Lovelady copes with misogyny on the job and enlists the help of a local coven of witches to find the murderer, despite being suspicious of their power. There are rumors of another, secret coven though, one with much darker intent. Back in 1999, Lovelady is grappling with the implications of the new effigy when her own son goes missing and the stakes increase dramatically. VERDICT Recommend to fans of the author's previous work or other British female sleuths. Readers who were delighted by the big twist at the end of Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes will similarly enjoy the final few pages here. [See Prepub Alert, 4/23/18.]—Stephanie Klose, Library Journal
Copyright 2018 Library Journal.
PW Reviews 2018 July #5
In 1969, WPC Florence Lovelady, the heroine of this riveting thriller from Mary Higgins Clark Award–winner Bolton (Dead Woman Walking), is assigned to Sabden, England, where a killer is burying teenagers alive. She plays a key role in putting mortician Larry Glassbrook behind bars for the crimes. Florence remains in contact with Glassbrook, who drops a cryptic hint that he knows more about the murders than he has let on: "Tell it to the bees." In 1999, he dies in prison. Florence, who has risen to the rank of assistant commissioner, returns to Sabden for his funeral. Later, under a beehive in the yard of his old house, she finds a clay effigy of a bound female figure that she realizes casts doubt on the original investigation's results. Smart, competent Florence must contend with the disdain of her male colleagues as she doggedly strives to uncover the truth, regardless of the personal or political cost. Elements of witchcraft and the occult take the tale down a dark road toward an ending that's not wholly convincing. Still, readers will race to get there. Agent: Anne-Marie Doulton, Ampersand Agency (U.K.). (Oct.)
Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.