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Daisy in Chains    by Sharon Bolton order for
Daisy in Chains
by Sharon Bolton
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2017 (2016)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I enjoy Sharon Bolton's engrossing crime thrillers starring impulsive young police officer Lacey Flint in London, England. But she also writes unusual standalone psychological mysteries, like Little Black Lies, set in the Falkland Islands. And here's another, Daisy in Chains, that explores the obsession that some women seem to have with jailed serial killers.

Handsome, young, intelligent surgeon Hamish Wolfe has been convicted of the murders of several bigger-than-average young women. He's serving time in Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight. He's always claimed his innocence, but don't they all? He and his mother contact blue-haired Maggie Rose, a defense attorney/true crime writer who has had several other murder convictions overturned. She's not especially concerned about guilt or innocence, just about the legal case. But she is most reluctant to take on Wolfe's case and is drawn in very gradually.

As this unfolds, and they and DS Pete Weston (the officer who led the investigation that convicted Wolfe) dance around each other, readers are shown love letters between Wolfe and a mysterious woman. They yearn for each other, but is he conning her? And what is she doing on his behalf? Maggie's home is broken into and she's being watched - why? Readers start to wonder about all the players in this drama. Who does Maggie talk to all the time? Why did Pete conceal the fact that he knew Wolfe before the investigation began? What happened to the last of Wolfe's victims who was never found?

And who was the Daisy in Wolfe's past? Important to him, obviously as he named his beloved dog after her. Was she his first victim, when he and university friends formed a Fat Club and sold tapes of their encounters with young women? The plot thickens with the murder of a homeless couple, who might have had new evidence about the case. As always in a Bolton mystery, you can never be too sure you have it figured out. Though I had some glimmerings of where this story might go early on, there were still surprises right up to the ending - which left me wanting to read the book all over again from a new perspective.

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