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If Snow Hadn't Fallen: a Lacey Flint short story    by S. J. Bolton order for
If Snow Hadn't Fallen
by S. J. Bolton
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2013 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

S. J. Bolton, author of Dead Scared and Now You See Me, starring young D.C. Lacey Flint, now brings us a short story with Lacey as protagonist, If Snow Hadn't Fallen. These events occur soon after a case involving a Jack the Ripper copycat. Still recovering from that ordeal (which left Mark Joesbury badly injured in a hospital bed), Lacey is officially off duty.

But of course that doesn't stop the impulsive young officer from responding to a call for urgent assistance at Larkhill Park. Rushing to the scene, she finds a young Muslim doctor writhing in a bonfire, being burned alive by a masked gang - a hate crime? What else? Of course we know that this committed and reckless young officer will find out.

Lacey keeps thinking of the dark figure she saw disappearing into the distance as she arrived in the park. Who was it - an attacker, another victim, a witness? As she investigates, she realizes she's being watched. The usual suspects for hate crimes all have alibis. And she begins to see a woman in flowing black robes grieving at the scene of the murder - did the young doctor have a lover?

I must admit I didn't see the ending coming - and it's a very good one, though in no way typical of the genre. If you're looking for a quick whodunit and an introduction to the Lacey Flint, then this is the perfect place to start. And it's left me keen to read some of the full length episodes, which I have somehow missed up till now.

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