As Lost begins, 12-year-old Barney and his friends are concerned about the local killings of boys around their age in south London. They obsessively monitor a Facebook page named Missing Boys to see the latest updates on the police investigation. Someone who posts regularly seems to have info before the cops do, and Barney is startled one day when this mysterious person turns out to know personal details about him, too, including where he lives.

Detective Constable Lacey Flint lives next door to Barney and is on leave (following the events of S.J. Bolton's previous novel, Dead Scared). Lacey notices Barney is often left alone at night by his single dad, so she watches after the boy and sometimes keeps him company. She suspects he knows something about the murders that he's not telling her, and though she's not technically on the job, Lacey is determined to prevent Barney from being the killer's next victim.

Bolton is adroit at ratcheting up tension in a story that's hard to stop reading despite its creepiness and unsettling plot points. Lacey is difficult and abrasive, but more likable than if she were glossy or bland. The sexual chemistry between her and Detective Inspector Mark Joesbury is tantalizing and could use a bit more attention, but it's okay, too, if Bolton wants to keep fans in suspense for a little while longer. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, writer and editor blogging at Pop Culture Nerd

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