Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

4.5/5 stars

Daisy in Chains is a riveting serial killer mystery and stand-alone psychological suspense novel by British author Sharon Bolton.  Maggie Rose, true crime author and lawyer, has Maggie has made a career out of getting notorious criminals out of prison after their convictions.  She is invited into the circle of the charming Hamish Wolfe, former surgeon and convicted serial killer, whose support group the Wolfe Pack has been tirelessly working toward the overturn of his conviction.

Pete Wilson, the detective who put Hamish away and whose obsession with the case has continued to the present day, strikes up a connection with Maggie.  He finds the blue-haired, blue-eyed writer to be icily self-possessed, but worries about her involvement in the case even as they both are drawn deeper into the mystery.

Short chapters interspersed with mysterious letters, magazine and newspaper articles, and Maggie Rose’s own book chapter drafts about Hamish Wolfe create and tense and unsettling atmosphere as Ms. Bolton leaves a breadcrumb trail that the reader can’t help but follow.  Hamish’s own point-of-view chapters show him to be charming and uncommonly sympathetic as he struggles to cement a place in prison life, while simultaneously unveiling an undeniably sinister side.

The fictitious newspaper articles speculate on why women are drawn to convicted murderers and the atmosphere in which the killings occurred, while Maggie’s drafts reveal how Hamish Wolfe’s victims were each lured to their death.  Maggie herself is a compelling mystery from the start, and each character that we meet has a tangle of motivations.  The ending, while satisfying, is unclear as to the timeline of when certain things happened during the book, but overall I raced through this book to find out what would happen next.

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