Saturday, September 1, 2012
1st Edition, September 1, 2012
Elizabeth, Librarian, Brigham City Library
Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton
When a rash of suicides tears through Cambridge University, DI Mark Joesbury recruits DC Lacey Flint to go undercover as a student to investigate. Although each student’s death appears to be a suicide, the psychological histories, social networks, and online activities of the students involved share remarkable similarities, and the London police are not convinced that the victims acted alone. They believe that someone might be preying on lonely and insecure students and either encouraging them to take their own lives or actually luring them to their deaths. As long as Lacey can play the role of a vulnerable young woman, she may be able to stop these deaths, but is it just a role for her? With her fragile past, is she drawing out the killers, or is she herself being drawn into a deadly game where she’s a perfect victim?
We asked S.J. Bolton so questions, and she was very happy to give us an interview.
CanyonLand: What was your inspiration for this story?
S.J. Bolton: Books, for me, are rarely inspired by a single idea, more often they represent an amalgamation of several thoughts that I may have been mulling around for a while, sometimes several years. I know the time is right for me to start work when I see the thread that binds the diverse parts together. In the case of Dead Scared, I'd been grimly fascinated for a while by the growing rate of internet-driven suicides. Depressed and desperate people, with nowhere left to turn, seek solace on the web, only to find themselves prey to internet trolls, who feed off and actively encourage the misery of others. I wanted to explore to what extent murder could be committed with no direct contact between perpetrator and victim. At the same time, I was very interested in the notion of how we are all scared in different ways. What is it about spiders, the dark, heights, etc, that can cause people to lose the ability to think rationally? I wondered whether it was possible to scare someone to death. Finally, I wanted to write a story that deals with bullying and that looks at what drives groups of young, intelligent people to gang up on those they perceive to be weaker. The binding thread was my new series character, the young undercover detective, Lacey Flint, who has as many demons of her own to battle, as the women whose lives she is trying to save.
CanyonLand:Are there any more stories in your future?
S.J. Bolton:I've just finished the third in the Lacey Flint series, title yet to be confirmed, but due for US publication in the summer of 2013. In this work, Lacey is back in her home city of London, struggling to deal with the events of Dead Scared, and wanting nothing more than to be left alone.
When a serial killer appears to be targeting young boys, abandoning their bodies on the banks of the River Thames, she resists being drawn into the investigation. Until the son of the man she loves becomes the latest victim.
CanyonLand:Where can your fans find you?
S.J. Bolton:‘Readers can contact me directly via my website www.sjbolton.com. I am also on Facebook (S J Bolton) and Twitter (@authorsjbolton) and Goodreads (SJ Bolton)
Don't forget to browse the right side for all the librarian recommendations. They are all nominated for the inaugural Canyonland Press Readers Choice Awards coming up! don't miss out on some excellent reader! Then VOTE!
By: Amy Durham
When I was in high school, the censorship craze was in full swing. During my junior year, my English teacher assigned a book report and gave us a lengthy list of books from which to choose. When I saw "The Catcher in the Rye" on the list, I immediately decided that was the book I would read. I chose it solely because it was one of the titles being bandied about as "inappropriate" for students. Thought it's been a few years and, admittedly, there are many things I don't remember about it, I do remember thinking that Holden Caufield was just a high school kid, like me and the kids I knew. His language and his actions didn't shock or offend me. He was a teenager. And... big shocker here... teenagers sometimes misbehave and cuss. Holden was a teenager with baggage struggling to find his way. Sure, his drinking and cavorting around New York City wasn't all that smart... but kids don't always make smart decisions. And besides, it's fiction, right?
This year, the annual “Banned Books Week” begins on September 30. In preparation of the observation of this cause that’s very near and dear to my heart, I recently visited the Banned Book Week website (www.bannedbooksweek.org). I encourage all of you to peruse the website as well. On the “about” page, you’ll find a list of the 10 most challenged books of 2011. On that list… The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (due to violence, among other things) and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (due to offensive language and themes of racism). I was simply aghast. In 2012, are we really still arguing about the racist references in a book that is widely considered to be the finest work of fiction of the 20th century? Are we really still ignoring the fact that the book was set in Alabama in the 1930’s, when racism and all that came with it ran rampant? Are we really still ignoring the greater message of the book, that Scout and her brother, with their father’s help, grow into compassionate, kind, color-blind young people who see the value and the good in every person? Are people in this country really jumping on the anti-Hunger-Games bandwagon because of the violence in the book, and failing to see that the series teaches incredible lessons about the value of human life and what it means to be a compassionate individual in the midst of greed and debauchery? Let me be clear – there is a big difference in being an involved parent and taking an active role in the books your kids read, shielding them from things you feel they aren’t ready for and just blindly striking a book from the list of possibilities because you’ve “heard” it’s violent or has bad language. I encourage good parenting. I discourage blind censorship.
I thought I couldn’t be anymore surprised, and then I clicked on the “mapping censorship” tab. That censorship is still so widespread in this country is a staggering thought. This year for “Banned Books Week”, I encourage you to take a look at the website and find a book to read. Visit your local bookseller or library and tell the person who assists you that you are observing banned books week by exercising your right to read whatever book you choose!