Book Review · Reading Challenges

Book Review : Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton.

Moving to remote Shetland has been unsettling enough for consultant surgeon Tora Hamilton; even before the gruesome discovery she makes one rain-drenched afternoon . . . Deep in the peat soil of her field she is shocked to find the perfectly preserved body of a young woman, a gaping hole where her heart has been brutally removed and three rune marks etched into her skin.

The marks bear an eerie resemblance to carvings Tora has seen all over the islands, and she quickly uncovers disturbing links to an ancient legend. But as Tora investigates she is warned by the local police, her boss, and even her husband, to leave well alone.

And even though it chills her to the bone to admit it . . . something tells her their concern isn’t genuine.

This is the first book I’ve read for The Great Transworld Crime Caper. I’m a big fan of crime fiction so I thought I would take the opportunity to try out some new authors, the synopsis for Sacrifice left me looking forward to it arriving in the post.

The action kicks off within the first chapter of the book as Tora discovers the mutilated corpse buried on her land. From that point on I felt completely drawn in to the plot, and found it really hard to put the book down. There is no let up from the plot, even the quieter sections are all plot building, there is certainly no filler to be found. About halfway through I had a eureka moment and was sure I knew how the plot was going to end, whilst my thoughts were not wrong they definitely fell far short of the brilliant conclusion to the book. Bolton managed to fit so much into the plot yet it never felt unrealistic.

I found the characters easy to engage with, Tora particularly. I found myself getting really invested in her story, when she dug further and further into what was going on I felt anxious about what might happen to her. At the various points when her attempts were thwarted I found myself getting frustrated on her behalf. I also really liked the character of Dana, I found that I could identify pretty well with her.

The way the book is written worked really well for me. I’ve never travelled to the Shetland Isles but Bolton describes the area in such a way that I could picture it really clearly. I loved the way that folklore and legend was woven into the plot, I think the combination of this and the setting worked to make the book a really interesting read.

Sacrifice is published in paperback by Corgi in the UK priced £6.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.

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