Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton


Could not put this book down!!  Fresh off of Dead Scared also by S.J. Bolton I started this and read it straight through.  Not part of the Lacey Flint series, this was the author’s debut stand alone novel.

Chilling thriller in which the sense of dread builds exponentially.  The twists and turns leave you scared to death for Tora Hamilton.  Red herrings are plentiful and DS Dana Tulloch even makes mention of the term, which was quite clever.  Tora, the protagonist a surgeon and Dana, a police officer are well crafted, likable characters, as are the others in the book.

The setting of the Shetland Islands adds so much to the story, that it is almost another character, in the style of Ann Cleeves or Elly Griffiths.  The sense of isolation on the islands is made  even more eerie by the hints and warnings of the danger that faces Tora.  The story is based on some particularly gruesome historic legends from the Shetland Islands and that historic piece is incorporated believably with the modern story.

Having read two other books by this author, I continue to be impressed.  I am especially impressed by the range exhibited by her.  All her books I have read so far have been thriller/mystery types, however the characters are very distinct, the settings are varied and the plots are very dissimilar.   A great read!  I have one more book out from the library by this author and I am tempted to start it right away.

Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton

I read this as a follow up to to S.J. Bolton’s Now You See Me.    I really, really liked this book.  Exciting and suspenseful, unputdownable (and yes I know that is not a word).  The character of Lacey Flint is engaging and a real underdog  hero that you root for all the way.  Her complicated non-relationship with DI Mark Joesbury is fresh and fraught with its own tension and suspense.  Although you can read this as a standalone, to really have an understanding of Lacey and Joesbury I would recommend reading the first book.

The mystery is creepy and down right scary at times.  The combination of old fashioned scares combined with stalking and modern technology works really well.  The twists and turns have you doubting the characters and their perceptions even as they doubt themselves.  Evi is a perfect rendition of a therapist dealing with her own physical and emotional issues torn by her concern for the victims and her professional code of ethics.   The Cambridge setting is fascinating and the fact that it should be such a “safe” place adds weight to the horrifying events.

Great thriller mystery.  I have already checked a couple more of S.J. Bolton’s books out from the library.  Highly recommended read.