Book Review: Sacrifice by S J Bolton

The Blurb:

“Moving to remote Shetland has been unsettling enough for consultant surgeon Tora Hamilton, even before the gruesome discovery she makes one rain-drenched Sunday afternoon… Deep in the peat soil of her field she’s shocked to find the perfectly preserved body of a young woman, a gaping hole in her chest where her heart has been brutally removed.

Three rune marks etched into the woman’s skin bear an eerie resemblance to carvings Tora has seen all over the islands: in homes she has visited, even around a fireplace in her own cellar. But, as she uncovers disturbing links to an ancient Shetland legend, the police, her smooth-talking boss and even her own husband are at pains to persuade her to leave well alone.

Is their concern genuine? Perhaps, for when terrifying threats start rolling in like the cold island mists, it seems someone wants Tora out of the picture, once and for all…

Sacrifice will grip readers from start to finish. It is a bone-chilling, spellbinding debut set on a deceptively beautiful island.”


What I thought:

If you love the sort of book that is so relentless in pace, with characters whom you don’t know whether you can trust or not from one page to the next, and wrapped up in a plot so engaging that you just can’t find a suitable place to put the book down and take a break, then this book is for you!

Tora, a surgeon, and her husband Duncan have recently moved to the Shetland Islands from England (although Duncan was brought up there but hasn’t lived there for 20 years). From the opening pages, when Tora unearths the body of a young woman while trying to dig a grave for her horse, through to the action-packed final scenes the tightly woven plot never slips despite its 550 pages. After the discovery of the body, Tora can’t quite bring herself to leave it alone, convinced there there are other bodies to be found and sets off on a mission to discover the mystery surrounding the nameless girl in her garden, but it seems that someone (or several someones) are trying to stop her. Teaming up with Dana Tulloch, a serious young police detective who agrees with Tora that nothing is quite as it seems, they embark on a mission to find out what has happened to the girl in her garden and unearth the secret that someone on the Shetland Islands is deadly intent on not being exposed.

With gothic undertones, ancient history and myths and action and adventure among a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop, what more can you want? Just don’t get comfortable……with twists aplenty you’ll never quite be sure who you can trust!


(source: I recieved my copy of this book from The Great Transworld Crime Caper for review)



16 thoughts on “Book Review: Sacrifice by S J Bolton

  1. I loved it too Boof, could not put it down and it made me want to travel up North Scotland badly !
    I know she wrote another book faterwards but cannot remember the title, I have to get my hand on this one too.


  2. I enjoyed this book too and didn’t want to put it down. I loved the Shetland setting and the myths and legends. I’m really looking forward to reading S.J. Bolton’s other books!


  3. I’m putting this on my list of “to be read.” I’ve just finished an Ann Cleves’ novel, so I’m in the mood for more novels set on Shetland. I’ve not read this author before, so it sounds like I’ll be in for a treat.


  4. My Library finally got a copy of this in for me and I started reading last night. I was very tired (school hols – kids are wearing me out!) so fell asleep by page 5 but continued this morning from where I left off… and all I can say is ‘thank Heavens it’s school holidays or my kids would have been late for school today as I couldn’t stop reading!’


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