- S.J. Bolton
Publisher: UK - Corgi
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 uncovers the body of a young woman. Her heart has been removed, and the marks etched into the woman’s skin bear an eerie resemblance to carvings Tora has seen in her own cellar. But as Tora begins to ask questions, terrifying threats start rolling in like the cold island mists...
This novel begins with a burial when an unexpected body is found and follows Tora as she attempts to investigate when the local police seem determined to ignore the case. Through various means she finds herself drawn into a bigger conspiracy and unsure who to trust – especially when some of the evidence points too close to home.
It’ll be impossible not to mention The Wicker Man when reviewing this book with the small island setting, mysterious disappearances and unnerving local men. However, there are enough differences that it just feels like a book in same genre rather than remake with a female lead. The writing sucks you in and flows easily. Like Tora I was intrigued by the first discovery and wanted to solve the mystery, so I raced through the first half. There is a claustrophobic atmosphere at the beginning that helps casts a shadow over the characters so you’re never sure who Tora should trust.
Then the story moves from atmospheric mystery to more of an action film complete with helicopter chases over the island moors, conspiracies within conspiracy and a living Viking legend. I’m usually able to suspend disbelieve, but for some reason there were some jarring jumps in logic that never quite make sense and I was left feeling a little disappointed. The start of the book was fantastic but Sacrifice doesn’t quite manage to sustain it. However, I liked Tora as a character and the writing so I would definitely try another book by S.J. Bolton.
Recommended for fans of The Wicker Man and John Wyndham. 6.5 out of 10.
I recieved this book as part of the Transworld Great Crime Caper
Book Chick City's Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge Book 5/12