Sacrifice by S J Bolton: a Book Review

I found most of Sacrifice an absolutely compelling book to read. It begins with the discovery of a corpse buried in the peat in Tora Hamilton’s field on Shetland. This is no ordinary corpse because the heart has been removed and there are marks etched into the skin that look very similar to the carvings Tora has seen in the cellar of her house. Tora is an obstetric surgeon. She had recently moved to the Shetland Isles with her husband Duncan, who although he had been born on the Isles, hadn’t been back there for twenty years.

Tora uses her position at the hospital to search patient records and aided by D S Dana Tulloch begins to discover some very suspicious and sinister facts. Despite opposition from her boss and from Dana’s boss the two women dig deeper and become involved in a very dangerous and bizarre situation, endangering both their lives.

I was swept along with the story, but as more twists and turns in the plot developed with links to folklore and myth I found it became rather far- fetched the more I read. But, having said that I did like the book. I liked the drama, the characters were well-defined, and I liked the tension that built up between the characters as Tora began to wonder who she could trust. I liked the setting of a mysterious, remote and isolated place where outsiders find it difficult to fit in and where dark deeds could take place. I liked it enough to want to read more books by S J Bolton.

6 thoughts on “Sacrifice by S J Bolton: a Book Review

  1. Margaret – Thanks for this review. I like Bolton’s work, so I’m biased. But I think you probably would like her other books. And I agree with you about the way she draws characters.


  2. Not very credible, that is true, but I was also drawn into the story because of the setting and the character of Tora. And I found her second story more credible, and the third was near perfect in my opinion.


  3. Far-fetched is okay with me if, and it’s a big IF, I’m caught up enough in the story and characters to suspend disbelief for the sake of the story. I’m reminded of Susan Hill and Sarah Waters in this situation.


  4. Margot & Cathy, Thanks, I am going to read her next book.
    Dorte, it’s good to know her next books are even better.
    Irene, there’s a lot to like in this book.
    Barbara, I agree & I could just about suspend my disbelief.


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