Sometimes, I like to take risks. Like popping a chocolate from a sampler in my mouth without first checking if it's one I like. Recently, I grabbed a book and started reading, without a glance at the dust jacket!
This fast-paced debut novel grabbed my attention and I was turning pages late into the night. The setting of this mystery, the damp, wind-swept, cold and dark Shetland Islands, made me appreciate my mug of tea and cozy blanket.
Obstetrician Tora Hamilton has landed a coveted position at the main island's only hospital and she's determined to prove herself. Her husband grew up in the Shetlands, but had not returned for the past twenty years. Tora hopes the slower pace of island life will help her conceive the child she's been pining for; her husband's travel schedule and distant behavior are plaguing her with doubts.
While burying her beloved horse, Tora uncovers a body. To her horror, she later discovers that the murdered woman had her heart cut out shortly after giving birth. Who was this woman and who would commit such a brutal act? Where was her baby?
Ignoring all warnings from colleagues and the police, Tora needs answers. Dodging threats, waking up convinced she'd been drugged and not always escaping harm, Tora digs into the eerie ancient legends of the Shetland Islands. Creepy and bone-chilling, S.J. Bolton gives readers a wild ride with unexpected twists.
As an added bonus, since this debut novel was published in 2009, I don't have to wait for more of her books. Her second book "Awakening" won the Mary Higgins Clark Award in 2010. This mystery about poisonous snakes plaguing a small English village is next on my list!
Recommended by Frazier Walker