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You're born. You live. They die.

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 is shocked to find the perfectly preserved body of a young woman, a gaping hole where her heart has been brutally removed and three rune marks etched into her skin. The marks bear an eerie resemblance to carvings Tora has seen all over the islands, and she quickly uncovers disturbing links to an ancient legend. But as Tora investigates she is warned by the local police, her boss, and even her husband, to leave well alone. And even though it chills her to the bone to admit it . . . something tells her their concern isn't genuine.


A dazzling debut in thriller-writing: fast paced, gripping and full of atmosphere


A chilling, mesmerising debut thriller. S. J. Bolton is one to watch.


Grabs from the very beginning and holds on tight

Literary Review

CSI-meets-The Wicker Man . . . there is enough forensic pathology, both animal and human, to keep even fans of Patricia Cornwell happy . . . Sharon Bolton grabs the reins and steers it home by cranking up the suspense with a skill that is remarkable for a first novel.

Birmingham Post

Sharon Bolton hits the ground running . . . a CSI-meets-The Wicker Man thriller with an intelligent and feisty heroine . . . I had an idea that S. J. Bolton could plot. And she can, like the best


Fairy legends associated with island races are fascinating - and none more so than the Kunal Trows of the Shetlands . . Sharon Bolton has hit the ground running in this debut novel.

Nottingham Evening Post

Impressive debut . . Bolton creates an unsettling, claustrophobic atmosphere of brooding menace as the plot unfolds, giving us a mystery thriller that hits all the right buttons

Yorkshire Evening Post

Part forensic-thriller, part medical-thriller, Sacrifice combines both elements to great effect in this atmospheric and original debut


This slick, fast moving thriller has a cracking opening scene and goes on to develop into a gripping story of intrigue and adventure . . . An interesting and skilful debut

MARGARET YORKE (CWA Diamond Dagger winner)

Pulsating story...twists and turns on every page...a thriller not to be read alone!

Lancashire Evening Post

Splendidly crafted, deeply disturbing first novel...will deservedly be a bestseller

The Times

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 1, 2010


    576 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    June 1, 2010

    Transworld Digital

    576 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Sharon Bolton

Dead Woman Walking
Daisy in Chains
Here Be Dragons
Little Black Lies
A Dark and Twisted Tide
Like This, For Ever
If Snow Hadn't Fallen
Dead Scared
Now You See Me
Blood Harvest


Fool Me Once
Private Delhi
The Thirst
Make Me
The Girl on the Train
The Bone Collection
The Child
A Stranger in the House
Final Girls
Here and Gone
I Am Pilgrim
The Word Is Murder
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Earthly Remains
The Silent Girl