There are maybe five authors I read that I can’t wait for their next book. Whenever I find a new author to add to that list, I get excited. S.J. Bolton is one of them. ‘Awakening‘ was the first S.J. Bolton novel I’d ever read. It involved snakes. Lots of snakes and a female protagonist who as a veterinarian, gets pulled into helping investigate the deaths because she is one of the few people who is an expert on poisonous snakes. The story starts when she is called to the neighbors to get a poisonous snake out of a babies crib. Within a short time, several residents die and there are a few close calls. The snakes involved in the deaths are not from the area. It was a mystery with a little paranormal twist and I loved it.
I finally found the first book – ‘Sacrifice‘. It too is a mystery with a dash of paranormal story line. This one has a female protagonist who is a medical doctor who delivers babies at the local hospital on the Shetland Islands.
It starts out with her digging a grave for her horse and finding a body. At first they think it is an archaeological burial because the body had been buried in peat that causes it to be more preserved than you would expect with a normal burial. When she finds an engraved wedding ring, she suspects the body is more recent. The story goes into a local legend about an all male race of trolls with special abilities. The mothers are, of course, sacrificed for the cause but no one will believe her. It looks like all the prominent men in the area are involved, including the police and her own father-in-law and husband. Ms. Bolton weaves the story line in a way that you believe.
Bolton is great at pacing. She tells just enough to reel you in and when it gets to the scary stuff she draws it out just enough to make you suffer. Because you never know exactly what is happening, I would call her books more mystery than horror. There is always a puzzle to piece together right to the very end.
There are a couple more for me to read and with my pile of to-be-read growing steadily, I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets another out before I get her current stuff read. If you like your mysteries with a little bump in the night, you need to check out S.J. Bolton.