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The Sculptress

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  7,662 Ratings  ·  246 Reviews
Rosalind has no idea what awaits her inside the prison. As a journalist, she knows all about the case - how Olive Martin had been found cradling the bodies of her dead mother and sister, how she had pleaded guilty and been nicknamed 'The Sculptress'. But Roz thinks Olive is hiding something.
Paperback, 441 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Pan Books (UK) (first published 1993)
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Jan 03, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A chilling story from a master of the crime/suspense genre. A monstrously obese woman is in prison having confessed and pled guilty to the murder and brutal dismembering of her mother and younger sister some years previously. A writer, who is dealing with emotional damages of her own, is assigned by her publisher to write a book about the affair. She uncovers several discrepancies between the confession and the facts in the case which lead her to dig ever deeper until she finally reveals the tru ...more
Nov 29, 2016 Jane rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery-lovers
Crackling-good mystery, one of the best I've ever read! In early 1990's England author Roz Leigh investigates the gruesome murders of a mother and daughter six years before. All the journalists' "W's" have been answered except WHY the murders were committed. So at the behest of her boss, Roz sets out to find motivation. She plans to write a book on this case. Why did the murderess, Olive Martin, confess so quickly? Roz finds inconsistencies and niggling questions. She sets out to prove the girl' ...more
juan carlos
Jul 28, 2016 juan carlos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Se va este libro para mi top 10 de este año 2016.

La verdad se encuentra en un radio muy limitado, pero los errores son inmensos.

¿Para qué leer la escultora?

1. La manera en que es narrada la historia es diferente y muy cruda, a través de confesiones y entrevistas, la historias se vuelve escalofriante y dura.
2. Las personajes protagónicas, tienen una personalidad firme y eso hacen que tengan carácter.
3. La crítica que hace a las apariencias en la sociedad y a las minorías es muy bien sustentado.
Jun 19, 2012 Frances rated it it was amazing
I don't care what anyone thinks, I LOVE this author's work! Disturbing, yup. Gory, yup. Dark, dark, dark! Does this mean I'm mentally sick, probably, but I don't mind because this woman knows her ____! Could not put this book down! Thought about it for days afterwards! That my friend are the signs of a great book.
This is an okay book if you can ignore it's occasional far-fetchedness! Convoluted, improbable plot. Unlikely characters doing unlikely things in unlikely circumstances.

Rosalind Leigh is commissioned to write a book about Olive Martin, an obese woman known as The Sculptress, after hacking up her mother and sister with an ax and rearranging the pieces. Now she carves little wax figurines in her prison cell, including one of Rosalind after their first interview. Olive convinces Rosalind that she
Hannah Renowden
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deborah Pickstone
Minette Walters' second novel. This author is a natural storyteller and hardly puts a single foot wrong in her complex, psychological plotting. Her characterisation has tightened up considerably with this second book. A riveting read; I romped through it in an afternoon, unfortunately. Yet another case of wishing I could learn, somehow, how to read more slowly.
Asghar Abbas
Dec 12, 2015 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it


If this book doesn't frighten you, then you don't know that many monsters who just happens to be humans.
JoAnne Pulcino
May 20, 2015 JoAnne Pulcino rated it it was amazing


Minette Walters

A very dear friend wanted to share one of her favorite books with me and I couldn't be more pleased to be sharing it with you! A journalist has been assigned to write a book about the woman named the Sculptress. She was found with her mother and sister dead in her arms and pled guilty to the murders. There's a lot more to the story and I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Thank you Alice!! You're the best!!
Aniko Carmean
Dec 31, 2012 Aniko Carmean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Five psychiatrists have pronounced Olive Martin in full possession of her sanity. She is not a psychopath, despite dismembering her mother and sister like parting a chicken for Sunday dinner. Although the police ensured Olive's solicitor was present when she gave her confession, both society and justice were quick to accept Olive's guilty plea. It turns out that no one looks too closely or thinks to hard about a morbidly obese, hideously ugly woman who has professed her own guilt - not even when ...more
Robert Beveridge
Nov 29, 2013 Robert Beveridge rated it really liked it
Minette Walters, The Sculptress (St. Martin's, 1993)
[originally posted 19Sep2000]

Back when I was reading The Breaker, I noticed that a lot of reviews of it compared it quite unfavorably to Walters' other novels. I still consider those reviews somewhat wrongheaded, but now I realize it's not because people didn't realize The Breaker was any good; it's because people were seeing the same kinds of plot devices as Walters has used int he past, but Walters is now getting too subtle for the average my
Out of 50+ winners of the Edgar Award for Best Novel, I had only read 13 before beginning my challenge to myself to read all of them. The Sculptress was one of them. I had read the first three or four of Walters' novels, and then stopped keeping up with them for some reason or no reason. I may have to rethink that decision.

Walters' books are characterized as psychological thrillers, and they certainly do have many of the traits of that subgenre. Unlike some, though, Walters has said that there
Aug 14, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2010
When you read a lot of books, it can sometimes be difficult to recall which books you've read and which you haven't. At least that's the case in the time before social networking sites for books. (How did we ever survive?!?)

That's what happened with "The Sculptress." I'd thought I'd read it before based on the novel's description and the opening chapters felt vaguely familiar. But for some odd reason I couldn't recall the twists, turns and the solution to the mystery at the center of the book. (
Ubik 2.0
Nov 23, 2012 Ubik 2.0 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2009 Jean rated it really liked it
One of the scariest, psychologically speaking, books I've ever read. Yes, as you know, I don't read scary books...well, I don't read "horror". I think this book was probably recommended to me, OR PBS had a mini-series and I heard about it that way. It's been years since I read it but I remember not being able to put it down. I will not, however, watch the movie. WAY too scary.

From Google Books: Everyone knows about Olive Martin, the huge and menacing woman who was found five years ago with the
Mar 08, 2008 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
One of the best mystery novels I've read! If you want a richly complex mystery novel for summer beach reading, I would recommend this book. Minette Walters is a British mystery novelist who has made quite a name for herself. In this novel, Rosalind Lee (Roz) has been advised by her publisher to write a book on a convicted murderer, Olive Martin, or be dropped. Roz has her own tragic past that has kept her from being super productive and decides to give it a go. After her first meeting with Olive ...more
This book is a Crime Choice of the Year awardee, and well deserved!

It has a very intricate plot but you won't be confused with the story.

The character of the sculptress is very real. Sometimes i hate her. But there are times i took pity on her. Her character evolved so beautifully from the first page up to the last one.

the author is a superb storyteller. this is the second book i read from her (first one is The Shape of Snakes) and i must say that only in this book did she make a fan out of me.
Apr 02, 2013 Cheryl rated it really liked it
I picked up a couple books by this author some time ago, based entirely on her name (my sister-in-law is also named Minette, and she is the only other one I know). I didn't originally expect to become attached to these characters or this book, but I finished reading it at 2 in the morning and realized I had basically not put it down most of the day. The mystery aspect is well done -- did Olive Martin really hack her mother and sister to death? Did she have a lover? Was she framed? Why did she co ...more
Jun 13, 2011 Marielle rated it it was amazing
I have not read as many Minette Walters novels as I should. I am reminded of this whenever I start one. This novel is surely one of the best of its genre - a fascinating psychological crime thriller.
It is very much of its time, the 90s realism of criminal psychology, full-bodied characters, sub-texts and twists.
Walters gets the characters so correct, so believable, that one almost wonders if she is not a bit of a close psychopath herself. Her understanding of the human condition, and of the se
Amanda Patterson
Jul 31, 2011 Amanda Patterson rated it really liked it
There are some authors who have embraced their dark sides. In fact they've embraced humanity's shadow, looked it in the eye and dissected it.
Olive Martin is a grotesquely obese woman who has been imprisoned for murdering, and dismembering the bodies of, her mother and sister.
Rosalind Leigh is a best-selling author who has been asked to write Olive's story.
Rosalind is dealing with her own problems, but she realises that there are discrepancies between the facts of the murders and Olive's confes
May 03, 2012 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, favorites
This mystery is riveting to the end. I literally could not put it down until I read the last page. Along with the satisfying mystery, the characters' development and the depth of their personalities made this a total winner. This is only my second Minette Walters novel, and I can't wait to read more!
Aug 16, 2011 Adithyajones rated it really liked it
A great mystery with depth in characterization and with enough twists and turns to keep you on edge of the seat.I loved Walter's writing and loved the ending where enough clues were left out to keep the readers guessing what really happened and the possibility of an alternate ending..
Mar 16, 2011 Maryll rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! I can't wait to check out her other books because this was one of the best mystery/thrillers I've read. Its great strength is its depiction of the psychological ambiguities that reside in all of us.
Walters is amazing at setting the reader up to think one thing, then switching it all around to show you something else entirely. And from then on, you're pretty much screwed and will never be able to decide what's really gone on. I love that.
Aug 26, 2011 Tegan rated it it was amazing
I was requires to read this book in high school for English class. I loved the book and have been reading Minette Walters' books ever since. I consider her to be one of my favourite authors.
Aug 08, 2013 Alice rated it really liked it
Yay! Just what I was looking for. So dark.
May 03, 2009 jen8998 rated it really liked it
Intriguing psychological mystery from beginning to end.
Apr 15, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Complex, psychologically dark, repelling & fascinating!
Oct 30, 2010 Gabriella rated it really liked it
After the epilogue, I had to go back and re-read some. This book was good to the last sentence!
Mar 08, 2011 Annika rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-novels
Really scary book. In a way like a train accident when you are transfixed on a spot, not able to move, but wanting to help, feeling ashamed to watch but not beeing able to look away...
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Just need to ask 2 54 Jul 11, 2012 04:36PM  
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Minette Walters (born 26 September 1949) is a British mystery writer. After studying at Trevelyan College, University of Durham, she began writing in 1987 with The Ice House, which was published in 1992. She followed this with The Sculptress (1993), which received the 1994 Edgar Award for Best Novel. She has been published in 35 countries and won many awards.

The Sculptress has been adapted for tel
More about Minette Walters...

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