Mark's Reviews > The Sculptress

The Sculptress by Minette Walters
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's review
Jan 09, 09

bookshelves: fiction
Read in January, 2009

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 truth and sets a great miscarriage of justice right. Or, is that what happens? With Ms. Walters we are never sure. This is the fourth story of hers I have recently read and I can now say she is incredibly gifted at doling out the relevant information in such a way that one is always caught by surprise by the ending. Maybe not in total, but the fine details are kept close to the vest right up until the last paragraph. In this particular case, we are left with the uneasy feeling that maybe the truth is still hidden, or has been twisted to suit. We are not sure whether another travesty has not been set in motion. Ms Walters' sleuths are rarely the professionals that populate other crime novels. There are usually policemen involved, but not as the prime movers. She always seems to use a regular Joe or Jane with multiple layers of damage and mistrust, and rampant insecurities to ferret out the truth. This tale is no different. Part of the joy of reading Ms Walters is becoming acquainted with her protagonist. They are always presented with their warts and blemishes in full view and we are all the more ready to accept them as fellow seekers of truth because they are so 3-dimensional. I have a couple more of her books on my shelf. I shall soon have to begin looking for more! Long may she write!
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