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Dead Woman Walking

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  4,119 ratings  ·  785 reviews
Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published April 20th 2017 by Transworld Digital
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Rita Gorra
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Regina Nothing "explicit." There are definitely some mature themes/topics covered, as well as violence (but nothing as graphic as you'd read in a Karin…moreNothing "explicit." There are definitely some mature themes/topics covered, as well as violence (but nothing as graphic as you'd read in a Karin Slaughter book, for reference). If it had a movie rating, it would probably be PG-13. (less)

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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,119 ratings  ·  785 reviews

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Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the latest novel from one of my favourite authors. It is classic Bolton with her familiar trademark elements that readers love - atmospheric and compelling writing, great characters, multiple threads, and killer twists. This is set primarily in Northumberland. A surprise hot air balloon trip is Jessie's birthday gift to her beloved Isabel, her sister and a practicing nun. There are 13 people in the balloon, including the pilot, on this unluckiest of trips where a killer is observed in th ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Minotaur Books
Shelves: from-publisher
I'm very familiar with Bolton's work; so far I've read the Lacey Flint series as well as a handful of standalones, and while Flint will always be a near and dear favorite, Dead Woman Walking might just be her most enjoyable solitary book to date. The blurb on the back is very brief, which we all know I'm a fan of, so you really haven't got a clue what to expect going in. Don't read any reviews (including this one) if you're wanting to know absolutely nothing ahead of time; there will be no spoil ...more
Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow!!!! I just loved this book and love Sharon Bolton! Dead Woman Walking is filled with twists and turns, ensuring that the reader is constantly second guessing (wrongly in my case!) everything that is happening. Bolton has crafted a brilliantly complex crime thriller, which is exceptionally plotted out that had me on the edge of my seat throughout and at times holding my breath and a bit scared to read on...just fantastic! Sharon Bolton was already close to the top of my must-read author list ...more
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

What a unique start to a book! Jessica and her sister Isabel, who is a nun, are two of the thirteen people on a hot air balloon excursion. Things go badly awry, and we immediately find ourselves on a wild ride to learn the fate of all aboard. From there the plot thickens considerably as we become immersed in murders, family tragedies, human trafficking, corruption, and memories. I read one review that said the plot was predictable. I was dumbfounded. In my opinion, nothing could be fart
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

I've only read one of Sharon Bolton's previous books, but I really enjoyed it. I was intrigued by the short blurb for "Dead Woman Walking" and was excited to begin reading.

Sisters, Jessica and Isabel (aka Bella aka Sister Maria Magdalena) are very close, although Jessica wishes she understood her sister better. Whenever Jessica asks her sister about the past or her choice to become a nun, Bella is quick to end the c
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars

Dead Woman Walking is a cleverly crafted thriller, jampacked with twists and turns. Brimming with tension and terror, this book had my heart racing until the very last page!

Jessica Lane surprises her sister Isabel with a hot air balloon ride to celebrate Isabel’s birthday. While enjoying the view, all 14 people on board, witness a horrific event that sets forth a chaotic and terrifying ride that ends in tragedy. Jessica,the lone survivor, is being hunted by a killer. But there’s a lot
Billowy clouds on the horizon. Wafting air on a crisp September day. Sun-glassed passengers enjoying the breath-taking views from that air balloon high above the trees.......

A perfect day's outing turns deadly as this once aloft air balloon loses power suddenly and heads full-tilt toward the power lines. And now so close to Heaven for each and every one of them.

Jessica Lane has planned an exciting birthday gift for her sister, Isabel. How splendid would it be to rise above the riffraff of the wo
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to a 4

I'm so happy I have already gone hot air ballooning as this book might have made me change my mind otherwise. Thirteen people are enjoying a hot air balloon ride as the book begins. Two of the thirteen riders are sisters, Jessica and Isabel. Jessica has treated her sister, Isabel to a hot air balloon ride for her birthday. The sisters are close even though Isabel is a practicing nun and they can only visit once a month. As the balloon occupants are enjoying their ride,
A fantastic, thrilling traveling sister read with my Canadian sisters Norma and Brenda!

What could be a better birthday present than a hot air balloon ride? Jessica treats her sister Isabel to an experience of a lifetime! But of course - this special treat ends in tragedy, with most of the balloon party dead and the remaining survivor running for her life. Why won't she go to the police for help? What is she so frightened of?

I had a hard time connecting with this book in the beginning. So much ha
Norma * Traveling Sister
Traveling Sisters NetGalley Sister Review by Norma with Brenda, and Kaceey’s thoughts.

4 stars for an extremely clever story!

DEAD WOMAN WALKING by SHARON BOLTON is an action-packed, intense, compelling, and tension-filled crime thriller novel that grabbed our attention right away with the unique start to this story with a tragic incident involving a hot-air balloon ride.

The action starts off right away and had us using our detective skills quite early on trying to figure out the direction of the
...4.5 Stars. A THRILLER OF A RIDE IN THE so much more!

...A hot-air balloon ride is a pretty cool experience....IF you don't drag the ground thru a field with people on top of you before landing upright, but my own trip...while a bit scary...was nothing compared to the frightening plunge taken by the passengers here.

"I am the only person left alive who knows what happened." (no spoiler here)

...After the shocking killer of a start, and let's see 1...2...3...well, I've lost count on th

Maureen Carden
I don’t care. A hot air balloon ride is still on my bucket list, although Sharon Bolton did her best to disabuse me of the idea in her thrilling Dead Woman Walking. The title alone tells you the balloon does not stay aloft for long. This doesn’t matter for as is usual with Bolton she sucks you in immediately with her writing, her plotting, her characters, and her settings.
Jessica Lane has decided to treat her sister, Isabel, a nun, to the birthday treat of a hot air balloon ride. The dawn ride
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

Thirteen souls on an ill-fated hot air balloon ride - only one will live to see the next day.

Watch for a man in a Trilby hat, dark and squat. Hear the screeching peacocks, tails unfurled to display a hundred unblinking eyes. A silent convent, voices of the dead, and a beloved sister turning into a nun. Sanctuary. A band of gypsies, static rather than roving. A yellow house, what is going on in there?

This is my first read by this author, and
Diane S ☔
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
First let me say that I adore this authors Lacey Flint stories. Her stand alones have not met with the same success, at least not for me. A hot air balloon ride, a present to sister who has been in a meditative convent for twenty years. Something is seen from the balloon that places it in jeopardy. Let's just say this balloon ride does not turn out successively. So we are off, on what I thought was a cat and mouse chase through the countryside.

This story never quite gelled with me. I found it i
Brenda - Traveling Sister
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dead Woman Walking was an excellent choice for a Traveling Sister Read. A great one for all of us to use our different detective skills. Timing was a bit off for us on this one and we read at different paces. However we were able to come together at the end and read the heart stopping finish together. What a great discussion that made for the ending. I highly recommend for group reads.

Dead Woman Walking is a brilliant and compelling story with many layers to the well-crafted plot that caught my
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Dead Woman Walking is my second novel that I have read by Sharon Bolton. Bolton has slowly creeped her way up to my favorite author list.

Bolton delivers a well crafted thriller that has plenty of twists and surprises that keeps the reader on edge! This book had my anxiety raging towards the end! Bolton has well developed characters that you as the reader get invested in up until the end.

I can always count on Bolton to deliver those last minute turns that throw you completely off! This is what I
Sarah Joint
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tragedy, secrets, murder, sisters (biological), more sisters (nuns), intrigue, some of the most disturbing crimes I've ever read about, and... peacocks? This book is crazy. At times unbelievable, but so well written and intricate I had a hard time putting it down. I lost count of the twists and turns the story took. A few in particular blew my mind. I found this book to be very unpredictable... and I read a lot, so that is saying something. This book is packed with not only action, but revelatio ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading Dead Woman Walking was like a roller coaster ride - speeding down the rails, up and down - watch out for that twisty curve!! Whew! What a ride!

The book begins with a balloon ride, beautifully sailing along the hills of Scotland but the passengers above witness a crime below and suddenly their world is catapulted. In the aftermath, only one person walks away and she is determined to find the person responsible for this tragedy!

In case you think this is just another "whodunnit," let me ad
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The elements contained in this book are a bewildering assortment. Nuns, gypsies, immigrants, and police are brought together to form this unbelievable story. I mean unbelievable as in amazing! And there are peacocks with groan-inducing names.

It all starts with two sisters, Jessica and Isabel, riding in a hot air balloon which was a birthday surprise. I believe I won’t say more about the plot. The less you know, the more the twists and turns will surprise you. One of them was so unexpected for m
Jessica Lane has always depended on her big sister Bella. A childhood riddled with tragedy made them even closer until they went their separate ways. Jess was sent to live with an aunt & uncle & Bella became a nun.
Now Bella is turning 40 & Jess has the perfect gift….a view of the world beyond the abbey’s walls from a hot air balloon. What could go wrong? Oh man, where to begin….
If you’re a fan of the author, you know she is famous for sneaky knock-out punches you never saw coming.
“Blood is thicker”

It’s those ties that bind that are the heart of Sharon Bolton’s latest work, Dead Woman Walking. And while it’s evident that Bolton’s goal was emotional resonance, a convoluted and implausible plot limited its impact.

It seems a simple premise: in the Scottish countryside, a man murders a woman. While in the act, a hot air balloon passes overhead and suddenly there's a whole balloon’s worth o’witnesses. Yikes. Hot air balloon crashes leaving just one survivor. That lone surviv
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-books
How come I have not read any of this author's books before? I certainly will now - this one was great!

I have tried three times in my life to take a hot air balloon ride and each time it was cancelled due to the weather. I finally decided someone was trying to tell me something and now, having read this book, I have no desire ever to try again! In Dead Woman Walking we follow the experiences of the sole survivor of a hot air balloon crash and we also get a lot of gory details about what happens t
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aspiring literary suspense authors would do well to study Sharon Bolton’s books for a master class in how it should be done. Having read several of her stand-alones, I can unequivocally say that she excels at character development, tightly and cleverly written plots with surprising twists, emotional depth and intensity, meticulous attention to detail, and an incredible sense of place. And while the suspense and sense of peril continually increase, Bolton knows exactly where and how to include hu ...more
Cathrine ☯️
I am a big fan of Sharon Bolton’s Little Black Lies because often mystery/thrillers and I don’t see eye to eye and I end up feeling like my intelligence has been under assault. Great appreciation ensues when they can entertain without making my face look like an emoji 🙄.
Early reviews on this one show high ratings and enthusiasm from readers. I wish I could join them but find myself in agreement with the minority 2 and 3 star reviews. While willing to suspend belief occasionally for a good plot
Liz Barnsley
Another bang on target crime novel from Sharon Bolton here - cleverly twisted plot with some great characters, emotional themes and once more is a genuine page turner. Also Nuns. Loved the Nuns.

This authors plot weaving, game changing, impressively engaging prose is second to none in the crime field really, doesn't really matter what you expect to get, you'll end up sent all round the houses and back again. I loved this - clever and totally riveting.

EXCELLENT. Full review will come in April nea
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, suspense
I'm a huge fan of this author , but I really struggled with this one.

Here is what didn't work for me:

-The relationship between the sisters felt disjointed to me. Bolton handed out crumbs here and there spread out over past and present years. I found it hard to embrace that these 2 were so close, when they didn't seem to know each other at all in the end.
-The main creepy story line (view spoiler) I found hard to believe. Not that it doesn't happen, but that it w
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All of my reviews can be found on

Hey guys just saw this is on Netgalley now!!

If someone would have told me yesterday that I would be raving about a book with hot air balloons, peacocks, nuns, and human trafficking, I would’ve laughed in their face. The combination sounds totally insane, just reading the above sentence makes me think of a light cozy mystery or something similar. But when a book by Sharon Bolton combines all of these elements you can rest assured that the last
The Book Review Café
All my reviews can be found at

I must admit when I picked up Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton I wasn’t sure it was going to be a book I enjoyed, if I’m honest I found the book description immediately made me think “how the hell can a hot-air balloon disaster be turned into a gripping crime thriller?” But oh my goodness I couldn’t have been more wrong this is now firmly one of my favourite books by this author, it’s gripping, fast paced and taut with suspense. As yo
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Stacey comes another gushing fan of Sharon of few authors who never disappoints. This brilliant author continues her string of five star novels!

Jessica takes her sister up in a hot air balloon 🎈 to celebrate her sister's birthday. From the air they see a man chase and murder a woman. The murderer wants to do everything he can to get rid of the witnesses.

This one reads faster than "The Fugitive!" What an excellent thrill ride...loved this one!
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, netgalley
This is my third book that I've read by Sharon Bolton and an author that I've come to rely on for a good story. For some reason I was thinking this had a different plot than what it did, not a bad thing, but it did take me by surprise.

When Jessica takes her big sister, Bella, for a surprise hot air balloon ride things go spiraling out of control. When I say this book started off with a bang....I mean it! It started with strangers inside this balloon witnessing a murder from above and from there
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Coffee Break: GIVEAWAY - Only 10 Days Left! 1 14 Aug 20, 2017 08:09AM  
  • Let the Dead Speak (Maeve Kerrigan, #7)
  • Quieter Than Killing (DI Marnie Rome, #4)
  • Hell Bay (DI Ben Kitto, #1)
  • Butterfly Kills (Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery, #2)
  • The Dead House (Fiona Griffiths, #5)
  • No Place to Die (DI Mike Lockyer, #2)
  • Long Way Home (DI Zigic and DS Ferreira, #1)
  • Salt Lane
  • The 7th Woman (Paris Homicide)
  • Undertow (B.C. Blues Crime, #2)
  • Eden (Archer & Bennett, #2)
  • Good Girls Don't Die (D.I. Grace Fisher, #1)
  • Marked (Callum Doyle, #3)
  • A Patient Fury (DC Connie Childs, #3)
  • Bad Blood (DI Charlotte Savage, #2)
  • Last Kiss (Dr. Kate Pearson, #3)
  • How to Kill Friends and Implicate People (Sam Ireland Mysteries #2)
Sharon's newest book The Craftsman is now available for pre-order and is out on the 3rd May 2018 in the UK! PLUS Alive, a short story/prequel is available for FREE! (see Sharon's website
Pre-order here now

Sharon J Bolton was born and brought up in Lancashire, the eldest of three daughters. As a child, she dreamed of
“The sound of running footsteps made them all start. Then the refectory door opened and the round, freckled face of Sister Belinda appeared. She was breathing heavily, and her veil was crooked, showing short tufts of red hair sprouting around her glowing face like unruly weeds in a parched garden.
“Excuse me, Mother, Sisters,” she said. “But there is a police car waiting at the gate and what looks like the Black Maria behind it. Also, another car approaching from the farm and a uniformed constable coming in via the beach path. It would appear that the filth have us surrounded.”
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