06 October 2010

Sacrifice; S.J. Bolton

SacrificeSacrifice by S.J. Bolton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was vaguely disappointed in this, probably because the jacket led me to believe that this would be a Harvest Home type "mystery". It isn't. That's not to say there isn't a creep factor, but it's more a thriller than weird.

Tora has moved to the Shetland Islands, birthplace of her husband Duncan (not related to the King, but still... ). She's an ob consultant surgeon, and rides horses. He's, well, something in business. They're trying to have a child. One rainy day she discovers a body buried in the peat on their property - curious, she starts to help with the investigation and slowly uncovers (with much risk to personal health and safety) a conspiracy that includes her husband, her boss, the local police and others.

This conspiracy has its roots in local legends about switched babies and Trows (aka trolls), but the reality is much more gruesome: the kidnapping, impregnating and murder of women to continue the race of Trows (who aren't trolls, just a group of men who think they're somehow very special and blessed in a way that ordinary mortals are not). There's also a subplot about late-term abortions and selling the "terminated" babies (since the later the abortion is, the more likely it is that the child could survive outside the womb, the same as any premie).

While the questions about late-term abortions are interesting, I wanted more creep, more olde folke tale stuff than this book provided. Serves me right for believing the jacket copy.

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