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The Sculptress by Minette Walters
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The Sculptress (1993)

by Minette Walters

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1,323255,881 (3.67)34
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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I started off really digging the story and mystery but by the time it was over, I didn't much care. I may need to go back and listen to the last chapter and the epilogue again because I feel like I missed something.

I'm glad I read it but it's not one that I'd read again. ( )
  amcheri | Jan 19, 2017 |
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's innocence and that Olive has been wrongly imprisoned, with the aid of a retired policeman turned restauranteur. I liked the psychological aspect, revealed gradually through Roz's interviews for her book. "The Sculptress" is a nickname for Olive in prison because of Olive's habit of molding clay figures--possibly for voodoo?

Highly recommended. ( )
  janerawoof | Nov 12, 2016 |
A very interesting and unusual book.
A main character who's not too happy that her innocence may be revealed, damaged main characters in general, secrets, schemes, plotting, crimes and a new love all make ingredients for this thriller. I liked it a lot! ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Dec 26, 2015 |
I'm of two minds about this book.

It's a somewhat more realistic and human Silence of the Lambs scenario, which is a pretty intriguing idea.

Upside: unusual and interesting female characters, good dialogue, non-obvious plot, ambivalence between cynicism and faith in human nature.

Downside: Plot devices and character development devices sometimes used sloppily, pedestrian descriptive passages.

Walters definitely has something to bring to the party, though. I'll read her again. ( )
  ehines | Aug 30, 2014 |
Great crime fiction - I read it (440 pages) in less than a day. Starts with reports of a brutal double murder and a visit to the prison holding the self-confessed convicted killer - an obese and unlovely young woman who, first surprise, is more articulate than expected. The story then follows the process of revisiting the crime and what really happened. The reader senses from early in the story, that the "killer" is not guilty, but the final unmasking of the villain is worthy of Agatha Christie. Read 21 January 2014. ( )
  mbmackay | Jan 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
...the assured British stylist doesn't let up on her sensitive probing of these two tortured psyches. And in the end, it's the women's friendship, not their weirdness, that makes this story hard to put down.
 
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Epigraph
'Truth lies within a little and certain compass, but error is immense.'
HENRY ST JOHN, VISCOUNT BOLINGBRKE

'It was the feeling that the great, deadly, pointing forefinger of society was pointing at me - and the great voice of millions chanting, ''Shame. Shame, Shame.'' It's society's way of dealing with someone different.'
KEN KESEY One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

'Wax Sculpture Malice and superstition were also expressed in the formation of wax images of hated persons, into the bodies of which long pins were trust in the hope that deadly injury would be induced in the person represented. Belief in this form of black magic never died out completely.'
ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA
Dedication
For Roland and Philip
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Es war unmöglich, sie ohne einen Schauer des Abscheus näher kommen zu sehen.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0330330373, Paperback)

Convicted of the brutal ax murders of her mother and sister, Olive Martin spends her days in prison carving tiny human figures out of wax. Rosalind Leigh is a best-selling author whose publisher jolts her out of writer's block by telling her to research a book about Olive and the murders, or else. Though repelled by the idea at first, Rosalind soon becomes intrigued by her subject and begins to believe she may be innocent. She soon uncovers plenty of reasons to doubt the official police version of the killings and with Olive's help, untangles a sinister cover-up. The Sculptress won the 1994 Edgar Award for best mystery novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:56 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"A woman imprisoned for hideous slaughter. A writer trapped in a tragic past. One hides the truth the other needs. In prison, they call her the Sculptress for the strange figurines she carves-symbols of the day she hacked her mother and sister to pieces and reassembled them in a blood-drenched jigsaw. Sullen, menacing, grotesquely fat, Olive Martin is burned-out journalist Rosalind Leigh's only hope of getting a new book published. But as she interviews Olive, in her cell, Roz finds flaws in the Sculptress's confession. Is she really guilty as she insists? Drawn into Olive's world of obsessional lies and love, nothing can stop Roz's pursuit of the chilling, convoluted truth. Not the tidy suburbanites who'd rather forget the murders, not a volatile ex-policeman and her own erotic response to him, not an attack on her life."--BOOK COVER.… (more)

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