Awakening by Sharon Bolton, S. J. Bolton | | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Awakening
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Awakening

4.5 18
by Sharon Bolton, S. J. Bolton
     
 

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Clara Benning, a veterinary surgeon, is young and intelligent, but reclusive. Disfigured by a childhood accident, she prefers animals to people. When a man dies following a supposed snakebite, Clara's expertise is needed. She's chilled to learn that the victim's postmortem shows a higher concentration of venom than could ever be found in one snake: The killer

Overview

Clara Benning, a veterinary surgeon, is young and intelligent, but reclusive. Disfigured by a childhood accident, she prefers animals to people. When a man dies following a supposed snakebite, Clara's expertise is needed. She's chilled to learn that the victim's postmortem shows a higher concentration of venom than could ever be found in one snake: The killer was human. Assisted by a neighbor and an eccentric reptile expert, Clara uncovers links to an ancient ritual, an abandoned house, and a fifty-year-old tragedy. But for someone the truth must remain buried in the past—even if they have to kill to keep it there.

Awakening is a disturbing tale of dark secrets that will have readers unable to stop for a breath until they reach the stunning climax of this extraordinary read from acclaimed author S. J. Bolton.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Awakening is a delicious Gothic thriller.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR, on Awakening

“Page-turning suspense.” —Booklist (A Top Ten Crime Novel of the Year)

“I was totally riveted by S. J. Bolton's second thriller, Awakening. . . . Perfect reading for a long plane trip.” —Nancy Pearl on Awakening

“The page-turner of the summer . . . It's been a long time since we've devoured a book this length at one sitting. . . . We were just grateful to find ourselves in the hands of as extraordinary a storyteller as S. J. Bolton.” —The Denver Post on Sacrifice

Marilyn Stasio
For all the Gothic elements that Bolton has wrapped around her story to create suspense, there's more satisfaction in listening to Clara talk about snakes and watching her handle them…carefully.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Clara Benning, a reclusive vet who's the narrator of Bolton's solid second thriller (after Sacrifice), spends her days treating badgers, boars and other wildlife at the Little Order of St. Francis in an isolated Dorset, England, village. When a distraught mother calls on Clara to remove a venomous snake from her baby's crib and another family's home is overrun with snakes, including a deadly Australian taipan, Clara realizes there must be a human agency behind the snake attacks, at least two of which will prove fatal. With the help of Assistant Chief Constable Matt Hoare and eccentric herpetologist and TV star Sean North, Clara begins to unravel a tangle of long-kept village secrets stretching back generations. Bolton milks the myriad snakes, even the harmless ones, for all they're worth, but falters with Clara, whose fraught family history (she bears disfiguring facial scars from a rarely discussed childhood accident) tends to undercut the suspense. (June)

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Library Journal

In Bolton's sophomore effort (after Sacrifice), solitary wildlife vet Clara Benning is called to investigate when snakes appear to be overrunning her small Dorset village. Then a man dies from what is believed to be a snakebite, but his body is full of too much venom to have been naturally caused by a single snake. At the same time, Clara's mother dies, bringing up painful childhood memories revolving around Clara's facial scar. Bolton has written a dark, eerie tale worthy of Edgar Allan Poe but in the modern style of Barbara Vine and Simon Beckett.


—Jo Ann Vicarel
Kirkus Reviews
There is love, murder and snakes in the grass in a picturesque English village. Clara Benning is a young veterinary surgeon whose patients these days run to animals considerably less exotic than cobras. But she's logged a good bit of time in the herpetology precincts of world-class zoos. Clara knows which snakes are placid, which are poisonous and which are found in Dorsetshire only in the company of person or persons unknown. Consider the Australian taipan, aka "the Devil from Down Under." It's big, powerful, easily annoyed and routinely lethal. Clara can't explain how a taipan came to Dorset. Nor can hunky Assistant Chief Constable Matt Hoare, who's confronted with a community in rising panic. What's clear, however, is that someone pretty smart about snakes is employing them as deadly weapons. Evil is slithering through Dorset, and plucky Clara won't rest until she scotches it. Bolton (Sacrifice, 2008) overplots on occasion, but her heroine, so troubled and so valiant, is irresistible.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312381875
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
05/25/2010
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
402,429
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

SHARON BOLTON, an International Thriller Writers and Mary Higgins Clark Award finalist, grew up in Lancashire, England, and now lives near Oxford with her family. Her novels are inspired by her fascination with British folklore. Sharon Bolton was previously published as S.J. Bolton.

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