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Awakening by Sharon Bolton, S. J. Bolton

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312381875
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 05/25/2010
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 494,697
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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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Awakening 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
ManderDuck More than 1 year ago
The story line is so original in this book! Could not put it down between the snakes and the mystery of the fire in 1958 I had qoose bumps throughout. Clara is such a strong character backed by a great cast. I couldnt find anything wrong with this book if I tried.
eternalised More than 1 year ago
Awakening is a deeply disturbing story about a small town mysteriously infested by snakes – and not the garden variety, but dangerous killers brought here from Papoea New Guinea. When veterinary surgeon Clara, a recluse by her own making, gets summoned to help when a hysterical mother finds a snake in her baby’s crib, that’s only the beginning of the madness. Later on, a man dies from a seemingly innocent snake bite, and 39 snakes are found in one of the neighboring houses. Is it just a random occurence, or is someone behind it? At first Clara wants to stay out of this as much as possible. She’s a recluse by choice, preferring to stay away from company ever since she was harmed when she was a baby, leaving her with terrible scars on her face. But she can’t help but get involved in this case, as every occurence requires the help and assistance of a veterinary. On top of that, old man Witcher, a man she somewhat got along with, has returned from the death and is now stalking her every move, even appearing in her home. So maybe Witcher isn’t dead at all, and he’s the culprit behind the snake attacks, or maybe someone who looks a lot like the old man she used to know has returned to town… With Clara’s life and reputation at stake as more and more fingers begin to point in her direction, she must take matters into her own hands and find out what is going on. Her search leads her back to the town’s history, to a church that burned down decades ago, to the Witcher family… I actually really liked Clara, which is strange because she avoids all human contact if possible and prefers to stay on her own. I liked that – it was new, it was fresh. We don’t offer get a protagonist who’s scarred for life and too afraid to talk to people, and it was an original asset to the story. The novel actually had a very gothic feel, both because of the descriptions of the town, and because of the protagonist, who acts like she just ran away from a gothic novel. I also liked the hint of romance in the book, and how Clara learns, along the way, that looks aren’t everything. People might start to care for her, even though she has a disfigured face. People might treat her like an ordinary human being and look past those scars if she gives them the opportunity. So in that sense, this novel is a bit like a coming-of-age story, although Clara is already in her thirties. The protagonist goes through an almost insane amount of character development here, which was great. The story itself was intriguing as well, although it was also a bit awkward here and there. I liked the setting – the old town, the abandoned house, the snakes – but some things were a bit too random for me to ignore. Like when at some point Clara is chased by some other village people, I was continuously wondering “why”. I mean, these people are stupid and ignorant, sure. But is it just because she’s scarred that they’d chase her down and call her names? I doubt that, unless they were highly intoxicated or something. Either way,that was just one of the few things that didn’t make sense to me. I also thought the story of what happened in the past was a bit over the top. All in all, the book was a great read, even if some parts of the story made me frown. It had intriguing characters, especially the protagonist, and a mysterious setting to match the extraordinary plot. I wouldn’t mind seeing more books by this author, especially if she brings me another one featuring the same protagonist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good thriller with great characters. Enjoyed reading about the wildlife vet clinic and the treatment given to the animals.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
S. J. Bolton (aka Sharon Bolton) is one of the best mystery-writers I've ever read. I can't put down any of her books! I highly highly recommend!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Over three quarters of this book drug on to the point of being boring. I understand character development and setting up the plot, but this was ridiculous. I will say that the last quarter if the story was fantastic, but readers shouldn't have too slog through so much inconsequential rambling to get there. Stephanie Clanahan
JerseyBoy More than 1 year ago
Well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got 5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to agree with one reader...50% of this book could have been dumped in the garbage can. It seemed as if the writer was so wrapped up in research of snakes they wanted to be sure it was all on paper. Completely boring and unnecessary. Yet the salvation for me to stick with this was the female character. As said by someone, the last of the book was the best. Yet the ending was a let down, very unsatisfying and thankless after the torture of the laborous start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not want to put this book down. I even dreamt about at night. It is very well written with a fresh but thrilling storyline. I would recommend this to any reader who loves suspense thrillers.
nooklooker More than 1 year ago
You can read what the story is about in the Overview or review below mine-- What I will say is that I could not put the book down until I had finished it. It is so well written that I was totally immersed in the plot. I kept saying to myself, "I'll start the wash after another chapter," or "I'll start dinner in just a few more pages" and that it how it went all day until I finished this great read. I loved it so much I got two more of Bolton's books. I loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scary for non lovers of snakes! Excellent writing!
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