Author – Sharon Bolton
Published – 2017
Genre – Crime fiction
I’ve been a big fan Sharon Bolton’s books and three of those I’ve reviewed have been five star reads so when I saw Dead Woman Walking in the library I had to borrow it.
The story is told through two timelines. In the present the book opens with a hot-air balloon flight near the Scottish border that goes disastrously awry after the passengers witness a brutal attack from their lofty position. This results in a chase sequence that lasts for a couple of chapters and culminates in the death of many of the passengers. But one young woman walks away from the crash and then she runs. She is in fear for her life and trusts no-one, even as the police start to search for her, she remains on the run.
The second timeline that interweaves the first starts over twenty years previously when the two sisters who were in the balloon flight were young girls. As this timeline moves forwards documenting the girls’ relationship we learn about the reasons that led to them being in the balloon and this is where a police procedural aspect comes into the story.
There are a number of reasons that I didn’t think this book was as well written or as gripping as the previous books I’ve read by the author. It relies on multiple twists but there wasn’t enough mis-direction and I had picked up on several of them before they were revealed. It stretches the reader’s credibility – I’ve always felt that the police procedural aspects of the author’s previous books have seemed authentic but this lacked that feeling and putting in a lot of twists means the author’s trying to mis-lead the reader, which makes you question everything you’re reading. Finally it felt like it was trying to cover too much ground – there were so many different aspects to the plot. I don’t want to give too much away but for most authors just a fraction of the themes would be enough for a compelling novel.
There were some enjoyable action sequences and some interesting themes were touched on. Very disappointed that this wasn’t as enjoyable as the previous books by the author.