S.J. Bolton, Blood Harvest (2011)

[Dansk titel: Blodhøst. Se Litteratursidens udmærkede anmeldelse]

“It had happened, then; what only hindsight could have told him he´d been dreading. It was almost a relief, in a way, knowing the worst was over, that he didn´t have to pretend any more. Maybe he could now stop acting like this was an ordinary town, that these were normal people. Harry took a deep breath, and learned that death smells of drains, of damp soil and of heavy-duty plastic.”

These are the opening lines of Blood Harvest. Not a bad prologue, or? Bolton is in absolute top shape in her third mystery. But why is it that I enjoy meeting people in real life who like two-year-old children while they strike me as extremely sinister in a thriller?

As we know fairly early that the setting of the story is not exactly a safe place for children, the reader can only bite her nails from the first chapter when we get to know the Fletchers and their three nice children, Tom, Joe and little Millie. The family have built their house on what used to be a cemetery so their nearest neighbours are no less than two churches; a very old one plus the new church which has just been closed for years.

An exciting story full of nasty, old secrets and great characters. On the whole Bolton even gets the voices of the children right (but more about that later this week). And something very unusual: the amateur sleuth who gives the police a hand is a dishy vicar with a keen sense of humour – an extra star to Ms Bolton for beating the dust out of the clergy😉

This thriller was an XL of 560 pages, but I wolfed it down greedily. I bought a signed copy in Bristol.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in British, review, review 2011, S.J. Bolton. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to S.J. Bolton, Blood Harvest (2011)

  1. Joanne says:

    An injection of humour (and a dishy vicar) goes a long way. Sounds like an excellent story to feast on.🙂 Look forward to your post on ‘children’s voices’ – always a tricky technique to master.

  2. Dorte – Oh, this one does sound good. Thanks for the fine review of it! I enjoyed Bolton’s Awakening, so I expected to like this one, too. Now I’m sure I will.

  3. Barbara says:

    This sounds downright evil. I really don’t think I could ever manage to get children’s voices right in fiction so I admire someone who does it well.

  4. Kelly says:

    This sounds rather creepy, but I still think I’d like it. Is it part of a series?

  5. Kelly says:

    Btw… I just looked on Amazon (US) and the cover is different. I like the cover you have here better!

  6. Joanne: as a vicar´s wife I have been so tired of all the dreary, bloodless vicars in crime fiction so of course I enjoyed this story extra much.
    Margot: her first two were extremely exciting, but less credible for me (with the snakes & the trolls).
    Barbara: evil in a good way😉 And children are difficult to get right, but not as hopeless as those creatures they call teenagers.
    Kelly: no, it´s a stand-alone. I do hope she will recycle that vicar, though. Bolton, do you hear me? And this cover suits the story.

  7. Maxine says:

    I enjoyed this book too. I agree that vicars are not usually depicted in a very kind way in fiction (eg Trollope’s He Knew He Was Right has a scathing portrait of one) but in this book Harry is an attractive character, not too God-squaddy. I liked the psychologist too.

  8. Maxine: if the vicars are not God-squaddy, they are just dry and boring, and usually out of touch with the real world😉
    Yes, Bolton has some great characters in this one.

  9. Pingback: Writing About Little People | djskrimiblog

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