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5.0 out of 5 stars An inviting read, makes you want to know the characters.
While this is a thriller that isn't gripping, it is a lovely read and a good study. I really enjoyed the characters and the gentle twists that kept inviting me back to the page. She is bright and the simplicity of her writing is refreshing given that her characters are complex, slightly damaged and more than interesting. I find that Minette Walters makes me want to...
Published 17 months ago by Deb Dorsey

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3.0 out of 5 stars the sculptress
I couldn't wait to get this book ! I had read so many good reviews. The first 200 pages were so good that I could not read fast enough. Then it kind of went off the tract talking about the writers boyfriend's trouble, adding a whole lot of unnecessary characters. As though there weren't enough characters already. But where it really lost it for me was the ending.The...
Published on July 15 2001 by Annette Sonnenberg


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5.0 out of 5 stars An inviting read, makes you want to know the characters., Feb. 27 2013
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This review is from: The Sculptress (Kindle Edition)
While this is a thriller that isn't gripping, it is a lovely read and a good study. I really enjoyed the characters and the gentle twists that kept inviting me back to the page. She is bright and the simplicity of her writing is refreshing given that her characters are complex, slightly damaged and more than interesting. I find that Minette Walters makes me want to order another of her works as soon as I'm finished with the one I'm reading. I'm a little embarassed that when I mention her to friends who are avid readers - they have read everything by her already.
I suggest downloading as many as you can fit into a holiday read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best!, Dec 13 2003
By 
Other reviews here have summarized the plot...suffice it to say the plot is simple, and the characters are complex. That's what makes this novel so compelling: it's populated by real people, albeit not always very nice ones, and these people are making their way in a world which is not friendly to them. There's a layer of philosophy here too: organized religion, mysticism, and the occult all come into play as the story unfolds. It's a satisfyingly deep and well-written book, and I recommend it highly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing story, March 19 2004
By 
Karen Potts (Lake Jackson, Texas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As this book begins, author Rosalind Leigh's world is falling apart. Torn up by a failed marriage, she develops writer's block and is unable to pursue her career. To jolt her out of the doldrums, her publisher decides to assign her the task of writing a book about Olive Martin, an obese woman who has confessed to the brutal slayings of her mother and her sister. Rosalind is reluctant at first, but after meeting Olive, she develops a fondness for her and begins to suspect that she is incapable of committing the crimes she has confessed to. Roz connects with Hal, the policeman who investigated the case, and they form a romantic partnership as well as an investigative one. This is a well-written book which keeps the suspense going, although the pace is a little slow at times.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A different story, Feb. 1 2003
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The story of the book is very different from almost all the books that I have read and I have my own questions of the veracity of the facts when they happened 6 years before, but as I always say you read to have fun and you can't expect that everything written in a book is real.
The story of any person in jail is depressing, and I think that is more depressing if that person was innocent no matter what other people think (outside of jail of course).
The book is an easy book to read and is perfect for the beach or any vacations, because is not a turn pager but it keeps you reading, so if you have anything else to do you can stop reading any time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars TRUE BEAUTY COMES WRAPPED IN DIFFERENT PACKAGES..., June 28 2002
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This is an intriguing, well written mystery which garnered the 1994 Edgar Award for best novel of the year for British writer, Minette Walters, who has written quite a number of excellent books. She is a writer in the tradition of that other great British novelist, Ruth Rendell, known also as Barbara Vine. The comparison by those who are familiar with the works of both Ms. Walters and Ms. Rendell is inescapable.
This book revolves around two main stories that become by necessity intertwined. One is that of a morbidly obese, young woman, Olive Martin, who is imprisoned for the brutal and grisly murders of her mother, Gwen, and beautiful, younger sister, Amber, whose butchered bodies shocked even the most jaded of folks. On the eve of trial, Olive made a full confession to the crime and received a prison sentence of not less than twenty-five years for her butchery. Known in prison as "The Sculptress", she passes the time making miniature, carved, wax images, a delicate and sensitive pastime for one with a reputation for such primal savagery.
Enter Rosalind "Roz" Leigh, a thirties something author suffering from writer's block, who accepts a commission to write about the Olive Martin case. After meeting Olive, she becomes intrigued by her, finding her to be other than what she had expected, and a symbiotic relationship develops between the two. As she delves into the facts of the murder case, and as her interviews with Olive reveal, all is not quite what it seems. The more that Roz sorts through the facts and the more people that she interviews who were in some way associated with the Martin family, the more she becomes convinced that a miscarriage of justice has occurred and that the wrong person is paying a horrific price for the grisly murders of Gwen and Amber.
Someone, however, does not wish her to dig too deeply. With the aid of a former police sergeant, Hal Hawksley, an attractive, though conflicted, young man who is now her new love interest and was also the officer who arrested Olive for the murders, Roz stays the course and perserveres in her inquiry. What she discovers is a complex morass of human indifference, greed, and passion that makes for a compelling and well crafted mystery.
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3.0 out of 5 stars the sculptress, July 15 2001
By 
Annette Sonnenberg (BOWLING GREEN, OHIO) - See all my reviews
I couldn't wait to get this book ! I had read so many good reviews. The first 200 pages were so good that I could not read fast enough. Then it kind of went off the tract talking about the writers boyfriend's trouble, adding a whole lot of unnecessary characters. As though there weren't enough characters already. But where it really lost it for me was the ending.The person who actually committed the murders had no motive against the people who were killed and in no way would have the physical stength to kill these people in the manner in which they were killed. It's one thing to not have it be the first person who you suspect. You need some kind of suspense. But when the murderer is ridiculous that wrecks a book for me no matter how well it is written.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Complex plot with a lot of surprises, June 19 2001
By A Customer
I liked reading that book very much. The plot is complex and full of twists and turns and it leaves the reader more than once in complete disbelief and surprise. This novel is not a typical detective story, as it is more psychological than action-oriented. Walters shows her knowledge of human nature and of the social background of the main characters in her book. By mixing two stories, Roz', who is deeply depressed and actually not able to live at the moment, gets the ultimatum either to write a book about Olive or to abandon it altogether, and Olive's, which is a statement of human indifference, Minette Walters was able to knit a story full of tension - which is still absolutely delicate.
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3.0 out of 5 stars enough surprises, Oct. 13 2000
By 
Orrin C. Judd "brothersjudddotcom" (Hanover, NH USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The plot of this Edgar Award winning novel by one of Britain's hottest mystery writers is awfully familiar, but in Minette Walters capable hands it's still creepy, interesting and very readable. Rosalind Leigh is commissioned to write a book about Olive Martin, an obese young woman, known as The Sculptress after hacking up her mother and sister with an ax and rearranging the pieces. Now all she carves is little wax figurines in her prison cell, including one of Rosalind after their first interview. At this and subsequent interviews, Olive convinces Rosalind that she did not actually commit the crime, this in spite of her own confession and a mountain of evidence. Of course, as Rosalind starts to dig into the facts of the case, she finds herself in mounting danger.
It all sounds painfully standard I know, but it made for a very good BBC adaptation which was shown here on PBS and the book is terrific too. As always in these things, Olive is the most interesting character in the book, but her relationship with Rosalind is especially well done and there are enough surprises to offset the somewhat formulaic basic plot.
GRADE: C+
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really wonderful, Oct. 11 2000
By 
I loved it.I think I've read it a hundred times and every time it 's gotten better.The problems of olive are described well but not yellow press like.You have to read it cause it's the best Minette has written.In my onpinion only the dark room is as good as this one .
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1.0 out of 5 stars I don't get it, Aug. 8 2000
By 
A. Kelly "kelly4059" (Minneapolis, MN United States) - See all my reviews
As I read all the glowing praise for Walters and her finely crafted mysteries, I have to say, I don't get it. I think she's a terrible writer. I read The Scold's Bridle when it first came out and didn't agree with the praise it had earned. But when casting about the other day for a modern mystery, I thought I'd give Walters another try with The Sculptress. It was even worse than The Scold's Bridle. The plot twists are so transparently engineered, and you could drive a truck through some of the holes. At the end, when the tension should be building, the exposition becomes confusing and story oddly boring. Throughout, her main characters are shallow, yet instantly dislikable, and their behavior is just bizarre (and I'm talking about the non-criminals). Even when she's trying to show tough tenderness between characters, it comes off more like really bad romance novel relationship, mixing violence and sexual interest in a very unpleasant way. To top it off, the dialogue is stilted and, quite often, completely uninteresting. I see very little intelligence, inventiveness, or skill here; Walters can't hold a candle to Ruth Rendell.
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