Dead Woman Walking

Early one morning, a hot-air balloon takes off near the Scottish border, carrying a group of tourists. While afloat, they witness a man kill a young woman on the ground. The killer looks up and locks eyes with one of the women in the balloon's basket. The balloon crashes, spurring the following press release from police:

"This woman--Jessica Lane--should have died.... Not only did Lane survive, she walked away.... So, I want to know where she's going...why she hasn't been in touch. Why she isn't seeking help. Why she's deliberately avoiding the police. I want to know who she's running from."

This is how Sharon Bolton's Dead Woman Walking opens. Readers will want those answers, too.

But since Bolton is a master plot strategist, she keeps readers on the hook by meting out clues slowly without ever sacrificing momentum or letting up on the suspense. Bolton allows her heroine no respite from the menace pursuing her and readers no time to relax. While the author unravels the mysteries, she throws in subtle social commentary and creates characters of varying shades on the human spectrum. No one is one thing--not cops or killers or even nuns. The best way to read this thriller, and Bolton's others, is to accept not knowing where the story is headed or what the people are capable of. The plot will become unsettlingly twisty, but the author is an expert guide, taking readers on an exceptional and memorable adventure. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

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