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The Sculptress | [Minette Walters]

The Sculptress

Everyone knows Olive Martin, the huge and menacing woman who was found five years ago with the carved-up bodies of her mother and younger sister. Everyone knows how she pleaded guilty to murder at her trial. And everyone knows not to anger the Sculptress even now that she is safely locked in prison for a minimum of 25 years.
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Publisher's Summary

Everyone knows Olive Martin, the huge and menacing woman who was found five years ago with the carved-up bodies of her mother and younger sister. Everyone knows how she pleaded guilty to murder at her trial. And everyone knows not to anger the Sculptress even now that she is safely locked in prison for a minimum of 25 years.

When Rosalind Leigh accepts a commission to write a book about Olive, she finds herself wondering what lies behind all of these facts that everyone knows. When Roz first visits her in prison, she finds that Olive is not quite what she expected. And if - as Roz is repeatedly warned - Olive lies about almost everything, then why did she confess so readily to two hideous murders? The deeper she is drawn into the shadowy world of the Sculptress, the more firmly she is convinced that Olive is hiding something - perhaps even her innocence. But whom could Olive be protecting - and why?

©1994 Minette Walters; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Edgar Award, Best Novel, 1994

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (97 )
5 star
 (27)
4 star
 (39)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.0 (57 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
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Story
3.8 (57 )
5 star
 (20)
4 star
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3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    Kathy United States 05-09-13
    Kathy United States 05-09-13 Member Since 2010

    kathyth12

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    187
    2
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    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story, poor narration"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, but only if they can overlook the tedious narration.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sculptress?

    The last few sentences...


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Sandra Burr?

    Anyone British. Most Americans do dreadful British accents and Sandra Burr's accents were labored and forced. I was always aware that she was an American "acting" the part. It was distracting.


    Could you see The Sculptress being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    It has already been filmed as a BBC film.


    Any additional comments?

    This book made me want to read more Minette Walters.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Hoffmann Downingtown, PA USA 06-17-09
    Tracy Hoffmann Downingtown, PA USA 06-17-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    94
    18
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    0
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    "Top-notch crime fiction"

    Unlike the other review here, I didn't find the romantic plot twist a distraction from the story. The twists and turns of the narrative were first-rate and the plot kept me guessing until the last few chapters. Great stuff and a terrific listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-07-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Poor Voice Acting Ruins Great Story"
    Would you try another book from Minette Walters and/or Sandra Burr?

    It's a great story, almost ruined by terrible voice acting. I'd recommend reading the book rather than suffering through the audio version.I could not put the book down when I read it a few years ago, and I enjoy the author's work immensely.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Sandra Burr has a nice voice, when she's not mangling British accents. If she had read the book without her unsuccessful attempts at voice acting, I'd have given her 4 stars. I would be very skeptical about trying another of her narrations.


    Any additional comments?

    Buy the book and give the audio version narrated by Sandra Burr a miss.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PAULA Hong Kong, Hong Kong 04-08-15
    PAULA Hong Kong, Hong Kong 04-08-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
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    0
    0
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    Story
    "The narrator spoiled it!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I am aware of the story line having seen it on UK TV decades ago and was interested to hear the book for this reason, as I know there is a twist but can't remember the end. However the american accent trying to do British accents was a mixture of poor Audrey Hepburn accents!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sculptress?

    The prison guard who sounds like Eliza Doolittle (before) and the British main character who sounds like Audrey in a Roman Holiday with an american accented inner dialogue (which is actually a blessing)! Olive comes from DaRlington not Dallington and surely even Americans frown, not frowen - and I'm not through the first hour yet!


    How could the performance have been better?

    Select any British accented narrator - Pauline Quirk who played Olive in the UK Drama would have been excellent....at all the accents.


    Could you see The Sculptress being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    It was and it starred Pauline Quirk who was brilliant in it.


    Any additional comments?

    Really you couldn't find any British accented person to narrate this book?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. boulder creek, ca 05-01-09
    G. boulder creek, ca 05-01-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    338
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    409
    42
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    17
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    Overall
    "started out well"

    I was intrigued by the grotesque nature of the book, admittedly I have a fondness for such things! Too bad the story didn't hold it's momentum and quickly devolved into a romance that was literally a red herring (sp.?) I don't mind romance when it's germane to the plot, here it was not. How do these people find each other and then fall in love and decided to move in.... in like a few weeks? Rosalind, the protagonist, finds herself in one violent situation after another, whether with a lover, ex husband, or evil guy, and her reaction is basically the same--glazed over indifference. Her character was a little formulaic for me, beautiful, running around fooling everyone, and solving the murder when no one else ever had a clue. She makes a decision about halfway through the book about the guilt or innocence (I won't say, it'll spoil it for you) of the Sculptress, and there is absolutely no basis for this decision, kind of a hunch. Then the story, and the girl, gets plain goofy, stabbing bad guys with a hat pin, secretly tape recording a thug threaten to kill her. I felt like I was reading Nancy Drew! (nothing against the heroine, I read all her stuff as a girl) I was first attracted to TS because I like a gritty psychologically deviant story. This one was more like a treasure hunt, each clue is picked up where the last one is found.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucy Morris 08-11-15
    Lucy Morris 08-11-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes- really liked the book, nice story and pace.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Sandra Burr?

    Anyone else. The narration detracted significantly from the book. The accents and the different voices were pretty bizarre, and made the main character in particular come across as very prissy and a little annoying, where the actual writing didn't necessarily need to come across that way.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Voracious reader Hong Kong, Asia 03-25-15
    Voracious reader Hong Kong, Asia 03-25-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good voice acting"

    A good whodunnit - keeps twisting to the end.
    I have to complete writing this for some reason I don't understand

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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