The Sculptress by Minette Walters

‘The Sculptress is another absolutely chilling novel from Minette Walters.

Rosalind Leigh is a best-selling writer who has struggled to write since suffering a tragedy. In order to resurrect her career, she is assigned the task of writing about the murderess Olive Martin.

Olive is a few years into a life sentence for murdering and dismembering her mother and younger sister. She is extremely obese and moody and prone to violent outbursts, making her a very unlovable person.

But, from the first interview that Roz has with Olive, she finds that Olive is not the monster she was expecting. And, as Roz studies Olive’s confession and starts to investigate the details of the crime, she begins to have serious doubts about Olive’s guilt. But, if she’s not guilty, then why did she confess?

Along the way, Roz meets Olive’s arresting officer Hal Hawkesley who has now left the police and is running a restaurant. He is having plenty of his own problems which have resulted in him losing his customers and being beaten up on a regular basis. He is another person who Roz thinks is innocent, but is it only because of her romantic feelings towards him?

The novel moves at a cracking pace with clues popping up regarding Olive, Hal and Roz. There are some extremely shady characters involved including corrupt lawyers and thugs-for-hire, as well as those just too weak minded to tell the truth.

The epilogue, instead of presenting a nice conclusion to the novel, raises as many questions as it answers. Maybe an even bigger miscarriage of justice has now occurred!


This was an excellent psychological thriller. But, that’s exactly what I now expect when I read anything written by Minette Walters. I can’t wait to read the next Walters novel on my list ‘The Echo’.


Book Published 1993


See a full list of books by Minette Walters

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