S. J. Bolton, Author . Minotaur $25.95 (393p) ISBN 978-0-312-38114-1

Clara Benning, a reclusive vet who’s the narrator of Bolton’s solid second thriller (after Sacrifice ), spends her days treating badgers, boars and other wildlife at the Little Order of St. Francis in an isolated Dorset, England, village. When a distraught mother calls on Clara to remove a venomous snake from her baby’s crib and another family’s home is overrun with snakes, including a deadly Australian taipan, Clara realizes there must be a human agency behind the snake attacks, at least two of which will prove fatal. With the help of Assistant Chief Constable Matt Hoare and eccentric herpetologist and TV star Sean North, Clara begins to unravel a tangle of long-kept village secrets stretching back generations. Bolton milks the myriad snakes, even the harmless ones, for all they’re worth, but falters with Clara, whose fraught family history (she bears disfiguring facial scars from a rarely discussed childhood accident) tends to undercut the suspense. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/06/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
Paperback - 537 pages - 978-0-552-15614-1
Hardcover - 393 pages - 978-0-593-05923-4
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-593-05924-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 340 pages - 978-0-552-15978-4
Paperback - 393 pages - 978-0-312-38187-5
Open Ebook - 560 pages - 978-1-4090-8168-5
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