Another great crime novel by S.J. Bolton, with an unusual theme: Clara is a veterinary surgeon but lives as a recluse because she was disfigured in a childhood accident. She saves the life of a baby sleeping next to a venomous snake. And it’s only the first occurrence of snake biting or attacks in this little English village. A taipan (An extremely venomous snake from Australia) even appears on the scene. Where do all these snakes come from and who uses them to kill people? This is the mystery Clara has to solve, in company of a policeman and a weird snake expert. What Clara uncovers is a sinister ancient ritual, which makes use of snakes. This is a good novel, even if the ritual in question is somewhat far-fetched (whether true or not). Tension is good and characters interesting. Bolton has once again delivered a good thriller with a gothic theme and a fast-paced plot.