The Sculptress

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The Sculptress
AuthorMinette Walters
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreCrime / Mystery novel
PublisherPan Books
Publication date
23 July 1993
Media typePrint (Hardcover, Paperback) & Audio CD
Pages480 pp (paperback)
Preceded byThe Ice House 
Followed byThe Scold's Bridle 

The Sculptress (1993) is a crime novel by English writer Minette Walters. She won an Edgar and a Macavity Award for the book. The novel was adapted as a BBC-TV series in 1996, starring Pauline Quirke as Olive Martin.


Olive Martin — a 28-year-old, morbidly obese woman — was imprisoned for life after police found her cradling the shattered bodies of her mother and sister, having previously dismembered them and re-arranged their limbs into abstract shapes on the floor, a crime for which she was nicknamed "the Sculptress". Troubled journalist Rosalind Leigh, under pressure from her publisher to produce new material, reluctantly agrees to write a book about Olive and — whilst conducting interviews with the prisoner — gradually comes to believe that she is concealing something, maybe even her own innocence. In her quest to discover the truth Rosalind enlists the help of Hal Hawksley. He is an ex-policeman who investigated the case originally and is still haunted by some of its aspects.

Television adaptation[edit]

In 1996 this story was adapted for television by the BBC. The cast featured Pauline Quirke as Olive, Caroline Goodall as Rosalind and Christopher Fulford as Hal.

External links[edit]