I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the dark and chilling Fragile by Sarah Hilary. Thank you to Anne Cater and Pan Macmillan for giving me the opportunity to read and review this exceptional standalone novel.
About the book:
A modern Gothic thriller from an award-winning and critically acclaimed author – a REBECCA for our times.
Nell Ballard is a runaway. A former foster child with a dark secret she is desperate to keep, all Nell wants is to find a place she can belong. So when a job comes up at Starling Villas, home to the enigmatic Robin Wilder, she seizes the opportunity with both hands. But her new lodgings may not be the safe haven that she was hoping for…
About the author:
SARAH HILARY’s debut Someone Else’s Skin won the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year, was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick and The Observer’s Book of the Month. In the US, it was a Silver Falchion and Macavity Award finalist. No Other Darkness, the second in the series, was shortlisted for a Barry Award. The sixth in her DI Marnie Rome series Never Be Broken is out now.
Her short stories have won the Cheshire Prize for Literature, the Fish Criminally Short Histories Prize, and the SENSE prize.
Fragile is her first standalone novel.
Sarah is one of the Killer Women, a crime writing collective supporting diversity, innovation and inclusion in their industry.
Fragile is a standalone novel by acclaimed author Sarah Hilary that is a very different kind of read to her DI Marnie Rome crime thriller series of books. It has a dark and chilling gothic feel to it that draws you in from the very first page, hooking its claws into you and never letting go. It reads very much like a classic novel from yesteryear but with a modern day twist that is more than relevant to the times we live in today. Touching on themes of child abuse and a broken system that fails to safeguard those most in need, Fragile is a powerful and thought provoking read that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since I turned the final page.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot as this is a book you need to read and experience for yourself, but I will say it is a deeply unsettling read that had me on the edge of my seat at times as the claustrophobic feel of the setting sent shivers up and down my spine. The storyline was so intense and otherworldly that I had to keep on reminding myself that this was a book set in modern times, not in the time of Rebecca or other such classic novels. Starling Villas itself is a character in its own right, the chilling atmosphere seeping from its walls as we discover the secrets that lie within each room along with runaway Nell, as she begins to wonder exactly what it is she has let herself in for…
To say I adored this book would be an understatement. Sarah Hilary’s writing is superb, her ability to hit the nail square on the head when it comes to hard to talk about issues of modern times is astonishing. There is an authenticity to her writing that brings these characters vividly to life, my heart aching for them as the layers are carefully peeled away to reveal a devastating sequence of events that tore my heart in two.
Sarah Hilary is an author who just keeps on going from strength to strength and I can’t wait to see what brilliance she is going to come up with next. Fragile is a stunning standalone modern day classic that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. A dark, intense and unsettling read that will stay with me for a long time to come.
Fragile by Sarah Hilary is available to purchase now.
Check out what these other fantastic bloggers have to say about this book: