Published on 1st June 2017 by Orenda Books. My thanks to the publisher for the review copy and Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour.
A chilling, exquisitely written and evocative thriller set in the Lake District, centring on the obsessive relationship that develops between two writers…
Bo Luxton has it all – a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name.
Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend.
When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops…
Or does it?
Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, Exquisite is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
Delighted that I am finally able to share my review of Exquisite. An absolute page turner of a novel that kept me up for hours and left me thinking for days after finishing it.
Exquisite is a story of obsession told from the perspectives of both Bo Luxton and Alice Dark. Bo is a well known Author who runs a writing retreat and Alice is a writer just starting out, who sees the retreat as a way of furthering her writing hopes and dreams.
The ladies have an immediate connection, sharing emails etc when they both return home, but it soon becomes clear that all is not as it seems. From here on in the plot is tense and riveting and sucks the reader in, never quite sure what is going to happen next and what the final outcome will be. Two damaged women that are both at points in their lives where they are not particularly happy. At 250 pages, Exquisite is relatively short but it manages to deliver on so many fronts. Thought provoking, scary, exciting and really disturbing.
Tension mounts throughout as an unease and sense of foreboding falls on to every page. Exquisite is also beautifully written with wonderful prose and a real sense of place. The writing about the Lake District was particularly good. Short, sharp chapters help to keep the pace of the story moving and as the main protagonists are both unreliable narrators makes this book so special.
I will not forget this book in a hurry. One of the best in the genre and most certainly it will be one of my favourites this year.
About the Author:
Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University. Her debut psychological thriller, Exquisite, is set in the Lake District.
You can find her on Twitter: @Sarahlovescrime
Please do have a look at some of the other stops on the blog tour.