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Sarah Hilary



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08 June 2021
Everything she touches breaks . . .

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. Her employer lives by a set of rigid rules and she soon sees that he is hiding secrets of his own.

But is Nell's arrival at the Villas really the coincidence it seems? After all, she knows more than most how fragile people can be - and how easy they can be to break . . .

Fragile is a dark, contemporary psychological thriller with a modern Gothic twist from an award-winning and critically acclaimed writer who has been compared to Ruth Rendell, P. D. James and Val McDermid. Rebecca meets The Handmaid's Tale in Sarah Hilary's standalone breakout novel.

An astonishingly gifted writer, with an almost scalpel-like ability to dissect human motivation. Absolutely stunning... Marian Keyes
By:   Sarah Hilary
Imprint:   Pan
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   440g
ISBN:   9781529029451
ISBN 10:   1529029457
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   08 June 2021
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sarah Hilary's debut novel, Someone Else's Skin, won the 2015 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and was a World Book Night selection. The Observer's Book of the Month ('superbly disturbing') and a Richard and Judy Book Club bestseller, it has been published worldwide. No Other Darkness, the second in the series, was shortlisted for a Barry Award in the U.S. Her D.I. Marnie Rome series continues with Tastes Like Fear, Quieter Than Killing, Come and Find Me, and Never Be Broken. Fragile is her first standalone novel.

Reviews for Fragile

Sarah Hilary has always known how to chill her readers - Fragile dials the chill factor up to eleven -- Val McDermid Fragile is absolutely STUNNING, the dreamy atmosphere coupled with Nell's carnal love for Joe put me in mind of Barbara Vine...[Sarah Hilary is] an astonishingly gifted writer, with an almost scalpel-like ability to dissect human motivation and convey it deliciously devoid of sentimentality. I was GRIPPED by Fragile, it took me into a whole other world and I was sorry to leave it. -- Marian Keyes Perfectly plotted, beautifully written modern Gothic. Timeless, tense and tender, Fragile will worm its way deep into your heart, just as the characters insinuate themselves into each others' lives. I absolutely loved it -- Erin Kelly Extraordinary . . . an immersive psychological thriller that plunges us into an underworld of emotional and physical exploitation. There are shades of Highsmith . . . Brilliant stuff -- Andrew Taylor Beautifully written modern gothic. I took my time with this, savouring it - the tone of Sarah Hilary's writing is unique to her: exploring society and human nature in a sensitive, engrossing way. Ingenious, original and brilliant -- Will Dean, author of The Last Thing To Burn Fragile is a fever dream. A nightmarish slant on the world delivered expertly and with heart. Tension like cold steel. Characters you won't forget. Sarah Hilary is a modern-day Highsmith. -- Steve Cavanagh A beguiling thriller of considerable ambition and ingenuity, Fragile marks Sarah Hilary as a twenty-first century du Maurier, a writer who plunges the depths of human nature, finding the darkest, most deviant corners, but also the fleeting hopes and brittle aspirations. This is a truly outstanding work of modern gothic. -- Eva Dolan So Gothically creepy and addictive, brilliant characters and set up, but most of all just beautifully written. -- Sabine Durrant A swirling, corrosive tale of death and deceit, as unsettling as it is beguiling. -- Luke Jennings, Author of the KILLING EVE series Highly original, beautifully written -- Sharon Bolton Sarah Hilary's Fragile is a beautifully written deep dive into the kind of seductive but dangerous darkness that hides away behind closed doors and respectable facades. -- Rowan Coleman Fragile is a dark kind of modern fairytale, Cinderella re-imagined by a writer who knows how to turn a phrase until it's sharp enough to cut. With echoes of du Maurier and Highsmith, Fragile is compelling, poetic and, at times, terrifying. Sarah Hilary is brilliant at framing love with hate, compassion with cruelty, and her skill in creating monstrous characters is unsurpassed -- Jane Casey Sarah Hilary has created a beautifully written modern Gothic masterpiece, so full of intrigue and mysteries layered upon mysteries that the unravelling may well shred your nerves, in the best way possible -- Liz Nugent I loved this. A riveting read, dark with dread. Written in vivid and sensuous prose. Evocative, perceptive and illuminating. -- Cath Staincliffe Sarah Hilary's first standalone is everything you'd expect from such a gifted writer. It's beautifully crafted, smart and unsettling - a dark river of a book, with a chilling undertow -- Mick Herron Haunting and so exquisitely written -- Michelle Davies Fragile is as devastating as it is beautiful. Very few writers possess the skill to make a story as immersive as this...a perfectly crafted read. -- Lucy Dawson Wonderfully twisty and atmospheric. Kept me second guessing right until the end. -- Sam Baker Extraordinary . . . affecting, unflinching, so atmospheric, and the pin-sharp characterization is as good at it gets. Sarah has produced a novel that feels contemporary and socially important, yet somehow other-worldly . . . executed beautifully -- Caz Frear A stunningly written, deliciously dark and immersive thriller full of atmosphere and depth. I absolutely loved it -- Roz Watkins The writing is so elegant, so restrained, that it brings to mind Patricia Highsmith. Fragile is a very fine, and very creepy psychological thriller. -- Lucy Atkins Tremendously atmospheric! Fragile will tangle you up in a house full of secrets and broken lives. Beautifully written, its dark secrets reveal themselves with a deft hand -- Rachael Blok I have long been an admirer of Sarah Hilary's work, and Fragile is an exceptional novel. The writing is superb, and every page glitters with dark brilliance. I loved the Gothic quality of the book, the twisted plot, and the sense of peril that pervades the story. -- Kate Rhodes A beautifully-written exploration of the damage people do to each other and the lies they tell themselves along the way. -- Cass Green In Fragile, Sarah Hilary has written an hypnotic novel - claustrophobic, gripping and, at times, poetic. She cleverly plays with and subverts many of the cliches of the modern crime novel to produce something startlingly original. -- Andrew Wilson Hilary is my drop-everything writer; always original, always bang-on psychologically, always gripping. I am a huge fan -- Alex Marwood A gorgeously written, tense and atmospheric novel. Sarah Hilary peels back the layers of mystery so skillfully that it was impossible to look away for a moment. -- Gytha Lodge Sarah Hilary writes beautifully and unflinchingly -- Peter James One of Britain's best new crime writers * Daily Mail * Fragile is everything we've come to expect from Hilary: complex, believable characters, ingenious plotting, and rich storytelling full of intrigue and dark foreboding. -- Melanie McGrath A dark, mesmeric fever-dream of a book -- Ruth Ware

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