Fragile

Fragile

3.53 (430 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Fragile is absolutely STUNNING' - Marian Keyes, author of Grown Ups

'Sarah Hilary has always known how to chill her readers - Fragile dials the chill factor up to 11' - Val McDermid, author of The Wire in the Blood

Fragile is a modern Gothic psychological thriller with a contemporary twist on the classic novel Rebecca from award-winning and critically acclaimed writer Sarah Hilary.

Everything she touches breaks . . .

Nell Ballard is a runaway. A former foster child with a dark secret she is desperately trying 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 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 easily they can be to break . . .

Further praise for Fragile:

'Fragile is absolutely STUNNING, the dreamy atmosphere couples 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, author of Grown Ups

'Perfectly plotted, beautifully written modern Gothic. Timeless, tense and tender, Fragile will worm it's way deep into your heart, just as the characters insinuate themselves into each other's lives. I absolutely loved it' - Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said

'Beautifully crafted, smart and unsettling - a dark river of a book, with a chilling undertow' - Mick Herron, author of Slow Horses

'A dark, mesmeric fever-dream of a book' - Ruth Ware, author of The Woman in Cabin 10

'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 Red Snow

'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, author of The American Boy and The Ashes of London

'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, author of The Thirteen

'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, author of Between Two Evils

'Highly original, beautifully written' - Sharon Bolton, author of Now You See Me

'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, author of Skin Deep

'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, author of Magpie Lane

'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, author of She Lies in Wait
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 162 x 243 x 37mm | 568g
  • Macmillan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1529029449
  • 9781529029444
  • 645,232

Review quote

Sarah Hilary has always known how to chill her readers - Fragile dials the chill factor up to eleven -- Val McDermid, author of The Wire in the Blood 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, author of Grown Ups 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, author of He Said/She Said 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, author of The American Boy and The Ashes of London 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, author of The Thirteen 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, author of Between Two Evils So Gothically creepy and addictive, brilliant characters and set up, but most of all just beautifully written. -- Sabine Durrant, author of Lie With Me 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, author of Now You See Me 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, author of author of Between Two Evils 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, author of The Burning 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, author of Lying in Wait I loved this. A riveting read, dark with dread. Written in vivid and sensuous prose. Evocative, perceptive and illuminating. -- Cath Staincliffe, author of The Silence Between Breaths 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, author of Slow Horses Haunting and so exquisitely written -- Michelle Davies, author of Gone Astray 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, author of White Lies Wonderfully twisty and atmospheric. Kept me second guessing right until the end. -- Sam Baker, author of The Woman Who Ran 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, author of Sweet Little Lies A stunningly written, deliciously dark and immersive thriller full of atmosphere and depth. I absolutely loved it -- Roz Watkins, author of The Devil's Dice 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, author of Magpie Lane 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, author of Under the Ice 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, author of Hell Bay A beautifully-written exploration of the damage people do to each other and the lies they tell themselves along the way. -- Cass Green, author of In a Cottage In a Wood 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, author of A Talent for Murder Hilary is my drop-everything writer; always original, always bang-on psychologically, always gripping. I am a huge fan -- Alex Marwood, author of The Wicked Girls 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, author of She Lies in Wait Sarah Hilary writes beautifully and unflinchingly -- Peter James, author of the Looking Good Dead and Dead Simple 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. -- Mel McGrath, author of Give Me the Child A dark, mesmeric fever-dream of a book -- Ruth Ware, author of The Woman in Cabin 10 The gradual build-up of tension in splendid gothic tradition is totally engrossing. Starling Villas, with its atmospheric and claustrophobic rooms hinting at danger and despair, is a central character. The chilling revelations accumulate but who is telling the truth? The denouement may leave you reeling.
Sarah Hilary's writing is sublime - every perfectly crafted sentence a joy to devour. Her skill at plotting such a complex, unsettling and dark narrative is brilliant. Can't wait to see in what literary direction she takes off in next. Fragile is a triumph. -- Anne Coates * The Arbuturian *
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About Sarah Hilary

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.
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Rating details

430 ratings
3.53 out of 5 stars
5 19% (80)
4 33% (144)
3 34% (146)
2 10% (43)
1 4% (17)
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