Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Exquisite. This is the debut novel from Sarah Stovell and it is a book I had heard a lot about through social media with its stunning cover and intriguing plot resulting in a fair bit of excitement. And as I read the opening pages I was hooked, and realised I was in for a very interesting read…
Exquisite is a psychological thriller in which we meet two women and the relationship that develops between them. Bo Luxton is a woman who seemingly has it all – a family, a beautiful home and a successful career as an author. Then there is Alice Dark who appears to be the opposite of Bo. She is struggling through life with a series of uninspiring jobs and a less than reliable boyfriend. However, Alice is an aspiring writer, and it is a shared love of writing that results in the lives of Bo and Alice being thrown together, with sinister consequences. Alice attends a writing retreat run by Bo, and it is here the women meet and embark on an extraordinary and thrilling journey. And as the lives of Bo and Alice become intertwined, we discover that there are things simmering beneath the surface, uncomfortable memories from a troubled past.
I don’t want to go into too much detail regarding the plot but what I can say is that Exquisite is a tense and gripping story that is perfectly paced and tautly plotted. Alternating between the perspectives of Bo and Alice, we get a glimpse into the lives of these complex and troubling characters. Both women have their fair share of issues, a troubled past and an even more troubling present. I found learning about these characters to be fascinating and I was gripped by their individual stories as well as the bond that develops between them. This novel explores various themes including family relationships, love and loss. It deals with passion and obsession, secrets and lies. And as I read on the true extent of the darkness lurking within the characters was revealed and there was an uncertainty and unpredictably to them which made me wonder who was telling the truth, and what was going to happen next. The story is extremely well written and Sarah Stovell has successfully created a tense atmosphere that makes you desperate to find out more. I found this to be a compulsive read, and there were a few surprises along the way building up to an ending that left me wanting to read more.
For any fans of psychological thrillers, I would definitely recommend Exquisite. With its blend of dramatic writing, complex characters and dark and twisted secrets, it is a story of love and obsession which lingers on the mind long after you turn the final page.
Exquisite was published on 15th June 2017 by Orenda Books. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Karen Sullivan from Orenda Books for providing a copy for review and for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour.
This review has been written as part of the Exquisite blog tour. You can check out the other stops on the tour on the dates and blogs below: