Exquisite - Sarah Stovell

Genre: Fiction
Synopsis: 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.


Review: This book is marketed as a thriller, but it really isn't. It certainly has elements of suspense which are somewhat thrilling, as the story progresses, but I feel it is far too random and meandering to be a thriller. It's character driven, and driven entirely by two characters. The narrative perspective shifts between Alice and Bo, documenting their encounters and email/messenger exchanges. First we get one woman's perspective, then the other, and gradually they come together to reveal the truth of the story.

I loved both characters, and I loved the writing. I got immediately invested in Alice's life and really liked her. Bo was a little more mysterious at first, but she was interesting enough that I wanted to know more. Being honest, though. I never really felt the chemistry between the two women. I didn't understand the captivation each held for the other. Unfortunately, this meant that as the story progressed the events seemed rather unfounded and difficult to relate to. It also got quite confusing, and the resolution wasn't overly satisfying. A bit too much unlikely behavior from an unlikely friendship. Sadly, despite getting off to a brilliant start, I can't fairly give this book more than a 3. I did enjoy it, but it ultimately just wasn't very good. Definitely not pacey or terrifying.

That said, the writing alone would inspire me to give Stovell another chance, so we'll see.

Rating: 3/5

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