Bo Luxton has everything she’s always wanted: a handful of best-selling books under her belt, a beautiful home in the Lake District and a family she adores. She’s spent decades building her peaceful, ordinary life and keeping a lid on her painful childhood memories. Then Alice Dark, a budding writer, comes into the equation and puts Bo’s perfect life at risk.

Exquisite begins with one of the women in prison, but we don’t know which of the duo it is or what they’ve done to end up there. Sarah Stovell has us guessing straight from the off, creating just the right amount of suspense throughout.

Alice is a bored, talented twenty-something who enrols on Bo’s fiction writing course, believing it will change her life for the better. Both of their lives aren’t the same after the week-long course, and they get so much more than they bargained for. Bo develops a soft spot for Alice, taking her under her wing to ensure she doesn’t fall back into bad habits.

After the course, the pair keep in touch, but it soon becomes apparent that they have feelings for one another. One minute Bo wants to leave her husband for Alice, and the next minute she’s denying there was anything between them whatsoever. Alice puts everything on the line for Bo, and little does she know, Bo has a sinister side hidden beneath her kind, professional exterior.

As the plot becomes more complex, the chapters get shorter and shorter, so it’s extremely difficult to put the book down (and that’s definitely not a bad thing). We’re invited to see both women’s perspectives on their strange and turbulent relationship, making it even more captivating. If you’re looking for a new and exciting psychological thriller that’s packed with unexpected twists, Exquisite won’t disappoint.

★★★★★

Exquisite was published by Orenda Books on 15 June 2017

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