Fragile

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.

Only 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 . . .

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, PD James and Val McDermid. Rebecca meets The Handmaid’s Tale in Sarah Hilary’s standalone breakout novel, Fragile.

Reviews:

Sarah Hilary has always known how to chill her readers – Fragile dials the chill factor up to eleven – Val McDermid

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

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

So Gothically creepy and addictive, brilliant characters and set up, but most of all just beautifully written. – Sabine Durrant

Sarah Hilary’s Fragileis 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

A beguiling thriller of considerable ambition and ingenuity, Fragilemarks 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

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

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

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

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

A beautifully-written exploration of the damage people do to each other and the lies they tell themselves along the way – Cass Green