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 . . .
I'd like to thank Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and Pan Macmillan for my copy of Fragile to review via NetGalley.
I have to confess that it did take me a little while to settle into the writing style of Sarah Hilary's new standalone thriller Fragile as it's fair to say that it's completely different to her Marnie Rome series which I have previously enjoyed. It's a gothic and intense read that really gets under the reader's skin.
When we first meet Nell she is watching a house in central London and she's trying to come up with a plan to get inside but the reasons as to why are initially unknown. It's only through flashbacks to events of the past and information that comes to light in the present day that we get to understand more as to what is the driving force behind Nell's actions. But the more that is revealed, the more it becomes clear that things are not as straight forward as first anticipated.
Nell hadn't had the easiest of upbringings, rejected by her mother when she was young and placed into the foster care system. But sadly for her it wasn't the loving home she deserved, instead she was severely neglected and had to grow up well before her time taking on far more responsibilities than any child should.
The descriptive writing of Starling Villas made it feel just as much of a character as the rest of the flawed characters, Nell, Dr Wilder and the other characters that feature within this brooding story. It's hard to say much more about the plotline without spoiling the enjoyment of reading for others.
Fragile was certainly different to anything else I've read in recent years, it's a dark and creepy tale featuring love, obsession and revenge at its core that had me racing through the chapters wondering how it was all going to play out.