EXQUISITE by Sarah Stovell
Orenda Books; 6/15/17 (UK) & 10/1/17 (US)
Summer Reading Preview
Listen up, psychological thriller readers: I have a must-read book recommendation for you.
Yesterday I finished reading EXQUISITE by Sarah Stovell, and I'm still reeling from it. This blend of Fatal Attraction-meets-twisty thriller must be one of the most entertaining books I've read all year, and today I'm sharing 3 reasons why this book belongs on your TBR! I'll be sharing my full review of this book as part of its blog tour in June (my tour date is June 17th. to be specific!!) but in the meantime, here's a preview of why EXQUISITE by Sarah Stovell is a must-read.
But first things first: plot summary!
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.
3 Reasons to Add EXQUISITE to your TBR
1. It's a thriller about writers. There's something perennially appealing about books that explore the literary world. EXQUISITE sets a psychological suspense plot within the world of writers, as it traces the progression of attraction to deadly obsession between a bestselling author and an aspiring author. Books are central to this thriller—and honestly, who could ask for a better combination?
2. It's tense and sexy. I'm not one for romance novels, and EXQUISITE definitely isn't a romance—but it is laced with sexual tension between its two main characters. I couldn't help but love the way the author illustrates the affection and obsession between these two. It's dark, taut, and sensual. Don't think of this as a romantic suspense novel - it's NOT that; think of it as a Fatal Attraction-like story where forbidden romance turns deadly.
3. It's mind-bending, twisty fun. This book is surprising and entertaining in all the right ways. With twists a plenty and genuine surprises in store, EXQUISITE kept me questioning everything until the very last page. (And even after the last page, let's be honest.) Readers looking for escapist, addictive psychological thriller reading will find their perfect match in EXQUISITE.
EXQUISITE will release in the U.K. on June 15th, and in the US on October 1st. (American readers, remember: you can always use our friend BookDepository to snag a copy before October!)
And make sure to follow along with the upcoming EXQUISITE blog tour for reviews, author interviews, and more!
Every reader has that dream list of favorite authors they would love to meet; for me, one of the people at the top of my list is M.J. Arlidge, author of the DI Helen Grace series. While in Scotland for the Bloody Scotland crime festival, I had the fantastic chance to sit down with Arlidge and interview him about the Helen Grace series as a whole, and HIDE AND SEEK in particular! I'm thrilled to share this interview as part of the Graceland Blog Tour, a week spent exploring the world of Helen Grace, one book at a time.
Some books seem to defy categorization and expectation entirely—Louise Beech’s MARIA IN THE MOON is that kind of read. Releasing from Orenda Books on September 30th, this enchanting and brooding story managed to captivate me, unsettle me, and keep me fully immersed from the first page to the last. I’m delighted to participate in the blog tour for this stunning novel today! Whatever your expectation for this story might be, MARIA IN THE MOON is likely to surprise you; this book is neither crime fiction nor literary fiction, it’s neither terribly dark nor is it wholly uplifting. What it is is honest: Beech’s writing feels raw, as though the reader is privy to the author’s innermost self, laid bare on the page. MARIA IN THE MOON is a beautifully-constructed and wholly transporting novel, one that draws readers into a young woman’s search for her own memories—a search which reveals truths she has long since hidden from herself.
The wait is nearly over: one of crime fiction's most compelling, complicated detectives DI Helen Grace returns this October in HIDE AND SEEK by MJ Arlidge (Berkley; on sale 10/10/17) – and she's back in a big way. Arlidge's gripping crime series has been a favorite of mine ever since I first dove into Book 1 (EENY MEENY) nearly two years ago. Somehow, Arlidge manages to just get better and better; with each new series installment, Arlidge ups the ante, delivering more insight into Helen's complicated character and higher stakes for the crimes she must solve. True to form, Arlidge has outdone himself yet again with HIDE AND SEEK: this superb thriller reads like a cross between a locked room mystery and an episode of Criminal Minds, serving up one of my favorite reads of the series so far.
Earlier this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Scotland for Bloody Scotland, an annual crime fiction festival held in the town of Stirling! Of all the fantastic opportunities this festival provided, my personal favorite was the chance to sit down and chat with some of crime fiction’s most exciting authors. Thanks to publicist extraordinaire Fiona Brownlee, I had the opportunity to interview Scottish crime fiction author Christopher Brookmyre and get an overview of his bibliography, discuss his most recent US release THE LAST HACK, and a whole lot more! I’m thrilled to share a recap of my conversation with Chris as part of the blog tour for the Bloody Scotland book today - you can read more about this short story collection at the bottom of this post.
I’m absolutely thrilled to share a fantastic Q&A with Jane Robins today, whose psychological thriller WHITE BODIES (Touchstone; on sale 9/19/17) was exactly my cup of tea. You know that wonderful feeling when you pick up a book and realize it’s somehow just exactly what your reading list has been missing? That’s how WHITE BODIES was for me. Quirky, offbeat, and genuinely twisted, this psychological thriller delivers an original and exciting read—it’s a breath of fresh air in the crime fiction genre. I was delighted to ask author Jane Robins a few of my most pressing questions about her thriller WHITE BODIES!
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to make my first-ever trip to Scotland for Bloody Scotland 2017, a fantastic annual crime festival held in Stirling! Bloody Scotland brings together authors from Scotland, across the UK, and around the world for a weekend of crime fiction panels, events, torchlight processions (seriously!), and much, much more. In this post, you’ll find a day-by-day recap of my time in Scotland, including my top book recommendations from the weekend, recaps of author interviews and panels, and lots of photos!
If there’s one series that has become synonymous with Scandinavian crime fiction for American readers, it’s the late Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series. Launched with the infamous THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, these books - and their leading lady, Lisbeth Salander - flung open the doors for Nordic Noir in the US. In the wake of Larsson’s passing, Swedish author David Lagercrantz has carried on writing Lisbeth’s story - and today, the newest series installment THE GIRL WHO TAKES AN EYE FOR AN EYE releases in the US! It’s my absolute pleasure to share that I was asked to interview David Lagercrantz for The Big Thrill, the website of the International Thriller Writers Organization - and that interview is now live!
When your favorite crime fiction publisher asks you to do the cover reveal for one of your favorite crime series, the answer is a very easy YES. I’m absolutely thrilled to share the cover reveal for KILLED by Thomas Enger, the final installment in one of my personal favorite Nordic Noir series! KILLED releases from Orenda Books on February 15, 2018; American readers, KILLED will be available in the States in Fall 2018! Read on for more information about KILLED, and to see the book's stunning cover!
In just a couple days, I’ll be off to Scotland for the Bloody Scotland crime fiction festival! Today I'm going to be focusing on one of the (many!) exciting features of this festival: the "Pitch Perfect" program, and its "Graduates" panel. Pitch Perfect is an opportunity for new crime writers to pitch their novels to a group of publishing professionals, and to make things even better, Bloody Scotland also includes a panel featuring Pitch Perfect Graduates - writers who have participated in the Pitch Perfect program, and gone on to publish their crime novels. I'm thrilled to share Q&A's with this year's Graduates participants: Steph Broadribb (author of DEEP DOWN DEAD), Joseph Knox (author of SIRENS), and Matt Wesolowski (author of SIX STORIES)!
When was the last time you read a book that you genuinely could not put down? Michael J. Malone's forthcoming HOUSE OF SPINES was exactly that kind of read for me. From the first page to the last, this bone-chilling blend of psychological suspense and gothic ghost story seemed to possess me; I read it in less than 24 hours, unable to leave Malone's world of love, lust, and betrayal for too long. HOUSE OF SPINES is a genre all its own—it's a seamless blend of psychological suspense, ghost story, ode to the power of the written word, and immersion in the mind of a man who's losing himself to his family history. In short, it's a must-read.