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 . . .
About the Author
Sarah Hilary’s debut novel, Someone Else’s Skin, won the 2015 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and was a World Book Night selection. The Observer’s Book of the Month (‘superbly disturbing’) and a Richard and Judy Book Club bestseller, it has been published worldwide. No Other Darkness, the second in the series, was shortlisted for a Barry Award in the U.S. Her D.I. Marnie Rome series continues with Tastes Like Fear, Quieter Than Killing, Come and Find Me, and Never Be Broken. Fragile is her first standalone novel.
Reading this book, I saw the gothic shades of Rebecca that another reader mentioned and felt a connection in my heart to Jane Eyre, a beautifully illustrated book I loved, even though it gave me nightmares when I was a child.
I was fostered and it wasn’t always pleasant, so reading parts of Fragile brought back so many poignant memories, permanent reminders of the fragility of human life.
They shouldn’t have mentioned Rebecca, for all the time I was reading I expected to find traces of the old-fashioned romance that would soften the menace. There was menace all right, but it was sneaky, masquerading as something completely different.
As I gradually became immersed in this story, I identified with Nell, having been in similar circumstances. I remembered feeling lonely, invisible, and as helpless as she did, constantly wondering when life would turn in my favour.
Will Nell’s story have a happy ending, or will the raw, emotional memories persist, poisoning everything they touch?