Black Thorn ~ # Psychological Thrillers (Books) ~ #Fiction #Review

Sarah Hilary, Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year winner and author of Fragile, returns with Black Thorn, another compulsive psychological thriller that questions how much you know about the people who live next to you . . .

‘An astonishingly gifted writer’ Marian Keyes

Blackthorn Ashes was meant to be their forever home. For the first six families moving into the exclusive new housing development, it was a chance to live a peaceful life on the cliffs overlooking the Cornish sea, safe in the knowledge that it had been created just for them.

But six weeks later, paradise is lost. Six people are dead. And Blackthorn Ashes is left abandoned and unfinished, its dark shadows hiding all manner of secrets.

One of its surviving residents, Agnes Gale, is determined to find out the truth about what happened. Even if that truth is deadlier than she could have ever believed possible . . .

About the Author

Sarah Hilary

Sarah Hilary’s new novel BLACK THORN will be published in summer 2023 by Pan Macmillan. Her first standalone FRAGILE came out in 2021. Mick Herron called it ‘a dark river of a book’ while Erin Kelly said, ‘Timeless, tense and tender, Fragile will worm its way deep into your heart.’

Sarah’s debut SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN won Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015. It was a World Book Night selection and Richard & Judy Book Club pick. The latest in her D.I. Marnie Rome series NEVER BE BROKEN was published by Headline in 2019.

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Our Review

An intense and interesting way to tell a story, alternate chapters from before and after the disaster. It seemed to be a natural disaster, but why didn’t it feel like that?

You get to learn about the people involved. How they were before, and how they are trying to survive such a terrible tragedy, along with all of their own personal demons, and there were more than enough of those.

Black Thorn is billed as a crime story, but at first, I thought this must be wrong. Little by little, the sinister truth crept into the story, creating chills that ran up and down my spine as I read.

For me, Agnes Cale is the lead character. The black sheep of the family, she struggles to find the truth, and I was with her every step of the way, willing her to succeed to enable her family to find closure.

A difficult story to tell, complex and complicated with so many human emotions, Sarah Hilary has left no stone unturned in this story to reveal such a hard truth.

The relief for me, when I finished reading, reduced me to tears…

It was reading Sarah Hilary’s first book, Someone Else’s Skin, that encouraged me to step into my writer’s shoes and take the most important plunge of my life…

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