EXQUISITE by Sarah Stovell shortlisted for CrimeFest 2018's eDUNNIT Award

EXQUISITE final cover April 2017.jpg

Sarah Stovell’s darkly thrilling EXQUISITE has been shortlisted for the 2018 CrimeFest eDUNNIT Award, recognising the best ebooks in the crime genre. The novel follows the relationship between two women, a successful author and an aspiring writer, who meet at a writing retreat. What starts as a nurturing friendship soon becomes something more, and as infatuation turns to obsession things take a sinister and unexpected turn.

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.

The winners will be announced at the CrimeFest Gala Awards Dinner hosted by Robert Thorogood, creator of DEATH IN PARADISE on Saturday 19th May.

Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and lectures in Creative Writing at Lincoln University.

She is the author of MOTHERNIGHT (Snowbooks, 2008) and THE NIGHT FLOWER (Tindal St Press, 2013).

Her first thriller novel, EXQUISITE, was published in June 2017.

Praise for EXQUISITE:

‘Satisfyingly complex. The prose is assured, the plot structure is tightly and effectively controlled, while the characterisation of the two protagonists is quite extraordinary. Tension oozes out of every page’ — The Lady

‘EXQUISITE is a powerful and assured debut thriller. Slickly claustrophobic and delicately wrought this arch story of obsessive forbidden love taken to the extreme will have you squirming in your seat even as you're driven to turn the next page. A must-read for 2017’ — Sarah Pinborough, author of BEHIND HER EYES

‘Cunningly constructed and gorgeously written, this is outstanding.’ – Sunday Express

EXQUISITE, Sarah Stovell’s ‘expertly crafted’ thriller debut, published today by Orenda

Sarah Stovell’s ‘powerful and assured’ debut thriller, EXQUISITE, is published in paperback today by Orenda books. It is also available on audiobook from WF Howes, narrated by Katie Scarfe. Sarah will be celebrating the launch at Cogito Books in Hexham at 7.30pm tonight.

The book is already generating huge amounts of praise. It is a Lovereading book of the month, with Shelley Fallows writing: ‘I was completely swept up in the brilliance of Sarah’s carefully constructed plot that had me constantly questioning the outcome and eagerly turning the page… It was a chilling read, expertly crafted and difficult to put down.’ The Sunday Times Crime Club also called it ‘a remarkable debut in the crowded psychological thriller field, written with great sureness of touch and tone — it already feels like a summer bestseller’ in a starred review.

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.

The EXQUISITE book tour began on 1st June and runs for 38 days with almost 80 blogs involved - see the poster below to catch up with its journey!

Rights are sold in Germany, France and Sweden.

Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University.

Praise for EXQUISITE:

‘EXQUISITE is a powerful and assured debut thriller. Slickly claustrophobic and delicately wrought this arch story of obsessive forbidden love taken to the extreme will have you squirming in your seat even as you're driven to turn the next page. A must-read for 2017’ — Sarah Pinborough, author of BEHIND HER EYES

‘I bloody loved it. So clever, so beautifully written, such brilliant characterisation and THAT ENDING! This book is going to be MASSIVE! It has all the special little things that make it stand out from other psychological thrillers and it had my tummy in knots. I'm going to be shouting about this one for a long time. Definitely in my top reads for 2017’ — Lisa Hall, author of BETWEEN YOU AND ME

‘A perfect literary thriller. A moving, gripping story told in beautiful prose. The twists keep coming until the very last page. I loved this book.’ — Erin Kelly, author of THE POISON TREE

‘Sarah Stovell writes beautifully. In her latest novel she combines that skill with a thrilling dramatic narrative. Exquisite in every way.’ — Essie Fox, author of THE SOMNAMBULIST

‘Whip-smart, lushly written and truly page-turning. I loved EXQUISITE, from the misleading simplicity of the premise and right down through all the dark depths of the she said/she said narrative. Sarah Stovell is a thrilling talent’ — Holly Seddon, author of TRY NOT TO BREATHE

‘Beautifully written and perfectly twisted, I was sucked deeply into the intertwined worlds of Alice and Bo and found myself reading through my fingers, compelled yet terrified at what the outcome might be ... And that ending. Just wow. There could not be a better title for this book’ — S J I Holliday, author of the BANKTOUN series

 ‘Addictive, terrifying and beautifully written, EXQUISITE is up there with the best psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. Fucking awesome’ — Chris Whitaker, author of TALL OAKS

 ‘Beautifully written, atmospheric and sexy, EXQUISITE is a satisfying psychological thriller with real class' — Cass Green, author of THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR

Orenda Books signs an EXQUISITE psychological thriller

Karen Sullivan, publisher of Orenda Books, is delighted to announce the acquisition of World English Language Rights for Sarah Stovell’s debut thriller EXQUISITE in a two-book deal negotiated with Hattie Grünewald at Blake Friedmann Literary Agency.

Karen says, ‘Hattie pitched this book to me at the London Book Fair earlier this year, and I was immediately intrigued; in fact, it’s possibly the first submission that I’ve ever “chased”. This is a sophisticated, exceptionally well-written, dark and twisty psychological thriller that revolves around the intense, sinister relationship that develops between two women: one an aspiring young writer who is drifting through her life, with a dead-end job and a freeloading boyfriend, and the other a successful author living an apparently idyllic life in the Lake District with her husband, children, and a clutch of bestselling books. Driven by a dual first-person narrative, EXQUISITE is a breathlessly pacy, relevant and original thriller, with a genuinely astonishing twist that will have readers flipping back the pages to see what they’ve missed. Beautiful prose, superb characterisation, atmospheric descriptions of the Cumbrian setting and an outstanding plot make EXQUISITE, quite simply, everything that its name suggests. It’s a perfect fit for the growing Orenda list and I am very excited to welcome Sarah to the team.’

Hattie says, ‘I’m thrilled that Sarah Stovell’s intense and captivating thriller has found a home at Orenda. I’m sure that with Karen’s help this will be a book on everyone’s 2017 wishlist!’

Sarah says, ‘I am delighted to be working with Karen on EXQUISITE and my next thriller. She's a great editor with a fantastic group of authors, and I feel really hopeful about our future together.’

EXQUISITE will be published in June 2017. For more information, please contact Karen@orendabooks.co.uk.