Exquisite by Sarah Stovell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bo and Alice are writers who meet at a writer’s retreat Bo is running and become fast friends. Bo invites Alice to stay with her and then, on Bo’s suggestion, Alice decides to move closer to continue the relationship. All of a sudden things take a much more serious turn. As both writers tell us the story of what happened, who is closer to the truth?

I like the premise of the book and the blurb describes it as “sinister” and “terrifying”. Unfortunately, it never reaches those dizzying heights for me and, in fact, I am not sure that either of those things are really true.

Alice and Bo are interesting characters and the way that the book is written (alternating their POV) works well and is clever. The trouble is (and without trying to give too much away) as the writers have so much to hide, it means we aren’t really getting to know them as well as we might and even the “reveal” at the end is confusing because it just means, for me, that the rest of the book makes even less sense than it did before.

I think this is an extremely cleverly plotted story and it is very well written. I just wonder if it’s a bit too clever for its own good!

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