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Published Date: 26th January 2017

Available in


1 June 2017
1 June 2017
Coming soon


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.


‘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


‘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


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


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


‘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


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


‘Addictive, terrifying and beautifully written, Exquisite is up there with the best psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. Fucking awesome’ Chris Whittaker


‘Beautifully written, atmospheric and sexy, Exquisite is a satisfying psychological thriller with real class’ Cass Green 


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. Her debut psychological thriller, Exquisite, is set in the Lake District.

Online Reviews

‘The best novel about obsession that I have read in a decade. Beautiful, beautiful writing with two extraordinarily divisive characters. I’m book hungover … pure brilliance. Exquisite is going to be HUGE’ Liz Loves Books


‘A highly addictive, sophisticated and very twisted psychological thriller. The reader is exposed to the workings of the darkest of minds, and each page presents a question, although the answers are not always apparent. The development of the intense and, at times, very disturbing relationship that grows between Bo and Alice is so finely done, with some spectacular characterisation and surprising twists. Sarah Stovell is hugely talented, and Exquisite is an absolute triumph’

Random Things through My Letterbox


‘Beautifully written prose put me right inside the heads of these two unreliable narrators … the tension gradually escalated until these two intelligent women became pitted against one another, with more than a hint of Fatal Attraction. I found it very difficult to know who to believe, who was telling the truth and who was telling lies. This unforgettable, outstanding psychological thriller should be on everyone’s ‘to buy’ list!’ Off-the-Shelf Books