"This darkly brooding and atmospheric family drama set in Cornwall walks among death, lies, secrets, and murder."
A round of applause for this dramatic and provocative descent into the darkness that exists at the heart of tragedy. An exclusive new housing estate at the edge of cliffs is abandoned after six deaths. Agnes, a former resident and daughter of one of the original investors, searches for the truth of what happened at the development. Sarah Hilary is one of my favourite authors, she has the ability to make different and distinctive feel relatable and touchable, and she can highlight the exquisite in routine and ordinary. Here we spin between before and after the abandonment of the houses. The setting is all important, there is a closed and claustrophobic feel at the housing development, even in the beauty there is a brooding quality. The descriptions of the coast and surroundings ensured I read enveloped within vivid detailing. Agnes is placed within the heart of the main family, yet exists off-centre, she makes for a wonderful main character. Her ability to look beyond, and see answers in small details ensured tension throughout. The rest of the characters become known, intimately, even if on the page for a moment. Each one feels as though they are entirely and resolutely real. There are a number of plot strands that twist through this tale, each contributing to the suspense. A LoveReading Star Book has been awarded due to the aching torment of family dynamics that sits front and centre and the incredibly thoughtful portrayal of a character with autism spectrum disorder. Black Thorn is a beautifully eloquent and thought-provoking exploration of family and friendship while travelling through the most calamitous and difficult of times.