First Paragraph, First Chapter: would you carry on reading?

Morning all – I hope you had a good bank holiday weekend (or at least those of us in the UK who are lucky to get Friday and Monday off).

It’s hard to believe Tuesday is here again but it is, so I thought it would be nice to join in with Socrates’ Book Reviews and her First Paragraph, First Chapter post.

This week, I’m sharing a little of a recent read – Fragile by Sarah Hilary, which is due out 10th June 20221. This is standalone novel, not one of the DI Marnie Rome series (which were very good).

Here’s what it’s about…

Everything she touches breaks . . .

Nell Ballard is a runaway. A former foster child with a dark secret she is desperate to keep, all Nell wants is to find a place she can belong.

So when a job comes up at Starling Villas, home to the enigmatic Robin Wilder, she seizes the opportunity with both hands.

But her new lodgings may not be the safe haven that she was hoping for. Her employer lives by a set of rigid rules and she soon sees that he is hiding secrets of his own.

But is Nell’s arrival at the Villas really the coincidence it seems? After all, she knows more than most how fragile people can be – and how easy they can be to break . . .

Here’s how it starts…

“London looks so different in the daylight. Undressed somehow, indecent. And that’s before you count the people, those who belong here and the ones who never will, the lost and found.

I’d been watching the street for over an hour when I saw her, coming out of the house. I hadn’t even known there was a house there – thinking it was all offices, restaurants and coffee shops. When last night I’d followed Joe only to lose him on this street, I’d said to myself he must have slipped into a late-night restaurant, expecting the bill to be paid by the stranger who’d picked him up earlier in the evening. Joe always attracted strangers. I’d said to myself they were hungry – Joe was always hungry – and they’d stumbled on this strip of West London with its bright lights and dirty pavements, the hot smell of cooking from kitchens. In daylight, it all made another sort of sense.”

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Emma x

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