Black Thorn by Sarah Hilary #BookReview #MysteryThriller #CrimeThriller #Crime #BlackThorn @NetGalley @panmacmillan

Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️
3 min readJul 13, 2023

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Review

When words fail to capture the emotions after reading a story…. A story of such depth and intensity, a story of a mother who can turn to a ruthless monster to protect her children, the story of a young autistic woman who believes that each person should be accountable for their own actions, a story that carves something deeply in your gut and make you feel wanting!

After reading Sarah Hilary’s FRAGILE, I had wished for something lighter in the story for me to get my overwhelming emotions under control, so when I began Black Thorn and found a character like Errol, I was thankful to the author. Errol is the breather that I didn’t know I needed whilst reading this chillingly claustrophobic novel. The knuckle-biting tension that the author creates in the story is simply mind blowing, the story is infused with a sense of foreboding and darkness like the churning seas that the houses are built near. Sarah Hilary is a master at intrigue, the threads of the story coming from different directions thru different POVS and timelines that the reader is left grasping at straws to know the outcome of this gripping thriller. Every single time, a puzzle piece falls into place another one joins it and the reader like Agnes is left utterly confounded with no exit sign visible, and the more you seek an answer to one question, a million other questions join the queue.

All the characters in the story evoke profound feelings, be it Agnes with her silence knowing what treachery hides behind the face of her father’s friend, be it Christie, a young 13 yr old boy, angry and disturbed and seeking validation from a viper, then there is Ruth, who comes across as glacial but one who reveals herself as terrified mother and of course, Adrian whose entire hopes and dreams of building Blackthorn Ashes as a paradise on earth comes crashing down leaving behind a shell of a man, unable to go on. Errol, Bette, and Trevor all have their arcs and even Iris leaves behind an impression with her drive to know the truth.

The author’s portrayal of the crack in the relations was top-notch as Agnes tries to be there for her broken family and heal the frosty and fraught relationship she shares with her mother. Black Thorn is not your usual thriller, it is a multilayered intricate tale of a family going thru the wreckage of the past and the present with shattered dreams and life falling into ruins kinda scenario. The raw and unrelenting pressure that the author excellently built into the plot reveal was superlative.

A crime thriller that is not a crime thriller, Fathomless!

Many thanks to Net Galley, Pan Macmillan, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.

Book Blurb

Blackthorn Ashes was meant to be their forever home. For the first six families moving into the exclusive new housing development, it was a chance to live a peaceful life on the cliffs overlooking the Cornish sea, safe in the knowledge that it had been created just for them.

But six weeks later, paradise is lost. Six people are dead. And Blackthorn Ashes is left abandoned and unfinished, its dark shadows hiding all manner of secrets.

One of its surviving residents, Agnes Gale, is determined to find out the truth about what happened. Even if that truth is deadlier than she could have ever believed possible . . .

This review is published in my blog Rain’n’Books, ## Goodreads, ## Amazon India, ## Book Bub, ##, ## Facebook, ## Twitter.

Originally published at on July 13, 2023.



Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️

Books, books and more books and of course rain😊 An avid reader, book reviewer and blogger!