Sarah Clutton grew up in a large, raucous family that seemed to attract an endless stream of visitors from all over the world (including, once, the Pakistani cricket team). She was forced to learn the art of carefully plotted conversation early, when she realised that considered argument and a witty turn of phrase were the only way to get attention around the dinner table. She thought these skills might offer a career path, so she studied psychology and law and soon found herself in a courtroom working as a judge’s associate, where she was finally able to use her dramatic talents to arraign the accused in criminal trials. She then had a brief, and not especially brilliant career as a commercial and litigation lawyer. Working in the law, Sarah discovered that the world could be a dark and difficult place, filled with loss and violence, betrayal and confusion. But beneath it all, there were often themes of redemption, divided loyalties and love. What really interested her was always the story behind the story.
After a stint working in the charity sector, Sarah undertook a Masters of Arts in Writing (which she never quite finished) then completed a six-month novel-writing course (amongst others) at the Australian Writers’ Centre, and began working as a freelance writer. In her forties, she realised that her opportunity for a mid-life crisis with appropriate lunacy levels was passing quickly, so she wrote a novel. In 2018, Sarah’s work earned her the Dymocks/Fiona McIntosh Commercial Fiction Scholarship, a national award run by one of Australia’s most successful commercial fiction authors and sponsored by a large Australian book chain.
Sarah’s books mix domestic drama and suspense with a twist of dark humour and fully realised characters. She can usually be found at her desk pretending to write, but actually just staring out the window at her six acres of neglected paddocks and gardens wondering if a tall, dark and brooding stranger with a background in horticulture or a passion for lawn-mowing might magically turn up to sort it all out, or at least inspire a new character in her next book.
Sarah lives with her family in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales in Australia, between Sydney and Canberra, in the small tourist town of Bowral. It is famous for the International Cricketing Hall of Fame, being a Book Town and having a wine trail. Two of those three make her very happy.
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Good Little Liars (Bookouture – Hachette UK, 2019)
The Daughter’s Promise (Bookouture – Hachette UK, 2020)
Domestic Suspense; Family Noir
The Daughter’s Promise (2020)
Two years after a family tragedy, and still consumed by her grief, Willa Fairbanks receives a
strange letter from halfway across the globe. She has inherited a house in Australia, in a town she’s never heard of, from a woman she doesn’t know.
Following the mystery across the world to the inviting shores of Sisters Cove, Willa is entranced by the dilapidated old chapel house she now owns, perched high on a windy cliff
within the grounds of Merrivale Estate. As Willa’s suspicions grow about her connection to the place, she begins to look amongst the dusty artwork and sealed boxes of papers left to her, and it becomes clear that the truth is not at all what she expected.
Across the road at Merrivale, social butterfly Annabelle Broadhurst is alarmed by Willa’s arrival. Why did her old friend and confidante, Lillian, leave her home to this stranger? As the two women’s lives intersect in the pretty, insular world of Sisters Cove, neither realises the dark truth that connects them until it’s too late. And when that terrible secret is exposed, it could destroy the lives of everyone involved.
Good Little Liars (2019)
Loving wife and mother Emma rarely thinks about the day twenty-five years ago that her friend Tessa fell to her death, or the secret that she made Emma swear to keep just hours before. But when her marriage implodes, Emma and her daughter find themselves moving into the headmaster’s former cottage on the grounds of her old school – Denham House. And it’s there that Emma finds the photograph: an explicit image of Tessa, looking directly at the camera.
Old friends Marlee and Clementine, are home for a school reunion. But they don’t want to talk about Tessa’s accident, and with the demands of single parenthood, Emma has plenty to distract her… but she can’t shake the image of the photograph. Or the thought that it’s proof of something she had long suspected: Dr Brownley, now headmaster, was involved with Tessa. Was it a mistake to keep quiet for all this time about what she knew?
Marlee and Clementine have their own complex feelings about returning to their hometown. And when Emma starts to question what really happened to Tessa, each woman must deal with the consequences of decisions they made all those years ago. Because the more Emma digs into the past, the more she discovers that everyone remembers it differently, and that the innocent schoolgirls she thought she knew are hiding some very big secrets.
Pitch to Festivals
Sarah is an excellent public speaker, and one of those rare cross-over authors who straddles the divide between commercial and literary fiction (which means she stands slightly unevenly most of the time, one foot feeling warm and fuzzy and completely satisfied with its ground, whilst the other is slightly confused, but generally brilliant, with toes splayed open to all of life’s wondrous possibilities). She lives in Australia, but travels to the UK to visit family and friends, and so can make herself available with advance notice (hopefully!).