Sarah Gilmartin / Fiction

Book cover

UK Publisher

Pushkin Press

Date Published

May 4th, 2023


Italy (Marsilio)
Germany (Kein & Aber)

The waitress. The chef. The chef’s wife. Three different stories, but which one contains the truth?

When Hannah learns that famed chef Daniel Costello is facing accusations of sexual assault, she’s thrust back to the summer she spent as a waitress at his high-end Dublin restaurant. Drawn in by the plush splendour of the dining rooms, the elegance of the food, the wild parties after service, Hannah also remembers the sizzling tension of the kitchens. And how the attention from Daniel morphed from kindness into something darker…

His restaurant shuttered, his lawyers breathing down his neck, Daniel is in a state of disbelief. Decades of hard graft, of fighting to earn recognition for his talent – is it all to fall apart because of something he can barely remember?

Hiding behind the bedroom curtains from the paparazzi lenses, Julie is raking through more than two decades spent acting the supportive wife, the good mother, and asking herself what it’s all been for.

Their three different voices reveal a story of power and abuse, victimhood and complicity. This is a novel about the facades that we maintain, the lies that we tell and the courage it takes to face the truth.



The exhausting and exhilarating life of a high-end restaurant is beautifully recreated in this masterful novel . . . deeply satisfying . . . A writer correctly confident in her recipe

- Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth is Missing

In clean, clinical prose, Gilmartin lays bare both the power imbalances generated in a hothouse, hierarchical environment, and the schism between women’s rights in the wake of MeToo and a country still in thrall to the old patriarchal order

- Daily Mail

Service is gripping, fearless and raw. I could not put it down.

- Una Mannion

Absolutely compelling. Every page fizzes with energy and observation. Gilmartin combines effortless, elegant writing with a momentum that propels you onwards, barely pausing until you've reached the end. A masterful novel.

- Rebecca Wait

A hugely gripping literary page-turner. Sharp, visceral and shocking

- Claire Powell

Hooked by Daniel Costello's predatory charms, and then by a thirst for natural justice, I raced through Service. Sarah Gilmartin is a smart, stylish and darkly funny writer.

- Aingeala Flannery

A brilliantly observed immersive novel which tells the 'me too' story from every angle

- Amber Medland, author of Wild Pets

Sarah Gilmartin's second novel is consummately done. The prose is clean, crisp, perfectly-filleted; the pace and tension perfectly controlled, to the very last page. Superb.

- Lucy Caldwell

I love the high-octane setting of this novel, with its vivid portrayal of the heavy drinking, hard-living lifestyle of the staff who work in a celebrated restaurant. The story is skilfully told, teasing out the layers of truth and denial that give texture to a toxic history. In teasing out the strands of her narrative, Sarah Gilmartin gets it absolutely right.

- Kathleen MacMahon

Addictive... a #MeToo story of power imbalances and blurred boundaries which will resonate with many

- Red

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