Wowzers! This was a bloody good read.
Daisy Darker is my third Alice Feeney book and with this one, she’s cemented herself as one of my favourite thriller writers.
Daisy Darker’s family were as dark as dark can be, when one of them died all of them lied and pretended not to see . . .
As the leaves of Autumn are falling Daisy Darker is arriving at her grandmother’s house, for eightieth birthday celebrations. Seaglass, the Darker’s ancestral home, is a crumbling Cornish house perched upon its own tiny private island and is at one with the granite rocks it sits on.
The Darker family haven’t all been in the same place for over a decade, and when the tide comes in they’ll be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours. When the tide goes back out, nothing will ever be the same again, because one of them is a killer . . .
I was consumed by this book. I can’t think of a better way to describe my experience of reading Daisy Darker. It was such a compulsive read.
As dark, psychological thrillers go, this had everything.
Daisy is on her way Seaglass to celebrate her Nanna’s birthday.
She’ll come face to face with her mum, Nancy; her dad, Frank; older sisters Rose and Lilly; her niece Trixie and surrogate brother, Connor.
They haven’t all been together in years and as families go, the Darker’s are the epitome of dysfunctional. They’ve all got secrets, they’re all unlikeable characters and that makes them all compelling.
I’ve clearly got a taste for reading about characters who have no redeeming qualities and the majority of the Darker family have no redeeming qualities.
They’re selfish, self-centred, lazy, vain, cruel, nasty, liars. Lilly is odious, I could have slapped her, multiple times.
As the murders start, I honestly thought any one of them could have been the killer, whoever it was I wouldn’t have been surprised in the slightest.
So, that’s the first tick for this book characters that you want to read about, even if you don’t like them.
Then there’s the setting. A big, old, creaky, decrepit house on its own mini-island, cut off by the tide. PERFECT!
It added to the tension. It felt claustrophobic and sinister. The added detail of the clocks ticking and alarms ringing every hour as the characters counted down the hours until it was safe to cross the causeway brought the eerie atmosphere to life.
Every time a member of the Darker family left the room, my back tensed as I sped on to find out what was coming next. Reading this led to some late nights for me.
That’s tick number two.
Thirdly it’s a story told on dual timelines.
It’s split between the present and the eighties as Daisy remembers growing up at Seaglass. The youngest of the siblings is desperate to fit in, she’s a lonely child who wants her sisters to notice her and accept her. She wants to be treated like a gown up – something we’ve all wanted at some point during childhood. She’s frustrated at always being left behind.
It’s through Daisy’s memories that Alice Feeney develops the Darker family. It explains why they act in the way they do, how Connor ended up being part of the family and why they haven’t been in the same room for years.
Feeney teases the family secrets all the through, just giving little hints that something dark is at the heart of this family without giving it all away at once. The writing is masterful.
I love a dual timeline so that’s tick three.
And it is so creepy, it’s an ideal read for Halloween if you’re looking for something with a spooky, eerie thing. There were times where I was so uneasy reading this but couldn’t stop. I loved discovering the answer to the who, what, how and why.
Simply put, Daisy Darker has everything that I look for in a psychological thriller and I loved getting to know and spending time with the darker family, despite how horrible they were.
There is a twist at the end, I didn’t expect it. Others, who are more observant than I am, perhaps may be able to spot it or have a good guess about what’s happening at Seaglass. I had a few guesses, I was wrong.
I think the twist will really divide opinion.
Some people will absolutely HATE it and I can see why.
It worked for me. I liked the twist, and my heart broke for Daisy.
This is a marmite book. You’ll either love it or hate it. I’m firmly in the former camp, I was desperate to see the mystery solved.
Get yourself a copy of this book, Daisy Darker will provoke a reaction from you. However it makes you feel, you won’t put it down and think “meh” and that’s the mark of a good book.
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