Publication: 18th August 2022 – Macmillan
Daisy Darker is an all-consuming tale of psychological suspense with a spectacular twist from the internationally bestselling author Alice Feeney.
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 . . .
Daisy Darker is arriving at her grandmother’s house for her eightieth birthday. It is Halloween, and Seaglass – the crumbling Cornish house perched upon its own tiny private island – 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…
Let me start my review by saying that I’ve read and enjoyed all Alice Feeney’s novels and Daisy Darker is my favorite so far. It is chilling, dark, and suspenseful and I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I read it in one day and, even though I started to figure out a bit of truth towards the ending, there were so many more twists and surprises until the last page that I still had a unique and gripping reading experience.
The Darker family is not what you would call close or affectionate. You would probably call it dysfunctional – with capital letters. Its members are very complex and self-centered, their insecurities and jealousies making them despicable and vengeful towards each other. I can honestly say I didn’t like most of them.
The story is told from the perspective of Daisy, the youngest daughter. Daisy Darker was born with a broken heart. When she was a child, her heart would suddenly stop beating and she was rushed to the hospital where she was quickly revived. Her life expectancy was not very long and her family didn’t seem to care about it. She had a lonely childhood where her older sisters bullied her, her mother resented her, and her father was never around. The only person who ever showed her love and care was her grandmother who wrote a children’s book called after her that sold millions of copies around the world.
The Darker family hasn’t been all together in years, but they reunite to celebrate Nana’s 80th (and probably last, according to a fortune-teller) birthday at Seaglass, the family home on a private small island in Cornwall. A will is read, making many family members unhappy, but, as a storm rage outside and the tide is high, no one can leave the house, and, perfectly-inspired by And Then There Were None, a mysterious and spooky poem appears, old video tapes are watched, and, at every strike of the clock, one of them dies. Who, among them, is the killer? And who will survive?
With Agatha Christie vibes, complex and multi-layered characters, high level of tension, and more twists than I expected, Daisy Darker is a remarkable and gripping read!
A huge thank you to Macmillan and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.
Alice Feeney is a New York Times million-copy bestselling author. Her books have been translated into over twenty-five languages, and have been optioned for major screen adaptations. Including her novel Rock Paper Scissors, which is being made into a TV series by the producer of The Crown. Alice was a BBC journalist for fifteen years, and now lives in Devon with her family. Daisy Darker is her fifth novel.