Originally published: 18 August 2022
Author: Alice Feeney
Published by: Pan Macmillan
Length: 352 pages
Reading dates: 15-18 August 2022
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 . . .
The fabulously named Daisy Darker has travelled to her grandmother’s remote house in Cornwall at Halloween to celebrate her 80th birthday. Joining them are her divorced parents, Nancy and Frank, her older sisters, Rose and Lily, Daisy’s niece Trixie and Conor a childhood friend. They gather to celebrate Nana’s birthday and she chooses this night to read her will to her family, most of whom aren’t happy with what they have been left.
The family retire and during the night, a scream wakes them all. Someone is dead, and they suspect it is murder. The island on which the house stands is cut off by the sea at high tide, the boat Conor arrived on is missing and there is no mobile signal so the family have to wait it out until morning, but not all will survive the night!
Daisy Darker is a brilliant locked room mystery, very heavily influenced by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Daisy is our narrator and most of her family are frankly awful! Their father was mostly absent during their childhood, her mother obviously favours Lily, and Lily is spoilt, selfish and spiteful. Daisy herself is the youngest sibling, born with a heart condition which means she has died several times already and she isn’t expected to live a long life. Nana on the other hand is just lovely, a little bit eccentric but knowing and kind.
The story details the present happenings from Daisy’s point of view, along with Daisy’s memories of the their childhood summers at Seaglass, with a collection of VHS cassettes which periodically appear, showing key events in their past.
I loved Daisy Darker! With characters I loved to hate, an atmospheric and spooky setting, twists aplenty and with a fabulous mystery to solve, this has made it firmly into my top 10 and I’m really keen to make a start on Feeney’s backlist as soon as possible!
Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for my proof copy. I immediately treated myself to a finished copy!
About the author:
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 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.