Isolated on their private island in Cornwall, the Darker family have come together for the first time in over a decade. 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. Nothing – because one of the family is a killer . . .
As the leaves of autumn fall, Daisy Darker arrives 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.
Every member of the family has their secrets. Nana, alone for so long. Daisy’s absent father, Frank. Her cold-hearted mother, Nancy. Her siblings, Rose and Lily, and her niece, Trixie, full of questions and without a father of her own. Daisy has never had an easy relationship with her family, but some secrets are much darker than others. This will be a gathering that some of them won’t remember.
Alice Feeney is one of the best writers that I know and she delivers another spectacular story in Daisy Darker. I want to say that she keeps getting better and better but all of her stories are next level and I always recommend her if someone asks for suggestions for novels with great twists.
There are six characters next to Daisy who come together at Seaglass house to celebrate her grandmother’s 80th birthday. The sea separates the house from the main land and they can only cross it when the tide is low so basically they are trapped for the night in an isolated location with no escape from each other. As if that’s not bad enough, there is a killer among them! The characters were all very well fleshed out and the flashbacks to the past really made me get to know each of them: Nana (the grandmother), Frank and Nancy (the parents), Rose, Lilly and Daisy (the daughters), Trixie (Lilly’s daughter), Connor (childhood friend until he stopped speaking to Daisy), and Poppy (Nana’s dog). The first pages with everyone arriving at the house made me wonder if I would have trouble knowing who’s who but the characters are very distinct from each other. One by one they also get finished off. Who will be left, who is the killer and why? What is the secret that is being kept? The answers are nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Daisy was a great character and I felt a bit sad for her because she’s always been a bit of the black sheep in the family. She defied death multiple times but that didn’t earn her more love from her parents or sisters, except from her grandmother who always adored her. Daisy was born in one big dysfunctional family and as the story progressed the true colours of all of them came out. Still, with some of them gone I found it difficult to find answers to the pressing questions. For a brief, silly moment I even wondered if Daisy was the killer herself, even though everything was told from her POV with the necessary panic…
Well I certainly got value for money because this novel was very very clever, the pacing of mounting tension was perfect and the story that led up to all the murders was nothing I expected. I didn’t see that one special plot twist coming that I’m normally not fond of but was actually quite appropriate in this story… Ok I didn’t really see the rest of the twists coming either except for this one fundamental one and that’s only thanks to my ever-present paranoia (and not because it’s obvious when you read what it’s compared to in almost all of the reviews therefore I will not mention it). Let’s just say it’s best to go into this novel blind. Let it just surprise and hook you as it did to me!
I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.