by Alice Feeney
Alice Feeney has written some edge of your seat thrillers, and her newest novel, Daisy Darker does not disappoint.
The Darker family is heading to Beatrice (aka Nana) Darker’s secluded cottage for her 80th birthday. Not the most loving and connected family, the dysfunctional Darkers don’t generally go out of their way to visit dear Nana, or each other for that matter, and this visit is fully self serving for each of them.
The eerie setting for this novel is a stormy night on Hallowe’en at Seaglass House, Nana’s tidal cottage that is only accessible once the tide is out. The cast consists of Beatrice’s son, Frank, his ex wife, Nancy, three granddaughters, Rose, Lily and Daisy, great-granddaughter, Trixie and Connor, family friend.
Daisy Darker is Nana’s favourite and the narrator, taking us from the present to the past as strange things begin to happen. Beatrice starts off the celebration by reading her will and upsetting everyone as they learn they’re not on Nana’s nice list. Apparently at least one of the family members is more upset than others as Nana is found bloodily murdered on the kitchen floor at midnight.
In the style of Agatha Christie, the guests start dying each hour just after someone finds a video tape that plays a scene from the sisters’ childhood. While everyone is distracted with the films, someone goes missing and the reader waits for the inevitable discovery of the body somewhere. Nobody seems safe, and everyone is trapped in the cottage until the morning when the tide recedes. Who will be left, who is killing the Darker family and why?
This is a very twisty tale, you may figure it out before you finish, or you may not. Either way it’s a dark and stormy tale that is hard to leave until it is over.