“Families are like fingerprints; no two are the same and they tend to leave their mark. The tapestry of my family has always had a few too many loose threads.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
There was just something about Daisy Darker that made me want to read it instantly. This probably had a lot to do with the isolated setting and the promise of a locked room vibe… Both elements tend to increase my enjoyment of any story drastically. I confess that I’ve had mixed reactions to her books in the past, but I was hoping to have a repeat experience of the brilliant His & Hers with this newest title. I’m happy to say that I ended up having a fantastic time with Daisy Darker, and it’s without doubt one of my reading highlights so far this year!
I’m a sucker for a good locked room mystery, and this story basically pays homage to the classic And Then There Were None. The isolated Cornwall private island setting is the perfect backdrop for this story, and the stormy weather only adds to that ominous vibe. On top of this, the present timeline takes place on Halloween, giving the story even more atmosphere; I liked how it wasn’t just a date mentioned, but Halloween actually played a part in the plot. The same goes for the setting and the Seaglass house itself, which is where the story mainly takes place.
The plot itself is divided into two parts: the present (2004) storyline where we follow the events as they unfold during the night of Nana’s eightieth birthday, and flashbacks to different years in the past at Seaglass. The flashbacks give us more information about the past of the Darker family as well as showing us what they are really like… Most of the family isn’t exactly likeable (except for Daisy, Nana and Trixie), but their characters are well developed and fitted the story perfectly. It was intriguing to slowly learn more about their dynamics, and the fact that they are not exactly likeable makes reading about their possible demise all the more entertaining.
There was just something about the writing style that hit the mark perfectly, and combined with the pace, suspense and eerie atmosphere I literally couldn’t stop reading. There are a lot of secrets involved and the plot twists themselves were mostly very successful. Not all the twists have the same impact, but there was one giant plot twist bomb I never saw coming that turned the story completely on its head. It’s part of the reason why Daisy Darker was so successful for me! I literally couldn’t stop reading once I discovered certain things, and I ended up finishing this story in (almost) one sitting.
All in all Daisy Darker turned out to be an atmospheric and simply brilliant thriller with a locked room vibe and a major twist that packs a punch. I already know it will appear on my list of 2022 favorites!