Wednesday 8 April 2015

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary

Two young boys.
Trapped underground in a bunker.
Unable to understand why they are there.
Desperate for someone to find them.
Slowly realising that no-one will...

Five years later, the boys' bodies are found and the most difficult case of DI Marnie Rome's career begins. 

Her only focus is the boys. She has to find out who they are and what happened to them.

For Marnie, there is no other darkness than this...

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary is published by Headline in trade paperback and ebook on 23 April 2015, and paperback on 30 July 2015. No Other Darkness is the second in the DI Marnie Rome series, the first; Someone Else's Skin, was published in February 2014.

I won my proof copy of No Other Darkness in a Goodreads giveaway, and although I've not read the first in the series, I had no difficulty in following this story at all. Sarah Hilary provides snap shots of what has happened to her characters throughout this story, which is very useful, but doesn't feel intrusive.

The opening paragraph of No Other Darkness is pretty brutal, and horrifying, and so very sad. There is no getting away from the fact that the central crime in this novel is one that going to shock the reader. Dead children, murdered slowly, left underground to die, on their own, in the dark. It's a horrible crime and even though it's clear that DI Rome is an experienced detective, with some pretty upsetting personal issues of her own, she is shocked, and upset and determined to find out who these boys were, and who did this to them.

Sarah Hilary's characterisation is pretty spot on. Here are a team of police officers who are individual and excellently formed. I kept waiting to come across the 'rogue' copper, the one that usually pops up in police procedurals, but there isn't one, and I enjoyed that. I enjoyed the sense of camaraderie shown by the team, their combined feeling of shock and the energy that they put into their investigation.

There's a theme within this story that is not often talked about. I can't talk about it either, if I did, then you'd know how and why the two boys died, so I can't do that. Lets just say that this is a damn good story with a plot that races along at a furious pace. The twists and the turns within the storyline keep the reader hooked, right up to the very dramatic closing chapters, when more shocks and surprises are exposed.

No Other Darkness is intelligently written, it deals with some emotional issues. It also has a darkness to it, it made me feel a bit grubby when I was reading it, as though I'd stumbled upon some else's secrets that I really shouldn't know about.

I'd certainly recommend this book. Sarah Hilary's writing is impressive. I will be interested to read the next chapter in DI Marnie Rome's story.

Sarah Hilary lives in Bath with her daughter, where she writes quirky copy for a well-loved travel publisher. 

She's also worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. An award-winning short story writer, Sarah won the Cheshire Prize for Literature in 2012. SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN was her first novel, NO OTHER DARKNESS is her second.

Follow Sarah on Twitter at @Sarah_Hilary  Check out her Blog 

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