Wednesday 15 June 2022

Into The Dark by Fiona Cummins #IntoTheDark @FionaAnnCummins @panmacmillan @rosiefriisreads #BookReview


THE PLACE: Seawings, a beautiful Art Deco home overlooking the sweep of the bay in Midtown-on-Sea.

THE CRIME: The gilded Holden family - Piper and Gray and their two teenage children, Riva and Artie - has vanished from the house without a trace.

THE DETECTIVE: DS Saul Anguish, brilliant but with a dark past, treads the narrow line between light and shade.

One late autumn morning, Piper’s best friend arrives at Seawings to discover an eerie scene – the kettle is still warm, all the family’s phones are charging on the worktop, the cars are in the garage. But the house is deserted.

In fifteen-year-old Riva Holden’s bedroom, scrawled across the mirror in blood, are three words:


What happens next?

Into The Dark by Fiona Cummins was published on 14 April 2022 by Pan Macmillan. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

I have been a huge fan of Fiona Cummins since her first book, Rattle, was published in January 2017, I have since gone on to read and review all of her books. She writes with such depth and intelligence, her stories are complex but very clever. Into The Dark is another excellent read from this very talented author. 

Cummins' writing is exquisite, almost beautiful in parts as she brings to life the small seaside town of Midtown-on-Sea. A place that seems to be populated by the rich and the beautiful, and none more so than the Holden family who live in a luxury mansion called Seawings that overlooks the bay like a castle. 

Piper Holden and Julianne Hillier are best friends. Every morning they go for a run, but this particular morning is different. When Julianne arrives, there's no sign of Piper, in fact, when she enters Seawings with their cleaner, there's no sign of any of them. It looks like they left in a hurry, phones are still charging, mugs are still warm ...... in the bedroom there's a message, and it looks like it's written in blood. 

It's a fabulous opening to what becomes a tense and thrilling story, populated with characters who will make your teeth grind at their arrogance and self entitlement. These are not lovely, warm people, but they are missing and it looks like murder. 

Saul Anguish is a new policeman in town, a dark and moody character in his own right, with a distinct feeling of darkness around him. He's put on the case, but feels out of place, his only ally seems to be Dr Clover March (or Blue, as he calls her). This is an incredible partnership, both of them are intense and deep characters, with much to hide, but give little away. 

This is most definitely a crime thriller, but it is also a clever look at the world of the wealthy and how greed and jealously can direct a life. With shocking twists and turns a plenty, this kept me gripped throughout.

Another cracker from Fiona Cummins and highly recommended by me. 

Fiona Cummins is an award-winning former Daily Mirror showbusiness journalist and a graduate of the Faber Academy, where she now teaches her own Writing Crime course. She is the bestselling author of five crime thriller novels, all of which have received widespread critical acclaim from household names including Val McDermid, Lee Child, David Baldacci, Martina Cole and Ian Rankin. Three of her novels have been optioned for television.

Rattle, her debut, has been translated into several languages and Marcel Berlins wrote in The Times: 'Amid the outpouring of crime novels, Rattle is up there with the best of them.' Fiona was selected for McDermid's prestigious New Blood panel at the 2017 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, where her novel was nominated for a Dead Good Reader Award for Most Exceptional Debut. A sequel, The Collector, was published in February 2018 and David Baldacci described it as 'A crime novel of the very first order'.

Her third novel - standalone thriller The Neighbour - was published in April 2019. Ian Rankin called it 'creepy as hell'. Her fourth novel When I Was Ten, an Irish Times bestseller, was published in April 2021. Into The Dark, Fiona's fifth novel, will be published in April 2022 and was described by Sarah Vaughan, author of Netflix smash-hit Anatomy of A Scandal, as 'Complex. Inventive. Twisty. Unsettling.'

When Fiona is not writing, she can be found on Twitter, eating biscuits or walking her dogs. She lives in Essex with her family.

Twitter @FionaAnnCummins

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