Author: Sarah Hilary
Published: April 2015 by Headline
Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological, Book Review
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…
DI Marnie Rome, DS Noah Jake and the team are investigating a report of bodies found. Two children. ‘A burial, but not in the usual sense…’
Terry and Beth Doyle, along with their two young children, moved into a new house a year ago. While in the process of preparing a vegetable plot, Terry finds an underground bunker and makes a shocking discovery. Marnie and Noah attend the scene, and with no apparent clues, it’s their unenviable task to find out who left two young children alone in an underground bunker several years ago, who they were and why no-one ever reported them missing.
Terry hadn’t wanted to leave them. Marnie liked him for that.
Following on from Sarah Hilary’s debut, Someone Else’s Skin, No Other Darkness has a strong, intense opening leading through to a dark and disturbing police procedural with a psychological twist.
The circumstances of the children’s death is shocking, heartbreaking, impossible to comprehend and it’s a hard case for the team to come to terms with, but they are determined to find the perpetrator. As more is uncovered, things become ever more confusing and the case is taking its toll. Nothing is as it seems and the twists keep coming.
Her mobile phone pressed hard into her hip as she crouched by the side of the bed. The torchlight didn’t make a difference, not really. It just stirred at the shadows , like a stick stirring at mud. She looked around for child-sized torches. Surely they weren’t expected to get dressed in the dark, or to use the bucket in the dark, and why allow them books unless…
Under the pillows.
They’d put the torches under their pillows, to keep them safe and close at hand. They’d cuddled together because of the dark. Scared…
The word wasn’t big enough.
Sections of the narrative are from Esther and Alison, in Lawton Down Prison, who give the reader chilling glimpses of why they are incarcerated. Why the boys were in the bunker and why they died there. This ramps up the tension and suspense with each passage from their perspectives.
Marnie and Noah are great characters, engaging and developing well, who compliment each other, and I enjoyed learning more about them. Marnie’s traumatic past still haunts her and I’m sure there’s yet more to learn about Noah. There are various difficult topics woven into the narrative, treated sensitively, giving it a very realistic edge. The plot is complex, multi layered and very well written, with the included backgrounds of the characters adding to the overall atmosphere and reading experience without overwhelming the investigation.
I truly did not see that final piece of the puzzle as it slotted into place, despite the clues sprinkled throughout, which seem to lead me in one direction only to be sent spinning in a completely different one. An engrossing read.
Sarah Hilary has worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. Her debut, SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN, won Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015 and was a World Book Night selection for 2016. The Observer’s Book of the Month (“superbly disturbing”) and a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, it has been published worldwide. NO OTHER DARKNESS, the second in the series was shortlisted for a Barry Award in the US. Her DI Marnie Rome series continues with TASTES LIKE FEAR (2016) QUIETER THAN KILLING (2017), with COME AND FIND ME out in April 2018.