Thrill of the Week: Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

I can always count on Alice Feeney to thrill me with her killer twists!! In Daisy Darker, she gives a nod to the queen of crime fiction Agatha Christie and her golden age mystery classic, “And Then There Were None.”

While the And Then There Were None trope is one of my favorites, I couldn’t compare any books using the trope as I haven’t read the book. So after reading Daisy Darker, I finally read it, and I thought Alice Feeney did a brilliant job creating a modern unique spin to it but still keeping a likeness to the classic structure.

The Hook/Pacing

The Darker family is gathering at Nana’s remote cottage home for her 80th birthday. Tensions are high as they haven’t been together in years. Once the tide rolls in, they are stuck together under one roof until the next morning when the tide rolls out allowing them to use the beach causeway again. As the hours tick by, dark and deceitful deeply buried family secrets are revealed and dead bodies are discovered. ~ Lindsay

While using the clock-ticking element of finding out who the killer is before they find you, Daisy flashbacks to her childhood. She fills us in on everyone’s backstory as their secrets are revealed, which slows down the pace, and at times not gripping enough to create the suspense to drive the story forward. Alice Feeney should have taken fewer pages like Christie and shortened up some of the backstories to develop more of a page-turner that would have you wanting to read it in one setting. One of the brilliance of ATTWN. ~Brenda

Setting

Alice Feeney creates a claustrophobic atmosphere with the descriptions of Seaglass, an old Victorian house on a tiny tidal island just off the Cornish coast.

I loved the tension-filled, moody atmosphere. ~Lindsay

The Characters

Like the characters in ATTWN, none are likable, and none are worth rooting for, but they still had me glued to the pages to find out who will die next, where, and how. ~ Brenda

The characters were quirky and fun. ~Lindsay

Twists and Pay off

Alice Feeney has been referred to as the Queen of the killer twist, and I agree, but I think she is more of the Queen of misdirection. I love Feeney for her “I should have seen that twist coming, but I didn’t.” The clues are layered in the story for us to figure out, but Feeney has this way of distracting me from picking up on them. I find she holds out for a while before revealing that twist, and just when I start to lose a little patience, she gives us that payoff. It really has me wondering if boring us a little is her way of distracting her readers. LOL ~ Brenda

Believability element: 

I’m not usually a reader who enjoys books revolving around any sort of unrealistic plot lines and/or character behaviours (and this was full of them), yet I found myself thoroughly entertained and intrigued from start to finish. Was the plot absurd and outlandish? Yes. Were the characters’ thoughts and actions unrealistic? Yes. Did either of these things matter to me? No! Was this fun, highly entertaining, twisty and addictive? Yes! The perfect popcorn thriller escapism read! Grab a copy and check it out for yourself! ~ Lindsay

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