By Alice Feeney
Published August 2022
Daisy Darker was born with a broken heart but she never stops wishing her family loved her. Even after enduring a less than ideal childhood and being estranged from several of her family members for years, she still attends her beloved grandmother’s 80th birthday party at her remote home on the Cornish coast.
But this is not an ordinary birthday party. After the cake has been eaten and the presents given, someone begins killing off her family members every hour on the hour. With no way off the island until morning, will anyone make it out of the house alive?
Wow. Just wow. I’ve seen a few tepid reviews for this book and I don’t get them. Granted, it wasn’t perfect but when I finished the book, I had to sit in silence for a few minutes just to absorb what I’d just read.
First off, I’m going to do my best not to give out any spoilers because when the big plot twist(s) comes, I want you to be as surprised as I was. And maybe you’ll think you had it figured out all along too, just to find out you were totally wrong.
Now, I love a good locked room mystery and usually one body is enough to keep me guessing how the murder took place. In this book, the body count continues to rise with each tense hour that passes, interspersed with flashbacks to Daisy’s childhood. Which was awful. I can’t stress that enough. Not to the point that there should be a trigger for child abuse but really, as each memory surfaced it just kept getting worse.
The tension and reveals are expertly layered in and the prose is phenomenal. Feeney has a way with words I don’t get to enjoy very often – at least not often enough. I considered taking notes (and since I bought the book, I still might).
My only nitpick is that the little cliffhangers at the end of each chapter got to be a bit much. But in the grand scheme of this novel, that was a minor annoyance.
If you’ve never read Alice Feeney, you’ll become a fan after this novel. I know I am.
4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐+
Until next time, thank you for visiting.