No Other Darkness: DI Marnie Rome 2 by Sarah Hilary
|No Other Darkness: DI Marnie Rome 2 by Sarah Hilary|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Sometimes the second novel in a series doesn't live up to the first: no problems here. This is top-class crime writing and it looks like it's going to be a series to follow closely.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 432/12h41m||Date: July 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
The opening is non-violent but no less harrowing for that. We hear from two young boys, brothers, who are locked in an underground room. They're not certain why they're there, but the younger boys is desperate for his mother. The older boy tries to comfort him. They have toys. There are tins of food. Even their toilet needs have been accommodated. Surely they'll be found? Won't they?
Five years later a man digging in his garden discovers a bunker. He was trying to make a vegetable bed to teach his young children and the foster child who lives with them about where food comes from and how to grow it. He looks into the underground bunker and sees the bodies of two young boys curled together. Who are the boys? Why have they not been reported missing? Surely two boys of about five and eight cannot disappear without someone noticing? Or can they?
After reading Someone Else's Skin I was hooked on Sarah Hilary. Sometimes I wonder if the police procedural genre isn't becoming a little tired, with far too many stereotypes as detectives. Middle-aged white men with authority/drink/womanising problems who go off and solve crimes despite the best efforts of their superiors to stop them are thick on the ground. Somehow it doesn't seem quite real and it was a relief to encounter Marnie Rome.
She's totally focused on the boys. Who are they? Why did they die? Only when she's established those two points is she in a position to find out who put the boys into the bunker. The whole CID team and particularly DS Noah Jake is affected by the discovery of the bodies and Rome's aware of this: even hardened officers are deeply touched when the case they're dealing with concerns the death of a child.
In most police procedurals it's quite clear who are the heroes and who are the villains, but in No Other Darkness it's not so clear cut: I found myself in the odd situation of sympathising with a killer. Hilary tackles some difficult topics: child abuse, mental illness and vengeance stand out but there's emotional and physical abuse and bereavement. It's all done sensitively and it's thought-provoking.
I listened to an audio download (which I bought myself) narrated by Imogen Church. She's impressive and a real pleasure to listen to: I particularly liked the voice of Noah Jake and his brother Sol. It's unusual for a woman to capture male voices so well and I look forward to hearing more from her in the future: in fact, I've already bought the next audio download.
The book would read well as a standalone, but why deprive yourself of the pleasure of reading the books as they were written? Start with Someone Else's Skin.
You can read more book reviews or buy No Other Darkness: DI Marnie Rome 2 by Sarah Hilary at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You could get a free audio download of No Other Darkness: DI Marnie Rome 2 by Sarah Hilary with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy No Other Darkness: DI Marnie Rome 2 by Sarah Hilary at Amazon.com.
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