Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney
Narrator: Stephanie Racine
Published by MacMillan Audio on August 30, 2022
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 10 hours, 54 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
After years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in Nana’s crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. Finally back together one last time, when the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours.
The family arrives, each of them harboring secrets. Then at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages, Nana is found dead. And an hour later, the next family member follows…
Trapped on an island where someone is killing them one by one, the Darkers must reckon with their present mystery as well as their past secrets, before the tide comes in and all is revealed.
Psychological thrillers can be tricky for me to read. Sometimes I don’t like the characters, an unreliable narrator or a lack of closure at the end. I do tend to enjoy the more realistic feelings and actions which are portrayed but not always the ambiguity. Friends have really liked this author so I decided to try Daisy Darker.
The descriptions of everything from the storm, to the house Seaglass to the furniture and rooms is all a detailed depiction of the world. It makes it easy to see the house, the people and everything as the representations are so well written. The characters are equally well developed with all their little quirks and idiosyncrasies.
I read the blurb but it didn’t really resonate until I finished reading. It is sort of a countdown with deaths on a remote island on a stormy night and creepy nursery rhymes. It’s also Halloween. As each hour passes, we get someone’s death and also their story. Daisy is our point of view, the youngest of three sisters with divorced parents. Nana, her father’s mother, is the only one with money and they all rely often on her rather than their own efforts. She is a children’s author.
Somehow they are all here for Nana’s 80th birthday. A reading told her she would die when she was 80. She starts the evening by sharing with them her will which pisses them all off. Except Daisy. All the reactions and comments from family members begins the story along with flashbacks so we know more of who they are and how they got to now.
There is plenty of creepy intertwined with character development on a suspenseful wait to see who would die next. Twisty with surprises and reveals of many secrets as the night progresses. I was on the edge liking a character and feeling protective and then learning more about them, sometimes to understand and sometimes to dislike them once I knew them better. Nothing was what I expected but this was thrilling and wonderful. I highly recommend it.
This was my first listen to Stephanie Racine. I really enjoyed her voices. I don’t have the knowledge to know if the dialects are accurate but they sounded good to me. Most of the story was from Daisy’s point of view and that fit well. While the voices are distinct, there is very little of anyone other than Daisy, and they are similar in tone. I was able to listen a bit faster than normal at 1.75x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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