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…
I had no idea what to expect throughout the course of this book and I was honestly surprised at every turn. Daisy seemed like a bit of a ambivalent character, she didn’t really stand out in any way throughout the book and no one ever suspected her of being the one to commit the murders. I was definitely intrigued by her past and finding out about the dynamics within the Darker family.
I didn’t really find any of the other characters within the book particularly likeable which I think was the intention. The way that they all treated each other throughout the course of the night in retrospect makes sense when the big final twist happens. Nana definitely is my favourite out of all of them, though her favoritism towards Daisy when they were children is a little questionable.
I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the setting of the cottage. The isolation and the storm really ramps up the creepy tone of the plot and makes for a great backdrop as we try and figure out who is picking everyone off one by one. Even though the start was a little slower paced for me the build up of anticipation and intrigue kept me engaged.
When we eventually are told who the murderer is and why the Darker family was killed I struggled to accept that Daisy was already dead. I just thought there were so many scenes where she interacted with her family members but upon reflection and don’t think they ever responded back to her. I almost immediately wanted to restart the book and delve into every scene and see whether or not it made sense. I think that supernatural twist was unexpected and shocking and I think was ultimately necessary otherwise there wasn’t many options that would of been as shocking.
⭐️4/5 stars oh poor Daisy!
*SOME SPOILERY BITS*
After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help. The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places.
I liked Rachel as our main character. The whole premise of the podcast and coming from being an investigative journalist was compelling and intriguing. I loved following on as she uncovers what happens during this highly publicized and talked about rape trial as well as figuring out what really happened to Jenny.
Hannah I was sort of questioning her intentions throughout the course of the plot. I just didn’t understand why she didn’t just meet up with Rachel and explain everything to her face. Leaving the letters though did add a layer of mystery to the plot but they felt a little bit sinister to me. It just always felt like she was being too secretive and wasn’t telling the whole story so it made me doubt her as a character.
As far as the trial aspect of the book goes I was a bit ambivalent towards it, it’s just never a good feeling to see how rape victims are treating throughout. Of course you always want justice to prevail but it doesn’t always end up happening that way and it very nearly happens in this book. Knowing that no one really won at the end of the day doesn’t give me any satisfaction as a reader but it is very realistic.
There was a lot of quite graphic scenes and heavy topics that are included in this book though the format with the shorter chapters and the inclusion of the podcast elements did make it quite a fast read. I can’t say that I enjoyed what I was reading but the way the two plotlines converged and how the reveals are exposed did make keep me engaged and eager to see how the ending will play out.
⭐️4/5 stars this was brutal, violent and just sad
Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo. But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.
I liked Sydney right from the start when we are introduced to her at the tour of the neighborhood and she challenges the tour guide. She is very unforgiving of her attitude towards these families that have come and are seemingly taking over yet she knows when to leave things alone even though it’s unfair and very racist. She was a little bit of an unreliable character which did get on my nerves a bit but I think it was realistic when we find out what she has had to deal with.
Theo I didn’t feel as connected to as Sydney. It was an interesting perspective to put into the book for sure as we kind of get to see things from the other side of the ‘invaders’. I didn’t really know what his intentions were right up to the climax of the book. I was annoyed that he wouldn’t call out the problematic language his girlfriend would use and make excuses for her when she was obviously racially profiling people and using her white privilege to get what she wanted.
I loved the feeling of comradery between the neighbors and that sense of familiarity and comfort that can be had by knowing so much about the people around you and then how violating that can be when new people keep forcing their way in. The book was a little slow in terms of pace for a good two thirds of the book but the ending does ramp up. There was just this ominous tone that was woven throughout the storyline that kept me hooked and eager to find out what was going to happen next and boy could I not predict that ending!
⭐️4/5 stars Darker than what I was expecting!
Meet the women of Buckhead—a place of expensive cars, huge houses, and competitive friendships. Shannon was once the queen bee of Buckhead. But she’s been unceremoniously dumped by Bryce, her politician husband. When Bryce replaces her with a much younger woman, Shannon sets out to take revenge … Crystal has stepped into Shannon’s old shoes. A young, innocent Texan girl, she simply has no idea what she’s up against … Olivia has waited years to take Shannon’s crown as the unofficial queen of Buckhead. Finally, her moment has come. But to take her rightful place, she will need to use every backstabbing, manipulative, underhand trick in the book … Jenny owns Glow, the most exclusive salon in town. Jenny knows all her clients’ secrets and darkest desires. But will she ever tell? Who amongst these women will be clever enough to survive Buckhead—and who will wind up dead? They say that friendships can be complex, but no one said it could ever be this deadly.
Jenny was a good buffer between all of these pretentious housewives. She really utilised the connections that Olivia has and built up her salon from basically nothing. I wish she would of exerted her power as the owner a little bit more, especially when she knew Olivia was up to her tricks but I can understand her wanting to keep the status quo. Seeing the behind the scenes of how much these women need Jenny to handle their upkeep just to keep up appearances in this town was fun and pretty crazy.
The rest of the ladies at first were a little hard to distinguish between but as the plot unfolds they become more distinct. Olivia is our obvious antagonist and she does very well at it, Crystal is a little too naïve for the majority of story, Karen was a bit of a wild card and was quite fun to see how her story unfolds and I couldn’t help but feel bad for Shannon. None of them were particularly likeable but that was definitely by design but I think they were all very integral to the plot and kept things interesting.
The premise of this book is just so fun and entertaining. Knowing that one of these women are dead and going back and trying to figure out which was a great time. It definitely got a lot darker than what I was expecting which once again kept me so engaged and eager to find out what is going to happen next. These women are so conniving and strategic and the way that the story plays out was so satisfying.
⭐️4/5 stars Rich housewife drama that takes a deadly turn, so much fun!
When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation. Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.
I liked Anna’s character for the most part. I thought she was quite relatable and her drive was admirable for sure. I thought she was going to end up being an unreliable narrator just from the amount of drinks she has throughout the day but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t take over her character. I think the way she has overcome everything in her life, especially her daughter’s death made me more attached to her and made me invested in what was happening.
Jack I was a little apprehensive about at the start but I warmed up to him for sure. Again after hearing his backstory and the connection he has with Anna and the rest of the women that are getting murdered piqued my interest. He was definitely one of those characters that are making all the wrong decisions while he’s in the middle of an investigation pretty much implicating himself but it was quite entertaining.
I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives and the format of the story kept the pace pretty fast which really helped me fly through this book. There were so many little twists and revelations throughout the course of the plot and it had me guessing right up to the end who was really behind all of the murders. Didn’t blow me away by any means and isn’t a new favourite but I still really enjoyed it.
⭐️3/5 star a solid read