Publication date: 23/4/15
From the Richard and Judy bestselling author Sarah Hilary. The phenomenal Marnie Rome returns in the outstanding follow up to the critically acclaimed SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN. Two young boys. Trapped underground in a bunker. Unable to understand why they are there. Desperate for someone to find them. Slowly realising that no-one will…Five years later, the boys’ bodies are found and the most difficult case of DI Marnie Rome’s career begins. Her only focus is the boys. She has to find out who they are and what happened to them. For Marnie, there is no other darkness than this..
Despite not having read the first in this series, the synopsis for No Other Darkness really captured my attention and thankfully I didn’t feel like I needed to have read the first book to understand what was happening in this one. The prologue is told from the perspective of the older of the two young boys, who is trying to be brave for his brother’s sake. I really enjoyed this character voice and would have liked to have heard more from Archie as the story progressed.
This novel has an incredibly complex plot with many layers and sub-plots, but despite this, it is put together well and there are no obvious plot holes. The pacing was good throughout as Hilary slowly feeds the reader clues. I doubted almost every character at some point and the novel continued to surprise me right through to the end.
I enjoyed the way Hilary handled the some particularly difficult characters and situations, using them to her advantage to add to the mystery and confusion of the novel. Overall, I think the characters were well-drawn, but I would have liked to have seen some stronger personalities. Although we learn a fair amount about the protagonist DI Marnie Rome throughout the course of the book, by the end I was still no closer to really understanding her as a character. I’m sure this would be helped had I read the first book featuring this character, but the nature of a good crime novel is that it should be able to be a read as a stand-alone. In addition, characters such as Clancy who was initially intriguing remained distant and I would have liked to have learned more about him as a character.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t love it. In some ways it failed to deliver on its promises, for me, and it wasn’t quite what I expected. That said, the plot and characters are well-constructed and the crime suitably difficult to solve.