Book Review : No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary

May 13, 2015 Book review 15 ★★★★

This book is well named as it’s dark, dark, DARK!  And I’m not going to lie, it is a bleak, sad  theme but it’s told with a compassionate tone that makes this a compelling read.

Book Review : No Other Darkness by Sarah HilaryNo Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary
Published by Headline on 1 April 2015
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural, Psychological, Thriller, Women Sleuths
Pages: 406
Format: ARC
Source: Received from Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Detective InspectorMarnie Rome and her partner Detective Sergeant Noah Jake are investigating the recent discovery of two dead boys in a bunker beneath a London garden. Terry and Beth, under whose garden the bodies were discovered, have two children of their own, and are also fostering a difficult boy named Clancy.

Clancy reminds Marnie of her foster brother Stephen, who murdered her parents. Is Marnie’s past blinding her to the truth? Only one thing is certain: when Terry and Beth’s biological children vanish, Marnie can’t waste a moment finding them.

First Line of No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary:

“Fred’s crying again, a snotty noise with a whine in it, like the puppy when she’s shut outside.”

My Thoughts on No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary:

The first line puts a knot of tension into my stomach knowing now exactly what happened to Fred and Archie.  Fred is five and Archie is eight when they are shut up in an underground bunker and left to die.  This book starts with a flashback to that time and then forward to the day their bodies are found.  It is just so horrible to think about – anything to do with the deaths of children always is – but the circumstances here are shocking.

This is the second book in this London based police detective series and it picks up where Someone Else’s Skin leaves off.  I would recommend reading them in order as otherwise you will lose out on the details of the detectives personal lives which is a huge part of the stories.

Marnie is the lead detective and I love how she is both fierce and broken all at the same time.  She is tough as nails but also has a huge empathy for the victims of the crimes that she investigates.  And most of all she is quick-witted and considers every angle of the cases she is working on.  I love how her mind works and I love how she gets under the skin of her victims and the perpetrators.

The story very quickly works its way forward and backwards to a dreadful climax.  It’s the very definition of gripping and there are definitely no issues with pacing in this book.  I flew through it.  The writing is also very provocative and it makes you consider issues that you might never have come across before.

It also kept me guessing for a large part of the book and the foreshadowing is skilfully done.  Just enough to keep you on the edge of the loop making reasonable guesses but not so overdone that you are certain of the accuracy of your theories.

Overall huge thumbs up and Sarah Hillary has found her place on to my auto-buy list.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars

 Who should read No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary?

If you were a fan of Someone Else’s Skin then I think you’ll be delighted to catch up with DI Marnie.  Fans of psychological domestic thrillers who like intelligent characters and dark storylines should also really enjoy.  And I’d also strongly recommend this to fans of authors such as Colette McBeth, Lisa Scottoline and Linwood Barclay.

Thanks to Headline and Sarah Hilary for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.



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15 Responses to “Book Review : No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary”

  1. Red Iza

    I’m usually wary when it comes to books that deal with violence toward children, I’m afraid it might tend to be voyeuristic – and I just hate the idea of violence to children, my mother used to work for social services and I’ve heard some dreadfully real things… But I do like psychological thrillers and intelligent characters, so your review sold that book to me 😉
    Red Iza recently posted…Review / Ben Aaronovitch : Rivers of London (aka Midnight riot)

    • trish

      I know violence towards children in books has to be very carefully done so as not to appear voyeuristic. This author has got that balance just right though as the attitude and empathy of the detectives for the children feels just right.

    • trish

      Thanks Grace! I’m a huge fan of detective crime novels and this is a great one to add to the list!

  2. R_Hunt @ View From My Home

    Thanks, Trish! I enjoyed your review and now I have another new-to-me series 🙂 It does sound dark.. and kids-on-kids crime is very hard to stomach, but if I make an attachment with the DI in the series, then I will read each installment featuring her, if that makes sense. I am going to put Sarah Hilary on my wishlist now.
    R_Hunt @ View From My Home recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday- 5/12/15

    • trish

      I think the DIs in this care are definitely ones that you would attach to. Both have great stories going on in their own personal lives and I can’t wait to catch up with them in the next book!

    • trish

      If you are in the mood for a chilling crime thriller, then this would be a great series to start. I do recommend starting with book 1 though.

    • trish

      I love thrillers, especially the domestic sort as they just feel very realistic, not to mention very scary to me.

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