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No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary (Marnie Rome/Noah Jake 2)

January 3, 2015

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 D.i. 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.

no other darkness

I enjoyed the first Marnie Rome/Noah Jake book so much that I was really looking forward to reading the second by Sarah Hilary. So when I was offered the opportunity to read it in advance of publication, I jumped at it.

I started to read No Other Darkness over Christmas, and it wasn’t long before I found myself wondering if I hadn’t picked the wrong time to read it. Because this is a dark and often bleak book and, in a good way, really very unnerving.

Marnie Rome is a great character. Learning more about her is part of the delight of this book; it is as if the author is very slowly and with great delicacy peeling away her armour, one layer at a time. The more you learn, the more you want to know.

We see more of Noah Jake, her partner in crime, too and learn more about his family and domestic situation. He is a lovely character, and you just know you’d like him if you met him.

Families are a recurring theme in this novel; Noah’s, Marnie’s and the victims’, but what stands out is the darkness that is in everyone, and that’s the standout theme for me in this book.

The story follows Marnie as she tries to find out who the boys are and what happened to them. As she progresses, the darkness of the boys’ story meshes with the darkness in Marnie’s life and just as she strives to find answers to the murders of Fred and Archie, so she finds herself seeking answers to her own traumatic past.

This is a clever, fluent book with a riveting narrative and disturbing psychological insights. It kept me riveted, and with a nod to the cliche, it really did feel as if my heart was in my mouth while I read it.

it is a while since I have read anything quite so compelling. I loved Someone Else’s Skin but in No Other Darkness, Sarah Hilary explores her characters with forensic insight and serious skill.

It’s only January, but I will be very lucky if I read anything better this year.

Thanks to Sarah Hilary and Headline Publishing. This book is published on April 23rd 2015

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