Reviewing Sarah Hilary’s No Other Darkness

D.I. Marnie Rome is back with her most complex case to date.

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…

This is the second book in the D.I. Marnie Rome series by Sarah Hilary. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really liked the cover and you all know I love the crime genre so picked it up and started reading. This book follows D.I. Rome’s investigation into the death of two very young boys who were found in a bunker five years after they were put in there. I expected this to be in the same field as almost all the other crime books I read – twisty and turny with an ending leaving me satisfied because the baddie got caught. What I didn’t expect was for it to be so clever, for each plot twist to leave me gripped and surprised.

As this is the second book in the series I am absolutely sure I missed out on a lot of back story and character development. However I didn’t think it mattered because No Other Darkness was easy to follow and understand. I definitely want to read the first book but more because I enjoyed this one so much and can’t wait for the third rather than because I think I missed out on vital character background.

I don’t want to spoil this book for any of you but the darkness in this book (in my opinion at least) is a mental health problem which I had no knowledge of, at all. The effects of this problem on the characters and their actions (especially one in particular) were astounding. I thought Hilary handled the topic with skill and gave Marnie and her colleagues very nuanced and realistic attitudes towards it. I believed it and for me that was a major win for No Other Darkness. Hilary’s writing was also ridiculously beautiful throughout the novel, again something I don’t get all that often in crime books. I loved reading it because of the plot, yes, but also because of the words used.

I warmed to Marnie and her DS Noah very, very quickly and their insights into their personal lives added greater depth to their characters, and made me understand why they were the way they were and why they did the things they did. This was definitely a book I couldn’t put down and there were so many times when I was reading it when I was fooled because my own conclusions were so very wrong from what was really going on (though I am thrilled to say that one plot twist I saw coming from the very beginning).

I know I have raved about this book because I loved everything, but possibly the thing I loved the most was how neither goodies nor the baddies were clean cut. Characters kept drifting across the moral line and then drifting back. As a result my opinions kept changing and that was all kinds of brilliant. I really recommend this read and it gets very emphatic thumbs up from me.

No Other Darkness is on sale now from all good and evil retailers and very likely in your local library. What I really want to know is if there is an audiobook for this because I think it would be a brilliant and very creepy listen. If you do read it, let me know what you think!

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