A Madness of Sunshine

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

I was excited to find out that Nalini Singh came out with a Mystery/Thriller in 2019. I’m trying to read more genres this year, and thanks to the #Romanceopoly2020 Challenge, I’m fulfilling that goal. I know I was going to enjoy A Madness of Sunshine since Nalini is a fantastic writer. Be prepared though there are no paranormal elements in this book. I know a lot of readers enjoy her PNR and Contemporary novels.

A Madness of Sunshine did still have some romance in it, but it was not the center of the story. The main female protagonist, who is introduced in the story, is Anahera. She has moved back to her hometown in New Zealand after her husband passes away. No one expected her to move back because they believed she was living a good life in London with her husband. Unfortunately, she’s forced back to get away from her life in London. She ends up back in her hometown, which is remote in New Zealand, and a young woman has gone missing. The only police officer named Will in Golden Cove is determined to find the missing woman. Will starts realizing though that there is darkness in the town of Golden Cove, and there’s a killer in the small town, and everyone could be a suspect.

Nalini Singh wrote a book that kept me guessing on who could be behind the missing woman in the book. If she was alive or dead or if she left the small town, like Anahera did, especially after finding out about the young woman’s life. It may be a small town, but some of the people there can keep their lives hidden. I enjoyed following the characters Anahera and Will to determine the hidden secrets about the town and its inhabitants. I was not expecting the ending, though when Nalini finally revealed the killer. I also was not expecting the twists and turns in the book. There’s not only the missing woman that Will is determined to find but other women that were killed several years ago in that town that he’s determined to find out what happened to them. Remind me, though, to be very cautious if I ever visit New Zealand with the cliffs and scenery there. Nalini made it seem very scary in this book, but I know from seeing pictures that New Zealand is beautiful. It’s on my goal list to visit New Zealand one day.

I’ve been reading through Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter, and Psy/Changeling series and glad I made time to read A Madness of Sunshine. I give it four stars and recommend it to readers that enjoy Mystery/Thriller stories.
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🍷🍷🍷🍷.7 #Review of A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh 
Kimberly's Thoughts:

Anahera is going back to her hometown, a place that she never wanted to return to but somehow finds she needs the comfort of. While there, Miriama, a young beautiful girl disappears while out jogging and Anahera finds herself helping the new town cop, Will, uncover the secrets of Golden Cove and it's residents.

She returned home two hundred and seventeen days after burying her husband while his pregnant mistress sobbed so hard that she made herself sick.

In this standalone, Singh has written an intoxicating mystery suspense. The writing was smooth in a way that sucked me in and wouldn't let me go; I was lost in the beautifully dark atmosphere. Readers are pulled in with the character of Anahera, a woman who grew-up in Golden Cove. Her father was an abusive alcoholic who her mother didn't kick out until he began to turn his abuse on Anahera. While she still has friends that live in Golden Cove, it's not a place of happy memories for her. The background Singh creates for Anahera, abusive father, widowhood that surprises her with a husband who cheated on her, and a miscarriage, all perfectly shapes the character we see on the pages,   steely contained, strong, and heartfelt willing.

“Everyone has secrets,” he repeated after completing the maneuver. “It's often the people who look like they have no secrets at all who turn out to have the biggest ones.”

While we're led into the story by Anahera, she gives us the lay of the land and townspeople, the emotional aspect, the new town cop Will leads the technical, murder mystery part that takes over the middle of the story. As a reader, I was emotionally locked in the story because of how Singh quickly and thoroughly created a web spun with the townspeople from Anahera's experiences and feelings about them. This made me eager to follow along with Will as he gathered evidence and tries to piece together the how and why about Miriama's disappearance. While I didn't connect as much with Will, he had his own layered backstory of how he ended up in Golden Cove and gave credence to his feelings and actions. The focus of the story is the mystery of Miriama's disappearance but for those looking for it, the bonding relationship that develops between Anahera and Will, infuses the story with a slow burn romance.

That was the thing with this town---the way the gossip flowed, you'd think you knew everything. But there were secrets here, a thick tide of lava beneath the surface.

Along with the atmosphere and emotions evoked, the details that Singh includes made this story a cut above for me. How Will goes about the investigation and the facts and alluding he finds or is told along the way kept my eyes on everyone. When Will finds out that three woman hikers disappeared from the Golden Cove area fourteen years ago too, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. If you weren't feeling the atmosphere as much as I, I could see how the middle could drag a touch, as there might be considered one too many red-herring dancing to and away reasons given out. I also thought the villain(s) reveal started to creep into info dump reveal as it went on a beat too long. The ending also felt abrupt but it could be me just not wanting to say goodbye to these characters. A Madness of Sunshine was a small town mystery suspense that showcased the good, bad, and ugly of a small New Zealand town while chilling me to the soul at times and at others, having me smile through the tears.
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I am a big fan of Nalini Singh.  She is one of those writers that I pick up her books really without reading the blurb.  That being said, I was not a fan of A Madness of Sunshine. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the writing was great like all of her books.  The story I just had a hard time getting into. Loved the setting and the premise of the story.  It just fell flat for me.  
Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.  The opinions expressed here are my own.
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A suspense story set in a bush community in New Zealand. A village full of secrets and everyone seemingly knowing all that is happening, but do they? Anahera returns to the place that she left years ago. Within a short time, a young woman, Miriana, doesn't return from her run. Did she run away? Is she injured? Did someone kill her? The whole village searches and searches. Will, the 'banished' cop, is co-ordinating this search. He is a recent resident and he is learning about these people. Also, what is the connection to the disappearance of three hikers 13 years ago? Many potential suspects. Whoever you suspect isn't the culprit.
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"A Madness of Sunshine" - I absolutely adore the title - it is where I want to be - in an everlasting madness of sunshine - it denotes happiness to me - makes me smile!  
I did enjoy the story as well - it takes place on the West Coast of New Zealand, in a very small rural community called Golden Cove which sits on a high cliff by the sea.   Nalini Singh does a beautiful job describing the setting and also with her character development - I could vividly put myself in the rugged beauty of New Zealand and also relate to her characters - each having their own strengths and flaws - you definitely got the small-town vibe.  The plot revolves around the disappearance of a beautiful, well-liked young girl.  That disappearance led to the town folk remembering two other long-ago female disappearances that were never solved.  The characters develop as the story unfolds and the plot twists - tying everything up nicely in the end.  The novel is a quick entertaining read - it would make a good beach read.
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This might appeal to fans of Sandra Brown, but Sandra Brown is a lot better.  The characters were not fleshed out very well and the mystery was kind of a mess.  I did appreciate getting a glimpse of a different kind of setting; I’ve never read anything set in New Zealand before.
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A widow returns home, a woman goes missing, and secrets from the past won’t stay buried for long… In this tensely-plotted, taut thriller, Nalini Singh crafts a breathtaking mystery set in the wild thicket of a small coastal New Zealand community that hooked me from page one!

The tension that Singh has built in the community of this book is pulled so taut it feels it could snap. The mystery is so well-plotted that it is almost breath taking. The anger and turmoil boiling below the surface is mirrored by the jagged cliffs, thrashing waves, and thick forest of the New Zealand coast. I’d venture to call this a gothic mystery because the setting is so powerful, almost a character itself.

Anahera grew up in Golden Cove, but she left it behind and moved to find a new life in London. Following the death of her cheating husband and the confrontation with his pregnant mistress, Anahera returns reluctantly to Golden Cove. She has few happy memories there. An abusive father, the memory of her mother’s untimely death, and the shock of her husband’s affair and death is too much.

I loved how unpredictable the nature of New Zealand was. The rocks of the cliff feel jagged and menacing. Storms roll in from the ocean with alarming force. And something is brewing under the seemingly safe community of Golden Cove… A woman disappears while out jogging. Could it have been an accident? Perhaps she got lost in the thick forest. Anahera already fears the worst. It reminds her of the three women who went missing in Golden Cove many years before, when she was a teenager.

Detective Will Gallagher also suspects a connection between the three cold cases and the recent disappearance. As an outsider, Will sees the residents of Golden Cove with an objectivity that Anahera cannot. But Anahera also knows the secrets of Golden Cove. In a community this small, there are only so many dark corners to hide in.

A fantastic mystery with a setting that is truly exceptional—this is a great escape read that you won’t be able to put down!

Thank you to Berkley for my copy. Opinions are my own.
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This was my first Nalini Singh novel and I look forward to more mysteries solved by the two main characters.  I hope this becomes a series. I enjoyed the depth of the culture and traditions she included in the story.
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New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh is best known for her paranormal and contemporary romance series, but with the release of A MADNESS OF SUNSHINE, she turns to a new genre altogether: thrillers. Pairing her keen eye for characterization with a taut pace and a finely tuned ear for suspense, Singh has produced a thrill ride that will keep readers turning pages long past sundown.

Set in Golden Cove, a small settlement on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, A MADNESS OF SUNSHINE tracks Anahera Rawiri as she returns to her beloved but haunted homeland eight years after leaving it at the age of 21. When Anahera left Golden Cove, she was fleeing poverty, a lack of potential and tragedy, and racing toward the life of a professional musician and wife to a prominent playwright. But when her husband dies suddenly, the now-grieving mistress decides to go home --- her real home --- to gain closure not only on her brief foray out of New Zealand, but on the ghosts of her past as well.

When Anahera picks up the Jeep she bought online at the New Zealand airport, she begins the long trek to her deceased mother’s remote cabin, an abode removed even from the furthest outskirts of town. She is soon greeted by a white SUV bearing the local police logo, and, when the window rolls down, she meets Will, a disgraced detective from a nearby town with a real police force. Too distinguished to be fired entirely, Will has been punished by receiving control of Golden Cove, a town too small for any real crime and too tight-knit for a detective of any skill level to really penetrate its inner workings. Fortunately for Anahera, Will is a classic “good guy,” and his promise to check on her to make sure she is safe is one without any underlying malevolence.

As the two drive through Golden Cove, Anahera spies many of the children she grew up with, now adults and homeowners themselves, including Nikau and Josie, her best friend and the only person she has kept in touch with since leaving her tiny town. She is overjoyed to reunite with Josie, who is as soft as Anahera is cold and achieved everything she ever wanted without having to leave the island: marriage, motherhood and the ownership of a small café. As the two catch up, Josie’s gorgeous young employee, Miriama, dotes on them, setting their table with coffee and cake before delivering the last slice to a neighbor. Anahera cannot help but remark on the young girl’s beauty and glow, and she is delighted to learn that Miriama, too, is destined for more, as she is preparing to leave the island for a prestigious internship within a few months.

Of course, Golden Cove’s dark past cannot remain secret for long. One evening, while out on a jog, Miriama vanishes seemingly into thin air. The town unites immediately, even rousing the bush men --- the people who choose to live completely apart from the small town --- to search for her, but even with Will and Nikau at the helm, they discover nothing. Though Will is from a nearby town, he does not know the landscape as well as its lifelong denizens, creating a tension in his role as lead detective, but he perseveres, calling on sturdy, loyal people like Nikau to help him take control. Playing on Anahera’s recent return to the island, he also uses her as a decoy to ask questions that townies might not want to answer --- especially with an outsider asking.

But there are certain histories and secrets the islanders are reticent to give up, including the stories of what happened to three young female hikers several years ago, at the start of the tourism boom in Golden Cove. In a small town as tight knit as Golden Cove, everyone knows everyone --- but is it possible that there could be a killer in their midst? And if so, has he or she been hiding away all this time, or is someone new responsible for Miriama’s disappearance? Overcoming their tragic backgrounds and hesitancies to form new connections, Anahera and Will must use their shared insights to discover what really happened to Miriama and, maybe, to all the missing girls before her.

A MADNESS OF SUNSHINE is an atmospheric novel above all things. Singh crafts the setting so meticulously and expertly that you can feel the daytime sun bearing down on you as easily as you can hear the crashing waves and feel the lush greenery around you. It would be easy and true to say that the setting is a major character in the book, but that is not all Singh brings to the metaphorical table. Her characters feel fully fleshed out and familiar, yet compelling. I think what I loved most about them was the way they formed a separate character entirely as the town of Golden Cove. As desperate as I was to learn their secrets and histories, I was equally conscious of wanting to respect their community. This dissonance not only kept me reading, but immersed me in the story more fully than if I simply wanted answers. This is no small feat for an author, especially in a stand-alone novel.

While the book is certainly suspenseful, I would draw the line at calling it a thriller. While there is a missing girl and threats of violence at its center, I felt that it was more slow burn than I would expect from a thriller. Many of the mysteries at the heart of the novel were playing out internally between characters rather than with bloody knives and fingerprints, making it more of a mystery than a thriller, but it was every bit as riveting. Singh clearly has an ear for personal dynamics, and it was these relationships that really moved the story along for me.

As a pivot from romance to suspense, A MADNESS OF SUNSHINE is stellar; it has everything it needs to succeed and plays upon its author’s previous talents beautifully. I look forward to seeing where Singh turns next, be it another genre altogether or a further exploration into suspense/thrillers. Either way, she has an instant buyer in this reviewer.
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I'd never read a book by Nalini Singh before this one, though I know she's very well regarded. After reading A Madness of Sunshine I plan to check out her whole back catalog - this was so, so good! After her husband's death classical pianist Anahera goes home to the west coast of New Zealand, which is wild and remote. As soon as she arrives a local woman she knew as a child goes missing, and Ana is sucked back into her past, as old friends and neighbors all look increasingly guilty. Meanwhile Will, a cop who has been relegated to this small town as punishment for several past infractions, tries to save the missing woman. This book was super atmospheric - New Zealand is practically a character - and full of fantastic, well developed characters and tricky red herrings. It reminded me a lot of Jane Harper's mysteries, in which you have to be careful of both the landscape and the people you know best. I went into this book not knowing anything about the plot and that made it even more enjoyable. This one was great, definitely highly recommended.
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I adore Nalini Singh, and I admit I was nervous about following her away from her contemporary and paranormal romances, but I thoroughly enjoyed A Madness of Sunshine. Exciting and suspenseful, it made my heart pound more than once—glad I restricted my reading to daytime—and once again proved that Ms. Singh could write the phone book and I’d enjoy it.
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I received this ARC book from Netgalley for honest Review.

What a great thrill and suspense it was to read. What a great psychological thrill! This novel had everything in it. The thrill, the suspense, the psychological, and the twist is crazy. This novel will keep you thinking and guessing. When you think you right, well let me just say that you might be wrong. This had me all over the place. My heart beating so fast! I couldn't believe what I was reading. If had me in shock. Every page, every chapter was a page turner. I couldn't believe my eyes what I was reading. I highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. It will surprise you in every way.


The storyline was very good! 
The theme and setting was well put together. The characters was well put together in the story. 
This story will have in a rollercoaster with all the spooky and secrets. Was so well put in the story. 
Everything all in one book. 
It was just perfect!
I highly recommend everybody get this and read it. 
What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. What a Rollercoaster! The sitting, theme, and the Characters had me pulled so in. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel would have you guess and thinking all the way to the end. What a great thrill and suspense. I love a great suspense that would have me think and guessing. This novel did just that to me. To the point that am wrong. When the ending comes am on shock. I wouldn't of never believe or guess. Like OMG! 
Highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. Its so good! 
Can't wait for her next book.
4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐🌠
#netgallery
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A Madness of Sunshine is a thriller by Nalini Singh. I love Ms. Singh's Psy-changling, Archangel and Rock series. So this was a must read for me. 

Anahera is returning to New Zealand after the death of her husband. Her world has been turned on its head and she is headed home to try and rebuild herself. Will is the only policeman presence in Golden Cove and he was sent there as punishment. Together Will and Anahera find themselves involved in the solving the death of a young women who may or may not be connected to three disappearances nearly 15 years ago. 

This was a twisty book and well crafted. I had some inklings but I spent a lot of time second guessing. I liked it, I just didn't love it. I am curious about if Singh will write another and if it will involve Anahera and Will.
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This is new book from this author. After reading it I decided to read more books by Nalini Singh.  What I liked in A Madness of Sunshine was enormous amount of twist and turns. Contemporary modern suspense romance will give you a storyline of a heartbroken woman and her growth to a new stage of her life. 
Beautifully written!
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Exciting new direction as Ms. Singh explores a new genre - contemporary romantic suspense. From the first few pages, I'm drawn into the story. I'm pulled into this tale because Anahera is a tragically damaged woman looking to find her way home. The start of the story reminds me of one of the movies I loved by Kryzsztof Kieslowski, Bleu. Anahera is a woman betrayed by a husband who was her entire world. To find that he had another life shatters her. The manner in which she finds out is a horrible stab into her heart. With Anahera as the lead character, I believed she was the Sunshine referenced in the title. She is yet she is not. I enjoyed what Ms. Singh did here with plot twists and characters different than they original appeared.

In her Psy-Changling series, Ms. Singh already started to delve into the suspense, murder and thriller elements. Transitioning into a contemporary romance is a natural progression. I cannot wait to see if she continues with this genre. What I enjoyed is the depth of the background of the main characters. Anahera and Will both have lived life with a fair share of pain and disappointment. Their rising from the ashes more than once shows their strength. The scars they bear are revealed at just the right moments throughout the tale. There is a large cast of characters in this story and at times it may be a bit hard to remember all of them. It could be possible that the wider range of secondary characters is used to create more tension and mystery. This is plot device works but is not the tightest method for a murder-mystery. I still liked seeing all these secondary characters because it demonstrated the kind of community Anahera came from. In addition, it shows how so many people are interconnected yet they can still keep a dark secret.

This story starts out poignant and takes a dark turn. The ugly truths of people's lives once exposed are unable to be forgotten or forgiven. Amidst the gloom and depression, a budding light of a new beginning blossoms between Anahera and Will. This helps balance the sadness. What really lightened and darkened the mood at the same time is the young woman who disappeared. She is a beacon of kindness and great potential in this small isolated village. People's memories of her and the artwork she leaves behind make her that much more special. It also reminds every one of just how much they lost. This story of loss entwined with life in rural costal New Zealand invokes a powerfully moving story. Whilst this is a suspense, for me, it is more a journey of a life well lived and a great potential stolen before its time. The feelings of longing, grief and sorrow Ms. Singh pulls out of me exhausts me by the end of this tale. I loved it. I felt put through the proverbial wringer.

This emotion packed romantic suspense is high recommended to readers who enjoy angst combined with a sliver of hope.
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This book was amazing! I am a big fan of Nalini Singh and have been enjoying her contemporary romances for many years, and was thrilled to get this one to read.

It was a great departure from her usual work, but so well done! A wonderful, atmospheric book full of twists and turns. A must read for anyone who loves a great mystery/suspense novel.

Full review on my YouTube Channel
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Nalini Singh has chosen to place a serial killer in rural New Zealand in A Madness of Sunshine.  This is a departure from her paranormal novels.  Carefully plotted, with a policeman exiled to this small community and Anahera, a famous pianist, returned from London and international fame to her home town after her cheating husband's death.  Who is killing young women?
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Absolutely Riveting…
The West Coast of New Zealand is a stunning and beautiful place where its remoteness, jagged cliffs and churning seas has produced rugged and close knit communities where everyone knows the comings and goings of everyone else.  No one understands this better than Anahera, who married and moved to London only to return after a tragic turn of events in her life, or Will, the guarded law-officer who is dogged by his own demons.  When their fates cross as the result of a young and vibrant life prematurely ended they are forced to prioritize the desire to bring her justice over their own haunted pasts.

This lush and panoramic area of New Zealand is deceptively volatile and dangerous and the perfect setting for a story of intrigue and whodunit.  While nature, with its precarious cliffs and tumultuous seas, is no respecter of person and can take the most seasoned outdoors-man, the people of Golden Cove also harbor a dangerous predator within its familiar ranks who preys on a certain type of victom.

Nalini Singh is an exceptional writer, creating characters and a story that is authentic and captivating.  A Madness of Sunshine  perfectly balances intrigue and suspense with the budding relationship between Anahera and Will that will have you anxiously turning the pages till the very end to see how both are resolved.  Do not miss out on this exotic and mysterious tale!
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I enjoyed the mystery and the light romance in the book. I struggled at the beginning of the book. The main reason for this is that the intro sets up the read as if it is a journey of self-discovery and healing for the main character. This is fine, but at times I felt that the mystery element and the story of the main character occasionally fought for focus. Despite this, Singh did an excellent job with character creation. The personalities and traits of each of the characters proved interesting. I could envision each of them and had no issue keeping straight each of these characters and their roles in the story. I struggled a bit with the characterization of the male characters. It seems that each of them was set up as potential killers/abusers/rapists with the exception of the main character. I understand that this was probably to set up a whole slew of possible suspects, but at times it felt strange and a bit of a throw-away. Need a new suspect? Let us just find something 'evil' in a male character's past and point the finger at them temporarily. I enjoyed the book and felt engaged in the mystery until the end. When the story wrapped up and the killer revealed, I felt indifferent and apathetic. After the slow pace of getting to the 'who did it', the end felt rushed and a little bit of a throw-away. The ending held one amazing climactic scene which I really enjoyed. I simply felt as if the ending was entirely too convenient. Overall, I really liked the book and would recommend it to others.
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I don't believe I've ever read anything previously by this author, but plan to change that in the future.  Really enjoyed this romantic suspense book.
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