Member Reviews

Alice Feeney has a way to be interested in every single character she ever writes. This one home thriller by the who done it was fantastic. Once I finally sat down and read this book it was read in one sitting. The darker family has many secrets and you are wanting to know them right away. Every single Alice Feeney book I’ve read has never disappointed and this one did not either. I’d highly recommend reading this on October 30th-31st to get the full effect.

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One Sentence Summary: And Then There Were None retelling with a different twist.

Reminds Me Of: And Then There Were None, One By One, The Girl in the Lake

Three Reasons You Should Read This:
1. And Then There Were None retelling - always a draw
2. I really enjoyed the writing in this novel. Lights of quotes I wanted to highlight.
3. I both did and didn't see the end coming.

One Thing You Should Know Before You Pick This Up:
1. There are several fun little allusions to And Then There Were None, so I would recommend reading it first for the best reading experience!

Content Warnings:
illness, child illness, child abuse, some gore, death, murder, violence, and a few more that might be spoilers.

Favorite Quote: “They say that your life flashes before your eyes when you die, so you should make it a life worth watching.”

Coastline - Hollow Cove
Outside - Staind
Somewhere Only We Know - Lily Allen
The Quiet Things No One Ever Knows - Brand New
You're Dead - Norma Tanega

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I’ve been a huge fan of Feeney ever since I read Sometimes I Lie which had what I consider one of the best WTF twists I’ve ever read. Daisy Darker had an almost equal WTF twist in this psychological thriller and I definitely didn’t see it coming! Love the trapped in a secluded house mystery trope and the The Sixth Sense vibe.

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I really thought that I was gonna love this book, but after finishing it I just felt confused and frustrated. The ending didn't make sense to me, plus it felt rushed and so it ended up being a mess.

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The Darker family has all been invited to Seaglass for Nana’s birthday celebration on the eve of Halloween. Nana has a surprising announcement to make. As a storm approaches and Seaglass becomes cut off from the mainland due to high tide, the family gets reacquainted. But Nana’s sudden death was an unexpected twist to the plans, and the family gets pulled into a web of mystery and secrets.

The Darker family is quirky to say the least and I found myself having a love hate relationship with every character as more about each of them is revealed throughout the night. Each new development leads a reader down a different theory to this mystery.

Alice Feeney has become one of my favorite thriller writers, every book adds depth to characters and brings the story around to a full circle with twists and turns the entire time. Definitely add this to the list of must-reads by this author!

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As we head into the holiday season, Daisy Darker reminds us that some families should forgo the traditional reunions. In fact, some families should never have been formed at all.

The Darkers have not gathered at Seaglass, their mansion by the Cornish coast, for ages, but this is a milestone year – Nana is turning eighty. A palm reader at a Land’s End fair had told her that her Octogintennial celebration will be her last, so she’s determined to go out with a bang and make a festive occasion of it. Her son Frank, his ex-wife Nancy, their adult daughters Lily, Rose and Daisy as well as granddaughter Trixie all make the five hour trek from London to Cornwall with a mix of reluctance and anticipation. Reluctance because the house is inconveniently isolated, cut off from the mainland at night by the tide and is also uncomfortable, a decrepit, rather musty manse that is practically crumbling into the sea. Anticipation because Nana had not just inherited money but managed to make even more as a children’s author,. Frank and his family are hoping they’ll get a preview of Nana’s will over the next few days.

Daisy is the first to arrive at Seaglass, since she is completely attached to her grandmother and the house she calls home. Most of her family pretends Daisy doesn’t exist but she never misses the chance to spend time with Nana and Trixie. And Conor, the boy who had grown up with the Parker girls and been an object of affection for all of them at one time or another, comes by boat, defying the tide and storms to arrive at Seaglass before the thirty-first of October, Nana’s official eightieth birthday.

It doesn’t take any time at all for the fighting to begin. Nana and Frank start sparring when he walks in the door, barbs and insults are traded throughout the evening and murder is discussed at the dinner table. Nana’s will infuriates pretty much everyone, as the only person receiving a dime is Trixie. So it comes as no surprise when she is found dead later that evening in her kitchen, a bloody gash on her head. The only question is, was it an accident or murder? That’s answered an hour later, when the next family member perishes.

They can’t leave. Connor’s boat is gone and the tide has turned their peninsula into an island. They can’t call for help. Nana had discontinued her landline and there’s no mobile signal. As the eighty clocks that line the walls of Seaglass cheerily chime away the hours of the night, the Darker family starts to fall one by one. Will there be anyone left to face the dawn?

This a truly twisty thriller where giving away any information may upend the whole mystery, so I won’t be discussing the plot. As I got ready to write about the people I realized that the narrative is completely character driven and discussing them in any meaningful detail will also give away too much knowledge about what drives the storyline. Like many psychological thrillers on the market right now, the impetus of this novel is surprise and many of those surprises are revealed at the very end of the book. It also relies on the unreliable narrator, although I would call Daisy more clueless than genuinely capricious or dubious. This means that what you think you know will most likely be upended by what you discover in the final pages.This isn’t a story where you’re invited to figure out what is going on; it’s more a roller coaster in a scary theme park where the fun comes from yielding yourself to the wild ride you are on.

The tension in the story is centered around the increasing fear and anxiety of the family as well as the examination of their psychology both as a group and as individuals. The Darkers have managed to take all the fun out of dysfunctional and we are left with bitter, petty people who make excellent suspects and unsympathetic victims. The spookiness of the story is intensified by the gothic undertones courtesy of the eerie, isolated location and the chiming clocks reminding the residents (and reader) that time is slipping away from them. The author does an excellent job with most of the elements of this portion – the more you know the Darkers, the more dangerous they become, and this ratchets the suspense up nicely. An especially elegant touch is the old home movies used to show us ‘behind the scenes’ moments which prove this is a fractured family from the start. And the gothic feel is there from almost the first sentence – the gloomy, uncanny ambience of the house and its denizens have that other-world ambience which are the hallmarks of that type of fiction.

Daisy Darker is clearly an homage to several different mystery novels/stories, something readers will grasp fairly quickly as they read through it. How much you enjoy picking up the clues as to which books are referenced will strictly depend on your enjoyment of this style of puzzle.

There are some issues with the tale, however, the main problem being the deep reliance on surprise. One of the big bombshells is easily guessed by the halfway point, causing the shock of it to fizzle, and it also happens to include a particular paranormal trope I’m not that fond of. The other revelations just emphasize how deeply flawed this family is. They were not a pleasure to spend time with and their acerbity is catching; I closed the book with a feeling of disillusionment and a wish that Seaglass had crumbled into the sea at the start of the story.

If you are a huge fan of And Then There Were None or enjoy stories where the paranormal plays a big part of the mystery, then Daisy Darker just might be the book for you. Otherwise, I’d give it a miss.

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Daisy Darker is Feeney's take on the classic Agatha Christie And Then There Were None. The Darker family is meeting at Nana's island house to celebrate her 80th birthday. When the tide is in the house is completely cut off from the rest of the world which is no good when midnight comes and Nana is found murdered. And the rest of the family is picked off one by one as they await the freedom dawn brings. Family secrets combined with the isolated setting and the Christie-esque poem on the wall all lead to an captivating thriller.

Unsurprisingly, Daisy is our protagonist and she tells the story in two different timelines. Not only do we have the suspense of the present day storyline we also get glimpses of the past that reveal the secrets and intricacies of the family dynamic. Both story lines were engaging and perfectly placed to build on both sides of the story. Feeney is so brilliant with dual timeline stories and she really understands her characters. Daisy was born with a heart condition that defined the family and how they interacted and related to each other. The family is broken in the present day storyline so we know that they fall apart at some point but even then I wasn't expecting how insidious the events of the past would be.

The claustrophobic element of this locked room style mystery keeps the reader constantly on edge trying to figure out not only who the killer is but also who the next victim will be. And, like And Then There Were None, the deaths were all different and unique which is a testament to Feeney's writing. Daisy Darker is easily my favorite homage to Christie and that is of course aided by the fantastic ending. I knew going into this book that it would have the classic Feeney twist and I still was completely blindsided by it.

Daisy Darker is the perfect thriller to pick up on a cold rainy weekend or day since the story is so engaging that it is almost impossible to put down. The gothic atmosphere of an isolated island house during a storm combined with family drama and murder after murder leads to an impeccable story. Feeney is the queen of thrillers and she consistently delivers one incredibly unique story after another.

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4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I LOVED the setting and the quirky grandma. The “whodunit” aspect, with everyone trapped in the same house, reminded me a lot of the game/movie Clue, which is one of my favorites. I enjoyed how much of the backstory was revealed through the VHS tapes that were strategically placed around the house, and that everyone was flawed, even the characters who seemed most pure of heart. I will admit that I figured out the twist a bit before it was revealed, but it was interesting to see how it all came together. I took off the half star just because I thought the ending wrapped everything up a bit too neatly. After the entire book was so careful to reveal secrets in bits and pieces, to have all the explanations thrown at the reader in the last chapter or two seemed rushed. Overall, though, it was a great read and I highly recommend it for fans of mysteries and psychological thrillers.

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Another winner for Feeney! This time there was a big twist that I did not see coming…at all! I love it when that happens.

The setting was thoroughly atmospheric and eerie, setting the tone for the entire story. Most, if not all, of the characters were pretty unlikeable, but that was what made this so fun to read.

I look forward to Feeney’s next book!

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Excellent book. I loved the play on "And Then There Were None" with the obvious mention of Agatha Christie added to the storytelling. The twist was wonderful in true Alice Feeney fashion, and I really enoyed the story overall.

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At first I was completely captivated by this book and had to find out how it ended but when I got to the ending it just fell flat. Overall, I was very disappointed in this book.

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Thrillers don’t often work for me when I guess every twist. But I think if I hadn’t realized what was going on I would have enjoyed this one.

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Daisy Darker was a captivating thrill ride. I really enjoy Alice Feeney's books. This one was fantastic. Interesting characters, atmospheric setting, unpredictable twists. Definitely give it a try!

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While I’ve been locked out of my account for some time, I did remember this one on my list and loved every page! It had me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see who was next and what was next! Who was the bad person! Locked room mysteries are my fav, Alice Feeney is one of my fav authors, entwining those was such an amazing bombastic book! Highly, highly recommend this well written, tense, twisty thrill ride!

Will make sure to use my Amazon Vine Top reviewer account to ensure others hear about my love of Daisy Darker too!

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A dysfunctional family version of the board game of clue brought to life. That’s exactly what this book reminded me of and I loved every minute of it! It was a good whodunit, that kept me guessing right until the very end. Unlike the last few books I’ve read I didn’t find myself finding a slow spot, it kept me very engaged, very fast paced and tense. High recommend!

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Daisy and her sisters have always relied on their grandmother to be the reliable adult in their lives. Her isolated house, Seaglass, on the Cornish coast, has always been a place of refuge and family gatherings. Their father is a musician who spent most of his time away from the family even before divorcing the girls' mother, Nancy. Nancy is a failed actress and often is distracted. Daisy was born with a "broken heart" -- a condition which meant she was often in and out of hospitals and was overly protected by her mother. While Daisy's two sisters, brilliant Rose and flighty Lily, are sent off to boarding school, Daisy isn't allowed to mingle with other children due to her condition.

Now the girls are grown and it's Nana's 80th birthday. All the family gathers at the house to celebrate, including Conor, a neighbor boy who lived with the family off and on due to his abusive home life. Conor now works as a journalist, Rose is a vet, Lily is the mother to teen daughter Trixie, and Daisy volunteers at nursing homes. The entire family is gathered when Nana decides to let them all know what they will be receiving in her will, as she was told by a fortuneteller that she would live to be 80, so Nana doesn't expect to live much longer. Her estate is quite large, due to the success of her book series called Daisy Darker, named after her favorite grandchild.

Most of the people are unhappy to hear what they will (or won't) be inheriting. So when the inevitable storm comes and cuts off access to the house, it should come as no surprise when members of the group start turning up dead. A poem about all of the family members has been chalked on the wall in the kitchen, with various names rubbed out as the bodies pile up. The surviving family members all seem to be in each other's company as these events unfold, so is there a killer loose somewhere in the house? Or is one of them more evil and sneaky than anyone suspects?

There is a "twist" in the story that might come as a shock, but I had sussed it out fairly quickly. Still, when everything was explained at the end it tied the events together and made the events fit together. It was fun trying to guess who was responsible for all the mayhem, and the dark and spooky atmosphere made this an exciting Halloween read!

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I dont know what to do- when Alice Feeney's book work for me, they really work, and when they don't they don't! Daisy Darker fell somewhere in between. It's the perfect set up...a gothic house with secrets on a remote island, but the payoff wasn't there. She uses a lot of metaphors in her writing and I find it distracting. It went pretty off the rails by the end. Disappointed :/

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This one is a dnf for me, as I was alerted to the animal cruelty/violence, and that’s a big trigger for me. Encouraging readers to give this one a try for themselves!

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What a blast! Alice Feeney has been a little hit or miss for me in the past, but along with Rock, Paper, Scissors, this one is a total hit! I was absolutely captivated by this book. I had absolutely no clue what was happening I guessed one small part of the several twists that happened, but I'm not even angry about it.

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Oh, boy, this was a slog. Alice Feeney's books have been really hit or miss for me, and this one falls into the latter category. It's just so SLOW! I usually like a locked room mystery with the atmosphere and tension building, but that was not the case here. The characters are all bland and unlikable, and even the setting isn't described in a way that made me feel immersed or particularly spooked. It felt repetitive and predictable, which I hadn't expected given the premise. I even considered abandoning it, but I'd made it over halfway though, and my general rule is then to finish it. I'm glad that other readers are enjoying it more, but for me, this was just not it.

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