Where to begin with Daisy Darker? I have struggled with a review because I have so much to say, yet no words.
I am a huge Feeney fan, and I feel each book is better than the previous one, but Daisy Darker feels like a true masterpiece. It reads like a crafted work of blood, sweat, tears, joy, and soul. Just go read it for yourself, I urge you.
First off – THERE IS A MAAAAAAPPPPPP!!!!!
And if that is not enough… The characters leap through the page, and each one feels like a real person; their authenticity is an empath’s dream. I can’t picture things when I read, but I always get in the mind of the characters and relate to what they emote – my heart, body and soul went on a rollercoaster ride reading this. I don’t think there was a single emotion I didn’t feel – Joy, Disgust, Happiness, Love, Sorrow, Anger, Frustration, Envy, Pain, Happiness, Freedom… You name it, and you will find it vividly on the page. By the end of the book, I was cathartically shedding tender tears of release in the best possible way.
I will be honest, I have my favourite authors, and I shamelessly hype their books because I think they are that great. As you guessed, Feeney is one of those authors, but I promise you all my review is honest and pretty accurate. I have listened to the audiobook and read the book with my eyeballs, and I honestly feel that if you can, experience both. Feeney’s prose is enticing and envelopes you on its own, and Stephanie Racine’s narration is E-VER-Y-THIN-G. She gets the story and honours it with her pacing, emotion, and narrative choices. I hope Racine will always narrate Feeney’s books. Theirs is a great partnership.
I am an avid Christie fan, and as such, critical of works inspired by / compared to her stories (or at least marketed as such). Daisy Darker is undoubtedly the best, most original, well-written, beautiful homage to And Then There Were None I have ever read. Daisy Darker is not only just as good as ATTWN, but it’s also its contemporary counterpart… With a hint of another one of my Christie favourites – The Crooked House. The Darkers’ family dynamics are as complicated and interesting as The Leonides’.
There I said it. And I dared say it because it is true. Please prove me wrong if you can.
TL;DR: The plotting is impeccable, the characters are vivid, and the puzzle is intricate and fair. Daisy Darker is a contemporary mystery classic. Read it – and listen to it.
p.s. I loved the creepy “poem” just as much as Feeney’s rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle little star in her debut novel. If she ever writes a creepy Mother Goose-esque illustrated book, I will be the first to buy it!
If you’d like to hear Alice Feeney herself read the murderous poem check this video:https://youtu.be/_vNvjX5KQxU
Writing / Execution: 10
Fainess / Logic: 10
My total rating: 5
Disclaimer: Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Until next book, be the hummingbird!