review by Maryom
Digging away in his back garden, preparing the ground so his children can grow vegetables, Terry Doyle discovers a gruesome secret - a bunker left over from the cold war, and in it the remains of two small boys. So starts one of DI Marnie Rome's most distressing cases.....
The boys appear to have starved to death, having been deliberately incarcerated and left to die, maybe as long as five years ago. The first task for Rome and her sergeant Noah Jake is to identify the bodies, then begins the search for what appears to be a very cold-blooded killer. After all, who else would condemn two small children to such a terrifying ordeal.....
No Other Darkness is another great thriller from Sarah Hilary. Starting with the hidden bunker, a lot of the story seems set in claustrophobic underground spaces - enough on its own to terrify anyone like me with a dread of such places! Hilary's talent seems to be to discover the darker side of human nature and bring it to life - I found her first book Someone Else's Skin really disturbing because of this. This time the reader is slipping inside the mind of a very troubled woman receiving psychiatric help in prison for her past crimes - her anguish and despair is palpable to the reader, even though the prison psychiatrist believes her to be 'cured'. For me this aspect is something that makes Sarah Hilary books re-readable - although there are the usual number of twists and turns in the plot, the novel as a whole is more than a mere whodunnit.
As this is a second outing for Rome and Jake, we get to hear more about them and their troubled families - I'm not going to disclose anything here, but I think there's a lot more to surface for both detectives.
Just one quibble - does every strong woman HAVE to have an irresistible bad-boy in her past?
Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - Headline Publishing
Genre - adult, crime, police procedural,