Daisy Darker is a thriller novel by the author of the The New York Times bestselling “Queen of Twists” Alice Feeney.
Daisy Darker Summary
After years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in Nana’s crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. Finally back together one last time, when the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours.
The family arrives, each of them harboring secrets. Then at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages, Nana is found dead. And an hour later, the next family member follows…
Trapped on an island where someone is killing them one by one, the Darkers must reckon with their present mystery as well as their past secrets, before the tide comes in and all is revealed.
With a wicked wink to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, Daisy Darker’s unforgettable twists will leave readers reeling.
Daisy Darker Book Author – Alice Feeney
Alice Feeney author of Daisy Darker is a New York Times million-copy bestselling author. Her books have been translated into over twenty-five languages, and have been optioned for major screen adaptations. Including Rock Paper Scissors, which is being made into a TV series by the producer of The Crown. Alice was a BBC journalist for fifteen years, and now lives in Devon with her family. Daisy Darker is her fifth novel.
Daisy Darker Book Information
- ASIN : B09NJ8QK38
- Publisher : Flatiron Books (August 30, 2022)
- Publication date : August 30, 2022
- Language : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Not Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 352 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #26,002 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #175 in Gothic Fiction
- #854 in Psychological Thrillers (Kindle Store)
- #1,189 in Psychological Thrillers (Books)
Daisy Darker Reviews
Consider reading reviews on the book Daisy Dark before making a purchase. The reviews will help you make informed decision.
“A sinisterly satisfying play on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None...Readers will be intrigued by the setting, the action, and the question of whether or not they can trust narrator Daisy.”
―Booklist, starred review
“Wow! Echoes of Christie’s And Then There Were Nonebut turned into something wonderfully original and wrapped in a genuinely creepy dysfunctional family fairy-tale of a novel, this takes Feeney to the next level. I LOVED IT!”
―Sarah Pinborough, bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes and Insomnia
“With an overarching sense of doom and danger lurking at every turn, Feeney has created something both entirely creepy and completely riveting in Daisy Darker. I couldn’t put it down! A thrilling locked room mystery.”
―Mary Kubica, bestselling author of Local Woman Missing
“So many nasty secrets. And that’s before the bodies start to pile up! I’ve been an Alice Feeney fan–but I think she’s outdone herself with this startling murderfest!”
―R.L. Stine, author Goosebumps and Fear Street
“Daisy Darker is an astonishing book, packed with incredible characters and a lot of surprises. I devoured this in record time because I had to know what happened next. Alice Feeney is one of my absolute favorites.”
―Samantha Downing, bestselling author of For Your Own Good
“Daisy Darker is a first rate, gripping thriller. Alice Feeney’s gorgeous writing will sweep you up like a runaway train. Hold on for the ride!”
―Sarah Pekkanen, bestselling co-author of The Wife Between Us
“What a book! A dysfunctional family meets Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None with a truly gasp-inducing twist. Exceedingly clever, stylish, and emotionally astute, your visit to Seaglass is one you won’t soon forget. This is the book you’ve been looking for.”
―Catherine Ryan Howard, bestselling author of 56 Days
“Clever, sinister, claustrophobic, beguiling and utterly compelling. I was totally hooked from the first sentence.”
―Peter James, bestselling author of the Roy Grace novels
“A dark, twisty tale about a dysfunctional family…Feeney’s nod to Agatha Christie’s classic mystery And Then There Were None adds a delightful twist to this quirky thriller. Aficionados of locked-room stories and family dramas (plus Feeney’s large fan base) will enjoy this highly recommended title.”
“Evocative prose, fully realized characters, and an intimate, insightful first-person narrative. Flashbacks add depth while expanding the suspect list, and twists abound. Sarah Pinborough fans, take note.”
“Come for the dysfunctional family fun. Stay for the wicked twist at the end.”
―The Optionist newsletter
Reviews from Goodreads
THANK YOU ALICE FEENEY FOR GETTING ME OUT OF MY BOOK SLUMP!!! Ms. Feeney proves, with her lyrical prose and well described characters, that you don’t need overly descriptive gore and violence to deliver a great thriller!!!
If you have ever thought that you had a difficult childhood, ENTER THE WORLD OF DAISY DARKER!! Daisy was diagnosed with a heart condition at the age of five and had “died and been resuscitated” seven times before the age of 13.
Daisy was never allowed to attend school, make friends or do any of the normal things that kids do. Daisy spent the school year alone with her books which transported her and inspired her.
Daisy’s sisters, Rose and Lily were sent to boarding school.
The summers, however, were spent at her Nana’s gothic mansion, Seaglass, on a small island that was only accessible at low tide. She and Nana had a special and loving relationship. Summers were the highlight of Daisy’s life.
Brief plot summary:
The novel is told in the past and present, narrated by Daisy.
The Darker family has assembled at Seaglass for Nana’s 80th birthday. Frank and Nancy have been divorced for years but return for what they are sure will be a reading of Nana’s will.
Nana is extremely eccentric, having a wall of 80 clocks, a punch clock with a card for everyone who comes and leaves and always dresses in pink and purple, her favorite colors.
Just as the clock strikes midnight a scream is heard and everyone converges in the kitchen, only to find Nana dead on the floor. There is an uncanny poem written on the chalkboard in what looks to be Nana’s writing. The poem has some frightening and foreboding verses for the family to decipher.
To share any more of the plot would spoil this wonderful mystery but I would like to leave you with a taste of Ms. Feeney’s beautiful prose : “ We spend our youth building sandcastles of ambition, then watch as life blows sands of doubt over our carefully crafted turrets of wishes and dreams, until we can no longer see them at all.”
I enjoyed every intricately plotted minute of this novel and while wanting to race ahead to the finish, forced myself to take more time with it just to prolong the pleasure of reading the author’s wonderful prose.
FINALLY A THRILLER I CAN HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss. It was my pleasure to read and review this latest offering from the very talented Alice Feeney.
AND THEN THERE WAS ONE
Beatrice (Nana) Darker is the successful author and illustrator of the bestselling children’s book, “Daisy Darker’s Little Secret. Eccentric at best, she dresses only in pink and purple, has a wall of 80 clocks she has collected-one for every year of her life-and has her guests punch in on a time clock.
Perhaps she is obsessed with time because a Palm Reader at Land’s End, predicted that she wouldn’t live past 80, and her Halloween birthday is fast approaching.
She has asked everyone whom she considers family to join her at Seaglass, for this momentous occasion. The Victorian house with its gothic turrets and turquoise tiled roof is situated on the Cornish coast, in a spot that cuts it off from the rest of the world for eight hours, whenever the tide comes in.
Although they haven’t been together for over a decade, they all know what this birthday signifies-and nobody dares to say no to the invitation.
Once everyone has arrived, Nana announces that she has gathered them all together for the reading of her Will.
The clocks are all chiming at midnight but as the final clock strikes twelve-there is a terrible scream…
The guests find a rhyme written in chalk on the kitchen walls in Nana’s scrawly writing:
“Daisy Darker’s family wasted far too many years lying, they spent their final hours together learning lessons before DYING…”
Scrabble tiles spell out various instructions leading them to these lessons…
The story is narrated by granddaughter, Daisy Darker, Nana’s favorite, a baby born with a heart condition which caused her to die eight times before the age of thirteen.-something she said she would be concerned about-if she were a cat. 😼
It unfolds hour by hour, in the wee hours of Halloween morning, with chapters from Daisy’s childhood interspersed throughout to enlighten you on both her childhood memories, and the SECRETS that the Darker family has been hiding.
Between chapters are illustrations of the ominous waves of the tide, rushing in and rushing out.
With a nod (and a wink) this story pays homage to Agatha Christie’s famous closed room mystery, “And, then there was none” which used the the nursery rhyme “Ten Little Indians” to count down the deaths of the guests in her Classic story.
Of course, Alice Feeney has her own very distinctive style-using lots of clever metaphors such as “Secrets are like unpaid debts; they pile up and too much interest is best avoided.” to weave her suspenseful tales.
Be SURE that you read the note from the Author’s agent in the beginning of the book both BEFORE you start and AFTER you finish. You won’t understand it till then, and it just might make you revisit the early chapters of the story to see what you MISSED!!
Also be warned that at the 38% mark there is a brief, but disturbing passage that includes the death of horses-though I wonder if Alice Feeney is actually trying to bring attention to the mistreatment of animals by including these passages in her work, as she goes on to say how high the suicide rate is among Veterinarians, because they see so much of it.
She has also included in the book’s dedication, one to Diggi, her pet dog and NO HARM comes to Poppins, the elderly old sheepdog, in this story.
I enjoyed buddy reading this book with CEECEE, as we played sleuth together.
I was thinking FOUR ⭐️ for much of the book, but after I finished and saw how it all came together, I had to bump it up to FIVE ⭐️
Be sure to read her fantastic review to see if she agreed.
AVAILABLE on August 18th, 2022 but if you have more WILL POWER than I do-pre-order it now and save it for Halloween 2022 as that would be the PERFECT time to read this!!
Thank You to Pan MacMillan for my gifted copy. It is my pleasure to offer a candid review!
2.5 stars : Many readers are eager to read this book and (almost) everyone describes it as exceptionnal, but I was far from impressed. Anyway, I don’t think my review will stop you from adding it to your TBR since Feeney has already made a name for herself!
So here comes my honest review (there are spoilers at the very end, but you’ll see a big warning first!):
My favorites thrillers are the ones with clever twists AND well-developped characters. After reading 4 of Feeney’s books, I have to face the facts: TO ME, she masters the twists, but not the character development. That’s why I never rated one of her books higher than 4 stars. Daisy Darker makes no exception even if I love reading about dysfunctional families.
The plot didn’t grab my attention until the 50% mark, but it was too little too late. I can’t give a high rating to a book I didn’t have fun reading. Also, I was so bummed to guess the 3 FINAL TWISTS. The explanations for the murders were interesting, but so far-fetched that it fell flat. I really had to suspend my disbelief.
What I enjoyed was:
– The setting on the mysterious island, with the tides keeping people to go on it at certain times.
– Seaglass house! I would love to visit this Victorian house with its turrets and turquoise tiled roof, its 80 clocks on the walls, its lounge with unique wallpaper, its rooms with so many doors…
– Reading Daisy’s childhood memories (I much preferred reading that than the chapters in the present, which I found to be full of repetitions and following the same pattern.)
Feeney explained that Daisy Darker is her favorite of all the books she wrote… I’m sorry to say that’s the one I enjoyed the least, but I can see why it will attract many readers.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for the ARC!
Pub Date 18 Aug 2022
SPOILERS AHEAD! DON’T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DIDN’T READ THE BOOK YET!
Final twist 1: I read And Then There Were None… I remember the ending… To compare Daisy Darker to this classic is a spoiler in the blurb! So, yes, I was expecting the culprit to be a fake victim (and my money was on Nana since the beginning).
Final twist 2: For many reasons, I guessed Trixie was involved… I thought it was a bit too obvious.
Final twist 3: While I read, I thought something was off with the way Daisy narrated the story. I didn’t feel like I knew her very well. Here is exactly what I thought to myself at a certain point: Daisy narrates the story so weirdly. It feels like she is only an observer… She’s not taking part in the action. No one seems to talk to her. Oh, I guess she is dead.
And, seriously, Nana wanting to kill all of her family out of revenge?! No, it didn’t work for me, even if what everyone did was absolutely horrific.