No Other Darkness
Paperback: 416 pages
23 April 2015
At the close of Sarah Hilary’s debut DI Marnie Rome novel, Someone Else’s Skin, it was mentioned that it would be one of the most talked about crime thrillers of the year. With Rome’s second outing in No Other Darkness, Hilary has taken the blueprint for what makes “brilliant writing”, crumpled it up and designed a whole new spectrum of wonderful, as she has raised the bar so much it has become almost unreachable.
Two young boys, trapped underground in a bunker. Unable to understand why they are there and desperate for someone to find them but slowly realising that no-one will.
Five years later, the boys' bodies are found and the most difficult case of DI Marnie Rome's career begins. Her only focus is the boys. She has to find out who they are and what happened to them.
From word one, page one No Other Darkness is guaranteed to leave its readers breathless with anticipation, whilst nervous about what transpires next.
Packed with superbly credible dialogue, Marnie Rome, Noah Jake and every other character that have been so painstakingly and deftly drawn are works of true craftsmanship inasmuch as their depth and sense of purpose are as tangible, warm and hostile as any of the best protagonists and antagonists need be.
As for the pace of the plotting, right up until the final pages it is near impossible to separate the innocent from the guilty which, in itself, is a skill for which the author deserves a full-blooded round of applause.
Yet, aside from the characters and masterful plotting, Hilary has also managed to imbue each page with so many differing colours of interchangeable atmosphere, thereby making every stage of the investigation all the more dark and brooding, that really makes No Other Darkness stand out from the pack.
At no point in the novel will readers think they are being led by the hand to an inevitable conclusion, far from it, and the intrigue becomes a snared monster of a thing that is ready to snap and snarl at every turn.
Sarah Hilary without question is one of the true great crime fiction writers around today and No Other Darkness deserves to placed amongst the very highest in the league of truly great crime novels to be published this year.