Daisy Darker | Review
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐1/2
"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."
Daisy Darker is a mystery thriller novel by Alice Fenney.
Dubbed the Queen of Twists according to the tagline, this is my first book by this author having skipped the boat for Rock, Paper, Scissors. In all honesty, I have no idea why I ended up picking up this book in the first place. As I said I never read her previous novel, so she is a new author for me, but I saw this book floating around and put a hold on it when I saw my library had it.
This also came out only a couple of months ago and it already has over 50,000 ratings, so I expected this to be at least okay. And it was, okay I mean. It wasn't bad, but I wouldn't say it was anything great. I was enjoying myself on some level though which I consider a win.
Let's get into the details.
I don't have too much to say in this section. I thought the writing was fine as it was easy enough to get through. That being said though, there were some really bad soap opera-like lines in this. It all came from the same character as well, and I don't know why the author decided to make them say so many cringey end-of-chapter lines.
In this story, we follow the titular character Daisy Darker, as she joins the rest of her estranged family in visiting her grandmother who lives on an isolated island that gets closed off by the tide. Their meeting, however, was destined to be disastrous as one by one they all fall exactly as they were said to according to a sinister story they found.
I was initially intrigued by this plot because I thought that given the isolated setting and small time frame, it was going to make for a high-octane story. And in many ways it did, because the rate at which the story progresses successfully keeps you on your toes. Overall the pacing did a lot of favours for this story, as it didn't lose steam at any point and made for an interesting reveal at the end.
I did have some gripes with the story though, given my rating, and it mostly comes down to the characters. So, I will move right on along to the next section to talk about it.
None of the characters are particularly likeable but, well, that is the whole point of the story so that can be easily ignored. Daisy though is a bit of a different story. Out of everyone, she was probably the blandest character despite being the main one which was a letdown. Again while they weren't the greatest people ever, the rest of the family's personalities and motivations were way more prominent and fleshed out compared to her. That could be to keep her character under some mystery, but it ended up detracting away from her story.
On top of that, there is the fact that pretty much her entire story and personality revolves around one thing and one thing only. It was made very clear in the beginning that everyone, including Daisy herself, thought she was broken because she had heart issues. That fact was hung over the reader the entire time to the point where it got annoying to hear about. It is driven home way too hard and it ends up becoming her entire character which I don't think was a great way to develop her. She needed a bit more depth than that in order to make her a good character.
In all honesty, this wasn't bad. It certainly had its faults, but it did end up being better than I expected it to be.