Next Monday (December 5th), Goldsboro Books First Monday Crime *Christmas Cracker* is taking place in Browns – The Judges Court from 6.30 to 8.30 in the evening. The line up includes Mark “Dasher” Billingham, Yrsa “Dancer” Sigurdardottir, Alex “Prancer” Marwood, Paula “Vixen” Daly, Daniel “Donner” Pembrey and Corrie “Blitzen” Jackson are going to be in harness and event chair, Barry “Bad Santa” Forshaw at the helm of this sleighful of authors!
Tickets to see Bad Santa and his criminally good reindeer are available, as always, from Goldsboro Books for £7. At the time of writing this, the tickets are sold out but you can click HERE to find all the relevant information!
I’m shining the spotlight in “Prancer” aka Alex Marwood today and re-sharing my review for The Darkest Secret which I reviewed way back in January!
About the book:
When three-year-old identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea.
But what really happened to Coco during her father’s 50th birthday weekend?
Set across two weekends – the first when Coco goes missing and the second, at the funeral of Coco’s father, where at last, the darkest of secrets will be revealed…
About the author:
Alex Marwood is the pseudonym of a journalist who has worked extensively across the British press. She is the author of the word-of-mouth sensation The Wicked Girls, which won a prestigious Edgar Award and The Killer Next Door, which won the coveted Macavity Award. She has also been shortlisted for numerous other crime writing awards and her first two novels have been optioned for the screen. Alex lives in south London.
I don’t know where to start with this review. First off, I read this book in about four sittings over two days, which in itself is a good sign. I just feel a little unsure about it though.
It took me a while to get into the authors style of writing, as well as the chronology as it switched between characters and years which was confusing to me for the first quarter of the book.
The characters in The Darkest Secret are some of the most hate-inducing people I’ve read about in a while. Egotistical, narcissistic and scathing are just some of the words I would use to describe them. The only characters I actually felt any emotion for were Camilla and Ruby, two of Sean’s daughters. Sean being Coco’s dad and Ruby being her twin sister. Mila is one of his daughters from a previous marriage.
By telling the story of Coco’s disappearance, and Sean’s death years later, in alternating chapters, the reader gets to see the characters better and gauge how they have changed over the years.
This review is a bit disjointed as I don’t want to go into any detail about the plot. It’s hard to get some of my points across without revealing things the author skilfully reveals in the course of the novel.
The way Marwood has written this book, it unfurls slowly, like an animal stalking prey. It is definitely a great book, there’s no denying that fact. It left me feeling uncomfortable, angry, shocked and saddened in equal measure. Not many books evoke these sorts of feelings in me, I think that’s why I find this review hard to write. There’s a lot I want to say, but I can’t without spoiling some of the twists and turns.
Sufficed to say, Alex Marwood has the perfectly crafted novel, despicable characters written alongside innocent children, and the events that bring their worlds crumbling down around them.