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Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney
Thriller

Daisy Darker

Repeat author

Alice Feeney is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include Rock Paper Scissors.

Early Release

This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait to read it.

by Alice Feeney

Excellent choice

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Quick take

Crumbling estate? Check. Bundle of family secrets? Check. Folks getting picked off like flies? Check. Trust no one.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_NonLinear

    Nonlinear timeline

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy

    Creepy

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Whodunit

    Whodunit

Synopsis

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.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Daisy Darker.
Daisy Darker

1

I was born with a broken heart.

The day I arrived into this lonely little world was also the first time I died. Nobody spotted the heart condition back then. Things weren’t as sophisticated in 1975 as they might be now, and my blue coloring was blamed on my traumatic birth. I was a breech baby, to complicate matters further. The weary doctor told my father to choose between me or my mother, explaining apologetically, and with just a hint of impatience, that he could only save one of us. My father, after a brief hesitation he would spend the rest of his life paying for, chose his wife. But the midwife persuaded me to breathe—against all their odds and my better judgment—and a hospital room full of strangers smiled when I started to cry. Everyone except for my mother. She wouldn’t even look at me.

My mother had wanted a son. She already had two daughters when I was born, and chose to name us all after flowers. My eldest sister is called Rose, which turned out to be strangely appropriate as she is beautiful but not without thorns. Next to arrive, but still four years ahead of me, was Lily. The middle child in our floral family is pale, and pretty, and poisonous to some. My mother refused to name me at all for a while, but when the time came, I was christened Daisy. She is a woman who only ever has a plan A, so none of us were given the contingency of a middle name. There were plenty of other—better—options, but she chose to name me after a flower that often gets picked, trampled on, or made into chains. A mother’s least favorite child always knows that’s what they are.

It’s funny how people grow into the names they are given. As though a few letters arranged in a certain order can predict a person’s future happiness or sorrow. Knowing a person’s name isn’t the same as knowing a person, but names are the first impression we all judge and are judged by. Daisy Darker was the name life gave me, and I suppose I did grow into it.

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Why I love it

Being a mystery and thriller writer is my dream job, but it has ruined my great love: reading mysteries and thrillers. I find it impossible to stop scrutinizing the mechanics and relax and enjoy them like I used to—unless they’re written by Alice Feeney.

In Daisy Darker, the estranged Darker family reluctantly gathers at Nana’s dilapidated coastal cottage to mark her 80th birthday. “Seaglass” stands alone on a tiny tidal island; at high tide, the Darkers will be stuck together and cut off from the rest of the world for a long eight hours. But just as Nana’s eighty-strong quirky clock collection chimes midnight, she’s found dead. An hour later, someone else is dead. Low tide is still five hours away. Who of the Darkers will survive until then?

This novel has a truly gasp-inducing twist. Some readers may say it breaks the “rules” but I say let’s smash them all into smithereens if it’s to this spectacular of an effect. What I particularly love about Feeney’s writing is that her twists are always only the garnish, never the main meal. Even if you guess it or suspect it, there’s still so much deliciousness to enjoy in her clever, stylish, and utterly gripping novels.

Fans of Sarah Pinborough and Riley Sager please make your way to Seaglass before the tide comes in. Unlike the Darker family, you won’t regret it.

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Member ratings (41,422)

  • Theresa M.

    Rochester, NY

    Think you can solve a mystery? JUST TRY. Have you ever gone out while you’re on vacation and thought about what was happening in your book? This is what happened to me. I had to finish it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Cory S.

    Pittsburgh, PA

    This book is so beautifully written and poetic for a thriller that I simply could not get enough of it. The family tension and history was nicely balanced with a great who-done-it scenario. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Melanie F.

    Aliquippa, PA

    Great read for those who enjoy and can relate to the strange and unusual as well as those who seek adventure & delight and appreciate the beauty of dark seatails.????‍♀️☠️Mermaids/Pirates will love????⚓️

  • Allyson O.

    Indian Trail, NC

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 Intricately woven plot with a twist I did not see coming! I loved the mix of likable and not-so-likable characters. The pacing was amazing. Color me thoroughly impressed by Feeney’s work.

  • Abby M.

    Stewartville, MN

    Loved all the twists and turns of this book!! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. The remote setting of the Seaglass house was the perfect set up for this spooky murder mystery. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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