So from tomorrow (23rd April 2015) you can get your hands on the next fantastic Marnie Rome book – No Other Darkness. I’ve repeated my review below for you but firstly I tracked Sarah down and asked her a few questions about this new instalment. Here is what she had to tell me.
No Other Darkness is a very emotional case for Marnie AND for the reader. Tell us a little about the inspiration behind this particular instalment.
It began when I read a real life first person account by someone caught up in the sort of chaos and tragedy that the book is about. I couldn’t begin to imagine the horror that this person went through — and I knew I had to try and write about it, because it’d had such an impact on me.
I’m fascinated by families, especially dysfunctional ones (possibly because I grew up in a healthy, happy family) and I wanted to explore the idea of the legacy of trauma and loss. I’d explored a little of this territory in Someone Else’s Skin and it’s at the heart of Marnie’s ongoing story, so I doubt I’m done with it as a theme just yet.
That said, No Other Darkness is a very different book to Someone Else’s Skin, darker and sadder. I hope readers will like the way in which it takes Marnie and Noah into new territory.
Did you find it difficult to write? It was certainly difficult reading in places, especially as a parent.
Oh hugely difficult, yes. I’m a parent too, and I wept when I wrote the opening chapter, and many more chapters after that. There’s a certain kind of story about children that I could never write, but this one felt too important not to tell. I think writing should be difficult, should be emotional. And that’s the kind of book I like to read, too. One that challenges what I thought I knew, and which tugs at my heart strings and fires me up.
Can you tell us anything about what might be next for Marnie?
I’ve just finished the first draft of Tastes like Fear, which is Marnie’s next adventure. It starts with a car crash caused by a girl who disappears. As Marnie and Noah look for her and other missing girls, they start to realise that something is very wrong. The girls have all been found by the same man, and given shelter. Of a kind. It’s a very disturbing story, exactly the kind I love to read.
When it comes to your own reading, do you stick mostly with Crime or do you prefer something different?
Everything! I read a lot of non-fiction—psychology, social politics, books about the underside of London… And I love short stories, and novels of every description. The only thing I don’t read regularly is poetry, although I’ve just picked up a book of WWI poetry that I last read at school, so I’m rediscovering that.
Favourite fictional character (from any novel)?
Only one? So unfair! All right, I’m going to say Psmith from the PG Wodehouse stories. He’s funny and sweet and very, very smart.
Best book you have read this year so far?
My reading’s been limited due to getting book three done before No Other Darkness comes out. But I’ve really enjoyed spending time back with Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis in Jonathan Kellerman’s latest, Motive.
My Original Review:
Publication Date: April 2015 from Headline.
Source: Publisher Review Copy
Two young boys.Trapped underground in a bunker.Unable to understand why they are there.Desperate for someone to find them.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.For Marnie, there is no other darkness than this…
So what seems like years ago now (I read it VERY early) I first encountered Marnie Rome in Sarah Hilary’s haunting debut “Someone Elses Skin”. It has felt like a long wait for the follow up novel but it was worth every minute.
In this instalment, a horrific discovery sets off a highly disturbing case for Marnie and co that hits closer to home than anyone is comfortable with – as things twist and turn their way towards a breathtaking conclusion, it becomes obvious that nothing is as it appears and the story is at turns completely compelling, extremely frightening and often very emotional.
This time I was utterly hooked from the first page. I read it in a day, there simply was no stopping once I started – the beauty of the writing, especially for Crime Fiction is beyond compare and it sucks you into the vortex of Marnie’s world, holding you there barely breathing until the case is solved and the story is done.
Once again the author takes on the mantle of another hugely emotional issue that should be talked about more but is not – in “Someone Elses Skin” that was domestic abuse, in this story, well, I obviously can’t tell you because that would spoil it, but suffice to say Marnie is facing the darkness head on and is determined to give these children a name and a voice – in order to do so she may have to face some harsh truths of her own.
I absolutely love how Sarah Hilary writes her characters with plenty of moral ambiguity – no “good guys” or “bad guys” but just people – living life day to day and sometimes heading into dangerous territory, doing the wrong thing for seemingly right reasons and vice versa, as far as psychological depth goes you won’t find better than this. Scary in its authenticity, with a heroine at its heart that will steal yours, this was truly an amazing and evocative read.
You would say there was nothing new in Crime Fiction these days, difficult to find something fresh – as I remarked on Facebook during the reading of this, I have no idea how Ms Hilary manages to write in this genre as if she was the first person who ever did, but that is what she does. Expressive and resonant, I really cannot recommend it highly enough.
Find out more here: http://sarah-crawl-space.blogspot.co.uk/
Follow Sarah on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/sarah_hilary
Pre-Order information: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/sarah+hilary/no+other+darkness/10849545/
Available Now: Read First:
Happy Reading Folks!