Saturday, November 19, 2022

Review: Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

by Alice Feeney
Release Date: August 30, 2022
2022 Flatiron Books
Kindle edition; 352 Pages
ISBN: 978-1250843937
Audiobook: B09PMQPRWR
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher
2.75 / 5 Stars
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.

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.
***Spoilers ahead.*** 

My Thoughts
Daisy Darker is one of those books to which I was immediately drawn simply because I love books where the characters are trapped together, with nowhere to go for hours on end, the power goes out, and then creepy things start happening.  Throw in a couple of unsolved murders (or even better, some ghosts and horror elements) and I will dump any book I am reading to read something like that.  Unfortunately, while parts of the story were interesting, and the author does have a couple of interesting twists, the characters were so BLAND and one-dimensional that I almost didn't finish it.  Unfortunately, I was also watching Sixth Sense at the same time as I was reading this, and bam! there goes the surprise in the book as I made the connection right away.
Let me start with what I did enjoy. First of all, I did really enjoy the setting.  That house!!! As a kid I would have loved that house, with the tides blocking people out, and the clocks on the walls would have fascinated me to no end.  Even as an adult, I would have been mesmerized by a place like that and the descriptions of the turrets and the turquoise-tiled roof caught my attention right away.  And of course, you have to have a secret room in a setting such as this.  
Naturally, you know when you have a house that is isolated due to the tides, something is going to happen to block people from escaping and that is always something to which I am drawn.  I am fascinated by the fact that people have to live their lives around the tides like that.  And Daisy's stories about her childhood, most of which revolved around the house and the tides, were quite interesting. 
Unfortunately, the current-day story wasn't quite as interesting with repetitive story lines as well as plot points that just weren't believable.  The story dragged quite a bit, not necessarily due to a lack of plot development, but simply because the characters were so bland that they all just blended together after a while and I got to the point where I was hoping the murderer would do them all in.  Because of the situation with Daisy, the author had to tread very carefully with how she wrote the story and I do think that affected character and plot development.  It was a cool idea, but I don't think it worked here, at least not for me.  
Daisy Darker had a lot of potential; the setting was pretty interesting and I definitely like the locked-in atmosphere that was described, but there was a huge lack of character development which affected the overall plot development, leaving a story that was bland and unbelievable. And with a couple of plot twists that were quite easy to figure out.  This was supposed to be a nod to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, one of my favourite Christie books, but unfortunately, I don't think it held up to that book very well.