No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary
Published by Headline
30th July 2015
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...
This is the second book by Sarah Hilary, following on from her award-winning debut novel Someone Else's Skin (review here). I won't beat about the bush here, this book is grim. It begins with two children, under ten, who are living in a bunker. On their own. With no way out. You just know it's not going to end well, and as a parent I could feel my heart breaking as I started to read this book.
Five years later and the remains of the boys are discovered by Terry Boyle, owner of the property beneath which the bunker is hidden. Who are these children, and why were they abandoned? DI Marnie Rome is charged with finding out who the boys were, and more importantly, why they were left in the bunker in the first place. They had food, toys and games with them so it looks as if they were being cared for, but did someone forget to come back for them, or was unable to? Not only is the story-line good, but Sarah Hilary's characters are too. Marnie Rome and her sidekick Noah Jake are well developed, and the book continues to focus on their home lives too, building up a well-rounded picture of the two detectives which I particularly liked.
There are a whole host of suspects in the street above ground; from Mr Cole, the neighbour who collects children's toys, to the fostered teenager Clancy, who always seems to be spying on the other neighbours, and what of the family who discovered the remains. are the Boyles also above suspicion?
Sarah Hilary keeps you turning the pages well into the night with this book. Beware though, if like me you are claustrophobic. At one point I had to remember to keep breathing slowly as the darkness enveloped not just those in the book, but me too!
Miss Chapter x