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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Nalini Singh is an author whose books have been popping up on my recommendation lists for a long time. But somehow or the other I have missed out on this bestseller author until now.
And BOY am I glad to have begun with a scintillating murder mystery in the romantic suspense genre. The plotline of a protagonist returning to her hometown after many years and a mystery that has been lying dormant rearing its head and the romantic link up with the cop in town of course has been done to death but there’s something so inherently satisfying about it that A Madness of Sunshine turned out to be an immersive read.
The beautiful and stark setting of the place is the perfect backdrop for this mystery.
“Serrated black rocks that thrust up from the sand in huge broken shards, foaming water that took no prisoners, and a wilderness so tangled and thick that it was difficult to see beneath the canopy.”
Golden Cove in Christchurch, New Zealand is a place that harbors its secrets. It’s the place where young teenagers wish to escape from but always returns to when life shows its true colors. I loved Nalini Singh’s writing that takes the reader on a journey to a land so remote and bleak that hides the darkness inside. The atmospheric feel to the story was intensely gratifying in this character-driven mystery. It is only the lack of any action in the first-half that reduces the pace of how the story unfolds but as the skeletons tumble out of the closet, it becomes a mad rush to the finish line.
“Take away the road markings, cut off access to the outside world, and the land would swallow you up until nothing remained.”
Will and Anahera both have past baggage that had to be contented with before any progress can be made but I loved how the rude sometimes antagonistic banter changes to friendly then to love between the couple. There were some characters introduced which never added much to story but it gave a lovely small-town vibe.
Looking forward to read more by Nalini Singh.
Anahera Rawiri left New Zealand at twenty-one, fleeing small-town poverty and the ghosts of her childhood with no plans to look back. But eight years later, she returns, seeking familiarity as respite from the shattered remains of her new life. And despite the changes brought on by a bump in tourism–the shiny new welcome sign at the town line and a decidedly less shiny new police presence–Golden Cove appears much as it ever was: a small settlement on the savage West Coast of the South Island, populated by all the remembered faces and set against a backdrop of lush greenery, jagged cliffs, and crashing waves.
Detective Will Gallagher knows all about ghosts; his own chased him out of a promising career in Christchurch, landing him as the sole cop in a quaint town where his most pressing concerns are petty theft and the occasional drunk. When Golden Cove resident Miri Hinewai goes out for a run and fails to return, Will finds himself heading up a missing person’s search that rapidly escalates into an official investigation after this case is connected with similar ones from the past. As an outsider, Will begins to rely on Anahera’s knowledge of the area and its residents to help him delve into Golden Cove’s secrets, and to determine whether it shelters something far more dangerous than just an unforgiving landscape.
This review is published in my blog https://rainnbooks.com/, Goodreads, Amazon India and Twitter.