I received this book for free from Berkley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
Published by Berkley on December 3rd, 2019
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Suspense
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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.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by Nalini Singh but when I saw she was venturing into the world of suspense, I knew I’d have to pick up A Madness of Sunshine. A Madness of Sunshine is exactly I want from a mystery. It has no flashy red herrings, but is still enticing. In fact, once I hit the 33% mark, I read the book in one sitting. Which, I read books in single sittings all the time, but I’ve been struggling a lot with reading lately and this just… it was what I needed. If you love small town mysteries, where secrets bubble underneath the surface, A Madness of Sunshine is exactly what you need too.
By the 20% mark in this book, I trusted no one because it was clear that everyone had secrets. I genuinely loved how information was slowly doled out and layers were peeled back so you could see the bigger picture. My favorite thing about the plot was that there weren’t really any red herrings designed to throw you off the scent. I don’t think that anyone will be shocked to find out whodunit but the way the mystery is presented is thoughtful and carefully laid out.
Mysteries usually allow you to be easily sucked in by the plots while not really becoming invested in the characters themselves and that was absolutely not true for A Madness of Sunshine. From the main characters to the murder victim (who we only get to meet through people’s stories about her,) I found myself rooting for almost all the characters and wanting to protect at least half of them.
To me, A Madness of Sunshine has just the right amount of romance – especially given the main characters. A series of unfortunate events have made both Will and Anahera angry, distrusting people who don’t really see the good in the world anymore. As they work together to solve the case, feelings obviously develop. Everything is such a slow burn and given how they both have gotten hurt in the past, I think the pace is just right.
All these things thrown together with the small town setting make for a truly entertaining read and I am sad because I don’t know when I am going to come across a mystery that hits all the right notes for me like A Madness of Sunshine did. I realize December is still quite some time away, but given that it’s written by the great Nalini Singh, I am sure many people already have this book on their radar and it will 1000% be worth the wait for long time fans.
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