On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbours; the children, more than schoolmates.
That is until one fateful summer - and several vanished bodies - shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that's left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement not to look back. But they can't run from the past forever.
Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.
It's not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.
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I don't usually read thrillers but Nalini Singh is such a favourite author of mine that she's an auto-buy no matter what genre she decides to write in. I was still a little nervous going into A Madness of Sunshine though because I really had no idea what to expect. It was very different to her other books with a much slower and more character driven plot that concludes in an action packed, edge of your seat finale and I found that I just couldn't put it down.
I really enjoyed getting to explore this small sleepy costal town in New Zealand through Nalini's eyes, we get an in depth look at the culture and atmosphere of small town living and it made me want to pack a bag and book a flight so I could go and explore Golden Cove for myself. There are a lot of secrets in this town, everyone seems to be hiding something and there were so many possible suspects that I really had no idea who was the killer. It was actually a bit disturbing the way most of the men in the town had such possessive and controlling feelings about the women around them.
Anahera left her hometown years ago and never planned to come back but after the death of her husband she just needs some time to lick her wounds and it's almost an automatic reaction to return to the place that is most familiar. So much about Golden Cove has stayed the same in her absence but there are some changes, like the addition of a permanent police officer, Will. It's only when a local girl goes missing, bringing back memories of past disappearances that haunt the town, that they realise there might be a killer still living among them.
I loved the slow build romance between Anahera and Will but that definitely wasn't the focus of the story. These are both complex and layered characters who have plenty of secrets to uncover and it was fun getting to know them but I do wish we'd found out a little more about Will, about his family and where he came from before he ended up in Golden Cove. I made multiple guesses about the killer along the way but I was never able to pin down exactly who they were, they were one of my suspects but pretty low down on my list.
A Madness of Sunshine was very different to my usual reads and very different to the books Nalini usually writes but I enjoyed it all the more because of that. I really hope she decides to explore this genre further in the future and I'll definitely be first in line to buy the books if she does.
Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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