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Lara Dearman, Dark Sky Island

Book blurb 

DCI Michael Gilbert is called out to Sark – the world’s first dark sky island – after bones are found on Derrible Bay. He is followed by journalist Jennifer Dorey, driven by a secret in her own past. The remains are decades old, but after a body is discovered Jennifer and Michael fear there may be a killer on the island. Together they follow a dark trail of bad blood and a conspiracy of silence.
Everyone on the island is under suspicion. No one is what they seem. And the murderer could strike again at any time… 

My review

I liked Lara Dearman’s The Devil’s Claw but I loved Dark Sky Island.

This evocative novel brought so many happy memories in its wake that I couldn’t but be enthralled from page one. I knuckled down pretty quickly and read in one sitting, sitting in the warm sunshine of my Guernsey backyard. So what’s to love? Dearman has a knack of setting the scene. She draws the reader in, kicking and screaming and makes them put their life on hold. Dishes. What dishes? Ironing. Well, the crumpled look is in, isn’t it? 

In a way I feel envy for the people that will read this who have never experienced the delights of such a special place. We try to visit Sark at least once a year. I’m a bit past the hike up the hill these days so the toast rack is a welcome relief. In the old days I too would have stuck to my guns and reached The Bel Air gasping for a cold one. 

It’s lovely to read a book with so many personal experiences running parallel in my minds eye. We’ve never been to Brecqhou Island but we have fished those waters with the towering backdrop of the ‘castle’ in the distance. The Venus Pool, around the corner from the Silver Mines holds one of my darkest secrets. I’m scared of heights and if you’re not a mountain goat, born with cloven feet I wouldn’t suggest a visit. God, I still have nightmares remembering the frantic rock climb. I seriously thought I was going to die. The swim. Was it worth it? I honestly can’t remember.

And back to the book…

Following on from The Devil’s Claw, Local journalist, Jenny Dorey, is still reeling from the death of her father, despite a two year hiatus. She’s in a new relationship, with fellow reporter but life seems to be getting in the way. When the historical remains of a body is found in a dark, dank cave off Sark and closely followed by a second, newer murder, she hops on the next ferry to run a parallel investigation with Michael from the Guernsey police force. This is a twisty turns thriller with beautiful descriptive scenes interspersed with fast-paced plotting  and intrigue that will keep the most exacting of readers enthralled until the end. I loved it. I’ve read quite a few thrillers this year and this sits alongside Emma Rowley’s ‘Where the Missing Go’ and David Jackson’s ‘Don’t Make a Sound’. I predict a hit. At least the traffic won’t suffer – cars aren’t allowed in Sark, thank God! 

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