A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Monday, May 18, 2020


by Nalini Singh
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Adult
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Publication Date: December 3rd 2019
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷

Want to hear what a giant failure I've been at blogging lately? I read A Madness of Sunshine in September 2019 and I am only now, in May 2020, writing a review for it. 🤦‍♀️Anyways, better late than never, right? Prior to reading A Madness of Sunshine, I had only read Nalini Singh's contemporary romances (which, by the way, are excellent). I was keen on trying her latest mystery thriller particularly I'm a sucker for a well-written mystery, but also I was curious to see how she would handle the genre switch. There's a reason why Nalini Singh is renowned throughout the book community - she is incredibly talented and truly, this novel is proof that she is one of the most versatile authors of this generation.

Because this is a mystery novel, I'm going to try and keep this review short so that I don't inadvertently reveal all the details and spoil the story for you if you haven't read it yet. A Madness of Sunshine takes place in a small coastal town in New Zealand. This book has to be one of the most atmospheric stories I have read and reading it was a very immersive experience for me because of how wonderfully detailed Singh's description of the town was. It was interesting to see the dynamics of this tight-knit community that seemed to bear a lot of secrets. I was simultaneously nervous and fascinated by the townspeople, the harsh landscape, and all the stories surrounding this town.

The mystery itself was well-presented. A popular and well-loved young woman goes missing and it's up to the main character, Will, to solve the case. This was one of those more slow-burn type mystery that slowly gets revealed throughout the book. I liked how I was never quite sure who to trust and I also wasn't sure if I could trust Will and Anahera, who is recently back in her hometown after years of being away. It added to this tense feeling to the story making it impossible to set it aside. Though it becomes clear who was behind the crime about three-quarters of the way into A Madness of Sunshine, the author did a terrific job at making me second guess myself and the final reveal itself was so nerve-wracking! It made for a terrific reading experience.

As far as the main characters go, they were both beautifully written as I've come to expect from Nalini Singh. Both Will and Anahera carry a lot of baggage and had layers upon layers to their characters. There is a touch of a budding romance between the two, but don't go in expecting this to be an intense romance. It's a slow-burn between two people that had been hurt deeply and who were in the middle of a fairly dark case. I also loved how Nalini Singh gave the victim a voice in this book through the stories that all the townspeople had about her. It made her ending all the more tragic for me.

A Madness of Sunshine was a brilliantly woven mystery for me. I tend to enjoy these intense small-town mysteries a lot and Nalini Singh delivered for me. I hear she is writing another mystery/thriller and I'm excited to read it too!

Content warning: Abuse, violence, sexual assault, rape, animal abuse

Who are some versatile authors you love reading? Are you a fan of mysteries?
Let me know in the comments below!

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