No Other Darkness

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Author Interview – Sarah Hilary on her new crime novel No Other Darkness (Marnie Rome #2)

Published July 7, 2015 by bibliobeth

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SARAH HILARY – A BIOGRAPHY

Sarah Hilary lives in Bath with her daughter, where she writes quirky copy for a well-loved travel publisher. She’s also worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. An award-winning short story writer, Sarah won the Cheshire Prize for Literature in 2012. Her debut novel SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN, featuring the tenacious Marnie Rome, was selected by Richard & Judy for their Book Club in Autumn 2014.

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Interview with Sarah Hilary

I’d like to welcome Sarah to bibliobeth today and thank her for her time in giving this interview!

1. How did it feel to have your debut novel, Someone Else’s Skin picked for the Richard and Judy Book Club?

It was pretty amazing! For me, WHSmith is still the place I bought my summer specials and new pencil cases at the end of the holidays. The smell of the place hasn’t changed—reminds me of those Malory Towers books I bought with my pocket money when I was eight. Now my book’s in there and it’s just… Wow.

2. No Other Darkness is your second novel featuring the fabulous DI Marnie Rome. Do you have her entire past history mapped out already or may there still be surprises to come?

With Marnie, it’s all surprises. I write to be surprised, so I’m happy to let Marnie keep her secrets until she’s ready to share. As long as the reader sees a little more of her with each book, I think that’s a good principle—to hold back on the juicy stuff.

3. You touch on some quite difficult subjects in your books including domestic violence and child abduction. Do you find this process quite harrowing or do you manage to switch off in some way?

While I’m writing each book, I’m generally so bound up in the story that I don’t think about switching off. The story’s always in my head during this time and the characters are whispering to me, which is great because that’s what makes the books feel real and immediate. It’s only after I’ve finished a complete manuscript that I feel as if someone’s walloped the back of my head with a wet sandbag.

(bibliobeth: “Ouch!”)

4. Is it true that your books have been picked for a television series? If so, how involved will you be with this process and do you have a clear picture in your head of what your characters should look like?

Yes, the series has been optioned for television which is very exciting. The process is quite collaborative and I’ve met with the scriptwriter, who has some terrific ideas about bringing Marnie and co to the screen. I don’t have a very clear picture in my head while I’m writing, with one or two exceptions—for instance, I always saw Tim Woodward as Marnie’s boss, Welland. And I’d love Jason Watkins to play Douglas Cole from No Other Darkness. For Marnie, I’d want Natasha O’Keeffe, with Bill Milner to play her foster brother, Stephen. So, yes, I have spent some time dream-casting!

5. Are you working on anything at the moment and can you tell us anything about it?

I’ve just sent book three, TASTES LIKE FEAR, to my editor. It’s a very different kind of case for Marnie and Noah, dark and scary and super-twisty. And I’m about to start book four, which doesn’t have a title yet.

(bibliobeth: “I’m so excited!”)

And now for some quick fire questions!

E-book or real book?

Real book, with real book smell.

Series or stand-alone?

Love both, but an addictive series is my favourite thing.

Fiction or nonfiction?

I read both, love both.

Online shopping or bookshop trawling?

Trawling, always trawling.

Bookmarking or dog-earing?

Bookmarks, all the way.

(bibliobeth: “My kind of reader!”)

 

Once again, a big thank you to Sarah and to Elizabeth Masters, Headline PR Manager for their efforts in making this interview possible. I can’t wait for book three!

No Other Darkness was published on April 23rd 2015 by Headline Books and is available from all good book retailers NOW. Sarah Hilary’s debut novel in the series, Someone Else’s Skin is also available and I highly recommend starting with this one.

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No Other Darkness (DI Marnie Rome #2) – Sarah Hilary

Published July 6, 2015 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

From the Richard and Judy bestselling author Sarah Hilary. The phenomenal Marnie Rome returns in the outstanding follow up to the critically acclaimed SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN.

Two young boys.
Trapped underground in a bunker.
Unable to understand why they are there.
Desperate for someone to find them.
Slowly realising that no-one will…

Five years later, the boys’ bodies are found and the most difficult case of DI Marnie Rome’s career begins.

Her only focus is the boys. She has to find out who they are and what happened to them.

For Marnie, there is no other darkness than this…

What did I think?:

I became a fan of Sarah Hilary’s after her amazing debut novel Someone Else’s Skin which was a Richard and Judy book club choice and a fantastic read which left me in no doubt that this was a series and an author that I was definitely going to follow. Sarah’s second novel featuring Detective Inspector Marnie Rome came out in April and I was lucky enough to get an advanced reading copy from Headline publishers and Book Bridgr in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to them! Well, I was hooked from the very beginning with an instantly intriguing and disturbing prologue featuring two young boys trapped in an underground bunker with no hope or means of escape. Five years later the bodies are found and DI Marnie Rome’s team must try to discover who the boys are and why on earth they came to such a horrific end.

I’m finding it difficult to review this book without giving away any spoilers as, like her debut, there are multiple layers to this story and in the end it turns out to be a hell of a lot more then just a “child abduction,” which is instantly suspected as the main motive for the killing. The author delves into some difficult and controversial areas and her main character Marnie is so determined to figure out the puzzle behind the two boys in the bunker that she risks endangering herself in the process. We also learn a lot more about Marnie’s wonderful sidekick, DS Noah Jake in relation to his childhood and more specifically, his relationship with his brother. The case has affected the team so deeply that they all begin to re-evaluate their ties with their loved ones and I really enjoyed learning more about both Marnie and Noah, two characters that have such an interesting back story and I just know more secrets are going to pop out as the author continues the series!

Once again, the ending was pure magic and such a roller-coaster ride of tension that I was certain I was going to leave finger indents on the book where I was gripping it so tightly. Sarah Hilary has a talent for turning up the pressure notch by notch, very slowly to a point where it almost becomes unbearable (this is all in a good way, of course!). This has the effect of making you feel on the edge of your seat at all times and putting the book down is practically impossible. The dramatic plot, tension and brilliant, relatable and readable characters all combine to make Sarah Hilary one of the best new voices in crime fiction currently writing today. She is also one of the authors that makes me rub my hands together in glee when anticipating a new book from them and I highly recommend starting with Someone Else’s Skin if you haven’t read this author before. All I want to know now is when is the third book coming out again?

Come back tomorrow for my interview with the lady herself when I ask the question we all want to know… does she dog-ear her books?!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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