by Nalini Singh
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 10 hours and 59 minutes
Genres: Suspense Thriller
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.3x
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh welcomes you to a remote town on the edge of the world where even the blinding brightness of the sun can’t mask the darkness that lies deep within a killer…
On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; 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.
I fully intended to read A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh, but when I saw Saskia Maarleveld was narrating I grabbed my earbuds instead. Singh delivered a suspenseful thriller set in a small coastal town in New Zealand. Gritty and slow to unfold, the narrative pulled me in and it transported me….
Singh weaved small town politics, interesting characters and small-town characteristics into the seaside town of Golden Cove. Where not much happens, unless you count those missing folks eight years back. They never solved the case(s). Many townsfolk have ideas about it though. Was it a hiking accident, were they swept out to sea or did something more nefarious happen?
Golden Cove is a close-knit community where people have ties to one another. It’s one where the young move away but somehow find there way back. Such is the case with Anahera. She is returning to the cove after eight years and crushed dreams. A bit of car trouble has her meeting the town’s police officer Will. A decorated officer with a promising career he was transferred from the force in Christ Church after an incident. Locals still consider him an outsider but a tolerable one.
When a popular, young girl goes missing on her nightly run the past collides with the present and the mystery that unfolds soon has Will and Anahera crossing paths and working together. It isn’t long before the attraction they feel for one another leads to more. I would not call this a romantic suspense, but would classify this as a suspense thriller with romantic elements.
I admit I approached this with both excitement and trepidation. I have enjoyed this authors urban fantasy and paranormal series and wondered what she would bring to the table. Nalini Singh, delivered a seasoned character driven suspense thriller that was rich, well plotted, entertaining, intriguing and addictive.
The story builds slowly as we gain knowledge, character background and the author sets the tone, for some this may drag, but I loved and appreciated the details. I felt the narration enhanced theses aspects.
From the coastal setting to the characters I slipped into this story and felt the imagery appear before me. The main characters were flawed, held depth and believability as did the murder(s).
The suspects, interviews and pieces to the puzzles kept me guessing. Just when I thought I had it narrowed down things took a turn and wham it left me to puzzle over the pieces again. It was brilliantly done and tightly woven.
Saskia Maarleveld was the perfect narrator for this tale and she captured the coastal setting, suspenseful plot and essence of the characters. She added a layer of magic to an already superb thriller.
Fans of gritty, suspense thrillers will want to add A Madness of Sunshine to their shelves and if you are an audio fan, listening is a must!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I have this book to read, but maybe I will listen to it instead. It sounds like it was a wonderfully narrated suspenseful story. Great review Kimberly.
I have this book on the stacks, but now knowing Saskia is narrating, I just may have to listen! Glad it turned out to be great.
Jan @ Notes from a Readerholic
I’ve wondered if I wanted to read this book, but based on your review I think I might give it a try especially if I can get the audio version.
Great review, Kimberly!
Another author that has been on my reading radar for way too long! Great review Kimberly. As always insightful and intriguing 🙂
Anne - Books of My Heart
I read this one and really enjoyed it. I liked the different setting and the primary focus on the mystery aspects. Fantastic review!
Yea! I’ve read only really good things about this one. So happy for Nalini – she’s the best.
I’m a huge fan of her paranormal stories. I can’t wait to try this one. I’m not familiar with the narrator, so I’m really glad to see that you liked her. I just requested my library to pick this one up.
This sounds so good. I requested a copy from Netgalley and was approved. Can’t wait to dive in. Great review.
nalini is on my radar and i hope to read some of her books for my library love challenge next year.
It’s been so long since I haven’t read this author
Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)
I was a little nervous about her taking on a thriller too, but man did she nail it. 🙂
Sounds so so good! I’m getting the audio! Thank you.
Jenea's Book Obsession
The setting sounds amazing and so does Anahera too!
Set in New Zealand? That is where I am going to be going soon! I have read very few books set there… maybe only one or two. It’s nice to know this story unfolds there and I love the cover. It’s on my to read list already so it makes me happy to know you loved it and listening to it too. 😉
Debbie S Haupt
I have to admit this was my first read by Singh and I loved it too, I reviewed this for Library Journal and now I know I need to go dig up a few of her other genres because this lady can write. What I found most fascinating was the cultural divide and of course the OMG criminal reveal. Great review Kim!
P.S. Just listened to the sound cloud opening – Saskia did her homework – the Maori pronunciation is good! NZ accent not too bad!
I love her narrations and will always go for the audio if she is the narrator.
I have been waiting to see what you thought of the book and the audio. I’ll buy it for my sister. I totally agree with what you have said -all of it. Only think I’ll add that as a New Zealander I recognise how well Nalini captured the NZ setting and feel of the book. What I also found eerie was how very real the murders were and how in real life such things happen (as evidenced on our news). I think all of her fans – myself included have waited with trepidation! I read her statement somewhere saying she has already started on another!!
Squee…I was hoping she would do more in this genre and I am glad she captured NZ. Yes, I felt the murders were well done and could have been written by a seasoned veteran of this genre.