A Madness of Sunshine
I’ve often seen Singh’s name on best-sellers lists and heard her discussed and interviewed on the radio. In internationally successful author living in New Zealand is quite a rarity. I was thrilled when the Eldernet Gazette review books arrived to discover her latest offering in the mix, because even though I’d heard the hype I’d never managed to read one of Singh’s novels. Well, it’s not the case any longer and if I see another one on my travels then A Madness of Sunshine won’t be the last.
I enjoyed this novel immensely. Set in a fictional town on New Zealand’s South Island’s West Coast it’s not hard to actually feel like you ‘know’ the place if you’ve ever visited the area. This is something I love – when I can vividly picture a town and its surrounds. The novel starts with introducing us to Anahera who is returning to the town she grew up in. Small towns are universally ‘small towns’ so instantly as a reader you know the vibe, the people, the behaviours. The new guy in town is the police officer with the unknown backstory – Will. Anahera and Will are (of course!) thrown together by events beyond their control and the novel really begins.
Murder, mystery, and history all come together to create a real page turner. This is the kind of easy read thriller that leaves you debating whether you should turn out the light or read one more chapter. I was impulsive and finished this in under 24 hours. Which was annoying – I did want to draw it out a little longer but I kept being greedy! My ability to read (too) fast once again resulted in me finishing sooner than I was ready.
I’d recommend this novel to most readers. It’s fast paced with good strong characters; has kiwiana for those who seek it, but not so much as to deter readers who prefer a more ‘international’ setting; there’s a bit of romance, but not too much; a perfect balance of something for everyone (expect perhaps those who prefer a deep, dark, scandi-type thriller…this might prove too ‘light’).
If you’re needing to buy a book for a gift for someone this Christmas or you’re needing to add something to your beside-the-bed reading pile, or Kindle wishlist, this could well be the book for you!
About the Author
Nalini Singh was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She spent three years living and working in Japan, and travelling around Asia before returning to New Zealand now – although she’s always plotting new trips. She has worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher, not necessarily in that order. Some people might call that inconsistency, but she calls it grist for the writer’s mill.