Review: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh


Title: A Madness of Sunshine
Author: Nalini Singh
Date of publication: 3 Dec 2019
Genre: Thriller 

Author's links:

Rating: 4 Stars


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 love Nalini’s PNR, Psy-Changeling series in particular. THis is her first thriller and there were some great things in it but also some not so great ones. 


This is Nalini Singh's first thriller and since I am a big fan of her Psy-changeling series of PNR and I have enjoyed some her contemporary romances, I was curious to see her attempt to write in a completely different genre. I have mixed feelings, but it was a compelling read and I am here for more thrillers by Nalini Singh is she goes in that direction.

I loved the heroine, she is returning to her small town on the NZ coast, angry and bitter, rightly so and never just forgives the people who hurt her. I loved her voice, her strength and determination but also her empathy and compassion.

As a romance reader, I am glad that the author included a solid romance arc here. It worked well for me, I could see the connection between Will and Anahera and also understand their reluctance to start anything. Two people with difficult past, with lots of baggage caught in the middle of a small town murder investigation.

While I loved Anahera, I had some issues with Will. He was not very professional in getting her involved in his investigation and sharing info with her. He was quick to judge people and I was not always a fan of how he treated everyone but I managed to overlook this because of the way he treated Anahera - always respectful, supporting, never pressuring or dismissing her. 

Best elements in the story was the very strong atmospheric representation of the small town and the wild nature around it. Nature with absolute untameness was almost like another character in the story. 

Miriama was put on a pedestal by practically everyone in town because of her beauty and vivacity and I am not too happy about it. I would have liked more substance to her character, to be honest.

I guessed the murderer at some point but this is not really an issue for me. What bothered me though was the implication that what happened to him in the past made him the monster that he is. It’s lazy and stereotypical writing and also insulting to survivors of abuse.

The story also portrayed great female friendships, to see how people change and grow and their friendship changes with them, how difficult it is to make/keep friends.

It’s not a perfect book but captivating nevertheless. I think it shows it’s Nalini’s first attempt at thrillers. There were gorgeous bits in the story and her writing was as polished and engaging as I have to come to expect. Still, there were problematic aspects, deeply hurtful ones that could have been avoided. 

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