Singh, Nalini. A Madness of Sunshine. New York: Berkley, 2019.
Hardcover | $27.00 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0593099131 | 314 pages | Mystery
I was never a fan of Nalini Singh’s romances, in part because the bulk of her work is paranormal and I’m not a fan of the hero archetypes many paranormal authors fall back on, her included, if some of the reviews if I’ve read are to be believed. But when I heard she was releasing a thriller, I was intrigued, especially when I heard that the setting of A Madness of Sunshine was her native New Zealand.
And the setting is one of the immediate strong points. I knew little about the location prior, except a bit about Maori culture and its linguistic connections to Hawaiian in school. So, it was exciting to soak up more about the landscape and language, especially as Singh showed such care in depicting it, including consulting experts to cover her blind spots.
And while there are occasions where the plot moves a little slowly, it’s more or less an engaging thriller. This is one of those mysteries that does get you to question everyone, especially given the long history some of the threads have.
While it’s not a romance, I did enjoy the romance that developed between the two protagonists, Anahera and Will, especially given how they come together in solving the case. Anahera’s personal connection magnifies her determination to find her old friend, as well as solve the case of the hikers who went nissing before she left town. And Will brings an interesting perspective of being a newcomerto town, playing off returning resident Anahera in an interesting way as well.
This is a great first mystery/thriller for Singh, and I hope not the last, especially if she continues introducing international readers to different parts of New Zealand. I recommend this to fans of mysteries with excellent sense of place.