The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

Just for a change this is a crime novel that is not about a murder, or the police, but is a book you will feel you have to finish as soon as you start reading it.

A thriller with twists and turns that keep you fascinated right to the very end.  It is set in a world many of us have read about but have never had the opportunity to experience.  The main action takes place in the wealthy society of Sandbanks in Dorset, the location of a property phenomenon.  Often described as the most desirable or expensive place to buy land in the UK, after central London, this is the must-buy beachside property hot spot for the ostentatious nouveau riche.

The fragmented family of developer Sean Jackson meet up in his newly built house to celebrate his 50th birthday.  Several generations of his children and friends’ children congregate for a weekend of drink drugs and debauchery.  The children are treated as treasures to be displayed, but owing to a mishap with the nanny, who resigns on the day before the expedition, someone has to care for them.

Alex Marwood - Darkest SecretMost of the characters are unpleasantly selfish, but quite recognisable, credible and entertaining. The decadent celebrations that end in a disaster involving a missing three-year-old make this a compelling read; a fast moving and intriguing story.

The narrative incorporates an unusual location, an interesting group of characters, a heart-breaking tale of a missing child and an intricately structured plot. The two separate time frames added to the mystery was a cleverly used device which didn’t confuse the reader.

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood was published by Little, Brown Books on in January in paperback RRP £13.99