Bookends About Fear in the Sunlight

Title: Fear in the Sunlight
Author: Nicola Upson
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: I almost really loved this well-written, atmospheric mystery, but the end was just too unsatisfying.

Mystery writer Josephine Tey is in Portmeirion to meet with Alfred Hitchcock and his wife about a film deal. Hitchcock is also in Portmeirion to scout the location and set up tricks to reveal his crews response to guilt and fear. In this tense atmosphere, no one is prepared to deal with the murder of two women on the island. The island police don’t seem particularly interested in finding the killer and it’s only years later that another murder connected to a Hitchcock film begins to lead to the truth.

Much of this book was amazingly well done. After reading a Hitchcock biography, I knew immediately that I loved the quote used for the title; that Hitchcock would probably like the abstract art feel of the cover; and that the chapters were named after Hitchcock films. I also loved the number of quotes used in the book and how well they gave the reader a feel for what Hitchcock was like. The suspense of knowing that someone was going to be killed before starting the story also seemed like something Hitchcock would approve of. The writing was also very impressive.

So, that was the good stuff. And there really was a lot to recommend this book. However, he violence was pretty extreme though and that got to me a bit. Worse than that was the unsatisfying, unsettling, unfinished feel of the ending. This made the horrible violence feel more pointless and harder to live with. I do hate to give such an objectively good book such a poor rating, but I decided early on that ratings on my blog would reflect I how felt when I finished the book. Then I try to give a good account of why I felt that way, and what you do with that information is up to you 🙂

For some other perspectives, check out the other stops on the tour, Amazon, or Goodreads.



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8 responses to “Bookends About Fear in the Sunlight

  1. Pingback: Nicola Upson, author of Fear in the Sunlight, on tour April 2013 | TLC Book Tours

  2. I’m glad that you did enjoy parts of this book even though the violence and the ending weren’t quite your cup of tea. Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    • I was very impressed with the ending and did enjoy a lot of it, so I’d recommend it to anyone with a slightly stronger stomach than I have 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Sounds like the cover and the title were the best part for you. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Katie′s #CBR5 Review #28: Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson | Cannonball Read V

  5. Shucks Mahoney

    I’ve always been interested in whether these books get in to Tey’s real life personality at all – because in her own (excellently crafted) novels she displays the most noxious, reactionary politics. Does the author skim over that or does she rant at length about the Yellow Peril?

    • This is the only one of the series I’ve read, so just speaking about this book, I didn’t get any feel for Tey’s political views, so the author must have chosen to ignore that part of her character.

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