The Darkness Within

Written by Alanna Knight
Review by Cathy Kemp

In the wilds of Orkney in 1906, Emily’s family have gathered to support her, following the sudden death of her husband at the family home, Yesnaby. Emily’s father, retired Inspector Faro, and her older sister Rose, a private investigator, uncover some mysteries in this isolated place. What is the royal yacht doing in the area; who attacked two young men and left them unconscious; how did the mysterious Mr Smith drown at Kirkwall; and is there any truth in the legends of “selkies” or the “Maid of Norway”?

This is intended as the first joint venture for Inspector Faro and Rose McQuinn (or is it Rose MacMerry?), but unfortunately, it’s not the most mysterious of storylines, and the reader, having identified the perpetrator from halfway through, is just left awaiting the details. The development of the individuality of the characters is absent, presuming the reader has already read the other series, along with their background. Irritations abound throughout, from basic inaccuracies of names and not following the thread from one page to the next as well as insufficient explanation regarding local legends and dialect. There is a lack of questioning regarding the origins of some main characters who insinuate themselves into the family unit with a blurred relationship to the family, especially Emily. As investigators, we must hope their track record improves for any subsequent mysteries.