Fear in the Sunlight

Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson.

Post by Robyn55.

Readers of Fear in the Sunlight must first understand that Nicola Upson is a fiction writer – however, her book does portray real people. In this novel they are Josephine Tey, and Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville. This is such a clever book and so beautifully written.

It is essentially a murder mystery set in a real place, Portmeirion, in the summer of 1936. I loved the setting of the scene for the murders that followed. One of my dislikes of many modern novels is that they take a couple of short chapters to introduce the characters and then go bang, straight into the action. I am usually left a mite confused and unsatisfied. Not so with Nicola Upson – she slowly and carefully paints a picture and fills in all the lines.

She does this beautifully, in an almost Agatha Christie way. Allowing each character to be fully realised. The place where the action takes place also plays an important role to the staging of this novel. Ms Upson waves a magic wand and transports the reader back to 1936…it’s that good!

I must say here a few words about including Alfred Hitchcock and Alma as characters – so clever.It was just as I imagined the great director would be. As for his wife, I consider her characterisation as perfection.

When the murders occur it is almost a let down and if I had a criticism it would be that the rest of the book was a little convoluted and hurried. I was tempted to draw up a time line to make sense of the relationships happening here, but that feels almost rude as this really is a great book written by a very talented woman. Can’t wait to read more…