“Obsession is the single most wasteful human activity, because with an obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer.” — Norman Mailer

There’s a lot to love about small towns; the charm and the close-knit nature of the residents. However, when a tragedy befalls a small town along New Zealand’s West Coast the inhabitants are faced with questioning the charming qualities of their homes ... and their neighbors. Our latest read takes us to a rural town along the sea where a beautiful girl has suddenly gone missing.

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh’s new thriller “A Madness of Sunshine” is as tumultous as the coastal landscape where the novel takes place. Anahera decided to return to her remote childhood home in New Zealand after the unexpected death of her husband. When she arrives, she finds that the town hasn’t changed much since she left with the exception of the new policeman in town. Will, is a detective who has been placed in Golden Cove after something went wrong on the job.

When Anahera returns home to face her old ghosts and deal with the new ones that have followed her from London, she finds that her childhood friends have changed more than she knew. When a local girl goes missing, the town jumps into action to locate her; when they can’t find a trace of her, the residents begin to whisper about the three women that went missing nearly a decade before. As Will and Anahera try to uncover what happened to the missing girl and how her disappearance could be tied to the other missing women, they stumble across many other secrets buried in the small coastal town. The missing girl was such a bright source of life in the town that Will can’t help but wonder if one of her many admirers’ obsession led to the girl’s death.

From the book jacket…

“On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates. That is until one fateful summer — and several vanished bodies — shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement to not look back. But they can’t run from the past forever. Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape. It’s not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.

If you enjoy…

Readers who enjoyed unraveling the mysteries tucked into “A Madness of Sunshine” might also enjoy reading “The Last House Guest” by Meghan Miranda. Avery Greer is a local girl who counts her lucky stars that Sadie Loman, the daughter of one of the wealthy landowning summer residents, has chosen her to be her best friend. After a decade of unlikely friendship, Avery’s world is turned upside down when Sadie suddenly turns up dead on the beach, while the rest of her circle are partying on the other side of town.