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D.I. Marnie Rome Books In Order

Publication Order of Detective Inspector Marnie Rome Books

Someone Else's Skin (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
No Other Darkness (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tastes Like Fear (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Quieter Than Killing (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The DI Marnie Rome series is a series of novels by award-winning American author Sarah Hilary. Sarah published the first novel of the DI Marnie Rome series “Someone Else’s Skin” in 2014. The novel is one of the most popular novels in the series that went on to sell thousands of copies and garner much critical acclaim. After the runaway success of “Someone Else’s Skin”, Hilary has been publishing more novels in the series at the rate of about one a year. The series of novels follow the adventures of DI Marnie Rome a police detective who works alongside DS Noah Jake on a variety of murder mysteries. Going from strength to strength since the publication of the first novel, the strength of the series lies in the story. The narratives in the stories are full of twists, turns, and tricks that on many occasions are very scary. Coming from a background of writing quirky stories for newspapers and magazines, Sarah Hilary creates novels that are compelling, even as they are some of the most upsetting mystery thriller series you could ever read. The series of novels are character driven narratives that seek to explore contemporary social issues such as complicated familial relationships, racism, domestic violence, and homophobia. Most of the narratives are heart-breaking stories full of graphic images analyzing the psychology of fear, grief, and guilt that often leads to dark actions.

Sarah Hilary makes some of the most intriguing of characters in her DI Marnie Rome series of novels. Her two lead characters DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake are not the common maverick detectives with failed marriages and drinking problems. Rather they have quite normal lives even if they have their fair share of psychological and personal problems. Nonetheless, the two detectives’ lives have been influenced by past happenings or current circumstances, which have made them what they are. Detective Inspector Rome is a workaholic and for the most part, that is all that she does leaving room for little else. Five years ago, her foster-brother had turned on and killed her parents in what was a violent and terrible loss. She has channeled her emotions from the horrific event into her work, which has seen her rise through the ranks, even as few of her colleagues have come to know the real her. Not even her partner DS Jake Noah knows much about Marnie, even though he also has many secrets of his own. DS Noah Jake is half Jamaican and one of the very few gay police officers in the city, and just like his boss does not share much about his private life. Nonetheless, even with their secrets, they make a great team that tackles many issues of violent crime in their city. DI Marnie Rome is a cut above the rest, as she is a smart and quick thinker with a soft side that often shines through her determined strong exterior. She holds her own in a masculine world and cracks some of the most dangerous and complicated cases without breaking a sweat.

Even as the novels may seem like your ordinary police procedural, they are not your run-of-the-mill procedurals of the genre. For one, they do not go into details such as the psychopathic analysis of the criminals of Tony Hill, the winding interviews of witnesses of Shetland, or deep insights into the forensic processor CSI. The series uses the routine investigations to explore the ills of society such as violent crime, racism, and domestic violence. The third novel in particular is an exploration of the wealth inequalities in inner city London, where the lives of two teenage runaways are juxtaposed against the lives of the more affluent developments at the nearby Battersea Power Station. What is impressive about the novels is not only the depths of research that has gone into them, but also the real empathy showcased towards those that fall victim to the social ills that befall them. Even so, the DI Marnie Rome series of novels are about hard-working normal people going about their lives. Crime and bad attitudes such as racism and homophobia are no respecter of background even as most perpetrators tend to be outsiders. Overall, the novels are excellent narratives with credible characters, realistic dialogue, believable and compelling story lines. The plots become ever more complicated with the pace increasing over the course of the story to end in an explosive finale. What is amazing about the novels is that the author keeps you in suspense, and only reveals the plot mysteries at the same time as he reveals them to the lead investigators Marnie and DS Jake making for the quintessential police procedural.

“Someone Else’s Skin” is the first novel in the DI Marnie Rome series of novels. DI Marnie and DS Jake are investigating a case of domestic violence in which Hope Proctor claims to have acted in an act of desperate self-defense in stabbing her husband. While there were many witnesses to the crime that happened at the domestic violence shelter, their stories are not congruent. The biggest question for the detective though is how did Leo Proctor access the highly secured shelter. The detectives were not even supposed to be there at the time of the incident, but they were grilling Ayana Mirza another resident. They are trying to convince Ayana that her brother that had poured bleach on her face blinding her in one eye for bringing dishonor to her family belonged in jail, and that she was the one to put him there by testifying. But the terrified girl believes that her brothers are on the hunt for her, and may just get to her and kill her before she can testify. With the violence spiraling out of control, Marnie gets the familiar feeling of dread and terror, and knows that survival will depend on her treading carefully.

“No other darkness” is a delightful and genius novel that displays Sarah Hilary’s brilliance at writing the police procedural. Character and detail are just one part of it with the best being the writing of clues that point the reader in one direction only to write clues that send the reader in another. The story opens to the two detectives investigating the discovery of the bodies of two young boys under a bunker that had been carved out of a suburban house. The two bodies do not have any clue as to the identity of the two boys but the mystery deepens as no reports of two children missing had been reported in the area. It is an unsettling tale considering the ages of the two boys and the state that the bodies were found in. Marnie gets down to work drawing closer and closer to finding the identity of the children and how they came to be in the bunker and why they did not get out. Flowing at a great pace, it is well written novel that will have you fooled that you have it all figured out, until Hilary gets you with that sucker punch that she delivers so well.

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