Darkening Hour

Mona, a migrant domestic worker is employed by London housewife, Theodora.

At first Theodora only asks Mona to clean and occasionally cook for her, but as unwanted pressures from a demanding elderly father and a lazy, unemployed son begin to take their toll, Theodora deflects these onto Mona. Slowly, imperceptibly, Theodora’s demands increase until she is treating Mona as nothing better than a slave.

 Mona is trapped. She needs to work to send money back to her sick mother and young daughter, but she also needs to find Al, the love of her life who escaped Morocco to start a new life for them in London. But then Theodora takes her passport from her. Controlling Mona becomes Theodora’s goal, and Mona is going to have to take extreme measures of her own to escape the control of her increasingly abusive employer.

So when a murder is committed, who is to blame? Is it Theodora at the end of her tether, or Mona, desperate to find a way out?

THE DARKENING HOUR follows on from TIDELINE, which was published in January 2012.


‘A dark, compelling story, rich in London atmosphere and convincing psychological insights. (The Darkening Hour) cuts to the heart of our middle-class preoccupations and shows how warped our human values can become when insecurity sets in…wholly convincing from page one, right to the disturbing conclusion.’ –  Kate Rhodes author of Crossbones Yard

“Penny Hancock cranks up the tension in THE DARKENING HOUR, so when a murder is committed wer don’t know who to believe. This thriller about a stressed-out radio presenter who demands more and more from her elderly father’s put-upon carer is frighteningly plausible.” – Thriller of the Month, Good HouseKeeping

“There are hints of a young Daphne du Maurier in Hancock’s cool, evocative prose” – Daily Mail

“Narrated by Dora and Mona in turn, the author skilfully plays with both their versions of reality – as this dark and brooding novel races towards its genuinely scary conclusion.” – The Sunday Mirror