The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen
Published by Ballantine Books on March 6, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Ghosts, Historical, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller
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Three generations of Irish nobles face their family secrets in this spellbinding novel from the award-winning author of the Boleyn King trilogy.
The Gallagher family has called Deeprath Castle home for seven hundred years. Nestled in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland, the estate is now slated to become a public trust, and book lover and scholar Carragh Ryan is hired to take inventory of its historic library. But after meeting Aidan, the current Viscount Gallagher, and his enigmatic family, Carragh knows that her task will be more challenging than she’d thought.
Two decades before, Aidan’s parents died violently at Deeprath. The case, which was never closed, has recently been taken up by a new detective determined to find the truth. The couple’s unusual deaths harken back a century, when twenty-three-year-old Lady Jenny Gallagher also died at Deeprath under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind an infant son and her husband, a renowned writer who never published again. These incidents only fueled fantastical theories about the Darkling Bride, a local legend of a sultry and dangerous woman from long ago whose wrath continues to haunt the castle.
The past catches up to the present, and odd clues in the house soon have Carragh wondering if there are unseen forces stalking the Gallagher family. As secrets emerge from the shadows and Carragh gets closer to answers—and to Aidan—could she be the Darkling Bride’s next victim?
The Gallagher family is no stranger to death, murder, and ghostly visitors to their ancestral castle. Deeprath Castle has been been inhabited by Gallagher’s for 700 years. As deep as their roots are, so are the secrets that lie within its walls. When Carragh Ryan accepts a job there helping to catalog the books in it’s library, she’s fully aware of it’s murderous past. Deeprath’s Viscount, Aidan has decided he no longer wants to own his family home. The same home his parents were murdered in and comes back to Ireland to handle his affairs.
When his parent’s murder case is brought forward again, family drama, secrets, and deception begin to emerge. Aiden struggles to remember key details. Aiden’s sister, Kyla has more important issues to deal with like her philandering husband, and elderly Aunt Nessa, who can’t let go of her aristocracy spends her time trying to reign them all in. However, once the police start digging, things begin to happen. The castle which in some ways is very much alive, push Carragh and Aiden to begin a hunt of their own.
The setting of this story is beautiful and I was enamored with the stories of Jenny Gallagher and the Darkling Bride. Laura Andersen did their story justice by bringing them to the forefront. Unfortunately, I felt like it took too much away from Carragh and Aiden. The development of their characters suffered somewhere in the pages of the mystery itself. I was craving more closure for them both and felt the ending for them was too abrupt. There are several different stories happening in The Darkling Bride, sometimes it was hard to keep it all straight. While I thoroughly enjoyed the story, I was at times frustrated by the pace. In order to properly tell the story, the author needed to also tell three other stories, which in my opinion muddled the main plot.
None of this takes away from the story, I was committed from the very beginning until the very last page.
* I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book *