(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)on March 6, 2018
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 Darkling Bride is the newest book from Laura Andersen and if you haven’t heard me rave about her other books yet…go check them out. They are some of my favorite historical fiction books…which leads me to this book and one of the reasons why I wanted to read it.
This book focuses on the Gallagher family and their family home, Deeprath Castle located in the Wicklow Mountains, has been at the center of their story for a long time. Due to the family history as well as the mysterious circumstances around some deaths in the family, the legend of the Darkling Bride has continued to grow.
One of the things I thought that Andersen did really well was moving from current time to the past easily. The story flowed well and while I really wanted to focus on Aidan and Carragh, I also was extremely interested in Jenny Gallagher’s story. Andersen does this by weaving all the pieces together seamlessly and tying it back to the mysterious deaths of Aidan Gallagher’s parents which have gone unsolved for years.
I love a great character driven story and Andersen does a fantastic job of developing both Carragh and Aidan. I loved these two and they both have had something traumatic shape who they are today which gives them a connection not everyone has. With that said, they have both been trying to avoid anything that links them to their painful pasts but that isn’t as easy as they would hope, especially for Aidan when the cold case around his parent’s death is revisited by an inspector that is determined to figure out what really happened. I do also have to share that the banter between Aidan and Carragh is wonderfully done.
I also thought the secondary characters were great. Not only did they help move the story forward, but they also added layers to the story that weren’t necessarily expected. Carragh’s family, Inspector McKenna, Nessa Gallagher, Kyla and Philip – all were important to the story.
One other piece that I will briefly mention is the story of Jenny Gallagher as she is at the center of the Darkling Bride legend. Family legacy plays a big role in this book and Jenny’s story is the one that begins it all. As the only daughter and inheritor of the Gallagher estate, Jenny had a hard time finding someone who wanted her for more than Deeprath Castle. When Evan Chase, an author, arrives to explore the legend of the Darkling Bride, their story begins and echoes into the future as Aidan and Carragh find out more about the Gallagher family than they truly expected to.
I don’t really want to say much more as there are some twists and turns in this story that I don’t want to disclose and potentially ruin the whole thing. Just know that going into this book, you will get to dig into the secrets of the Gallagher family through the eyes of three different generations and each will give you an important part of the whole story. I had a hard time putting this book down and I loved trying to figure things out right along with the characters in this book. If you are looking for a story that will take you to the countryside of Ireland and digging into a family mystery, I highly recommend you check this book out. I will be waiting patiently to see what Laura Andersen writes next and you will most likely find me re-reading this one (and her other books) again just to tide me over.
Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.