The Darkling Bride
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 Details

TitleThe Darkling Bride
Author
ReleaseApr 17th, 2018
PublisherBallantine Books
ISBN-139780425286456
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Fiction, Gothic, Cultural, Ireland, Adult

The Darkling Bride Review

  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen is 2018 Ballantine publication. I had a feeling I’d would like this one! A seven- hundred- year old Irish castle, multiple family tragedies, mysteries, unsolved crimes, a legendary author, an unpublished manuscript, a dash of romance, and a library to die for- Be still my heart! This story is, in many ways, an ode to Gothic mystery and romances, especially those written back in the sixties and seventies by such acclaimed writers as Mary Stewart and Victoria H The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen is 2018 Ballantine publication. I had a feeling I’d would like this one! A seven- hundred- year old Irish castle, multiple family tragedies, mysteries, unsolved crimes, a legendary author, an unpublished manuscript, a dash of romance, and a library to die for- Be still my heart! This story is, in many ways, an ode to Gothic mystery and romances, especially those written back in the sixties and seventies by such acclaimed writers as Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt. The story has three separate timelines, but while that does sound daunting, it is very easy to follow and not at all confusing. The Darkling Bride, a dangerous woman, said to haunt Deeprath Castle, is an old Irish legend. Some believe she was behind the sad and mysterious death of Jenny Gallagher back in 1880. After her death, Jenny’s husband, famed author, Ethan Chase, left his young son in the care of his wife’s family, then left Ireland a bereft and broken man. Evan never published another book.In 1992, yet another tragedy occurred in the form of a murder/suicide, leaving young Aidan Gallagher and his sister to be raised by their staid great aunt. The circumstance surrounding the deaths was extremely murky at best and the case was never closed. Fast forward to 2015 where Aidan has decided to put the old castle in a public trust and in the process discovers his parent’s case is still open and has been assigned to an eager cold case detective, who has requested an interview with him and the other members of his family. Not only that, his aunt has hired Carragh Ryan to inventory the library, where there are still private family papers he doesn’t want to public to have access to. But, Carragh is also on a secret mission to find Evan Chase’s unpublished manuscript. It’s hard for me to write a review of a book like this one without giving in to the irresistible urge to lecture on how this type of story would have been right at home forty years ago when Gothic mysteries were all the rage. I’m worried the modern reader, who may not be familiar with that style, will misunderstand the effect the author was trying to achieve here. The writing style was different back then, and while there was a romantic element, it was not the focal point of the story. In fact, there was barely any touching or kissing, and not until the very last chapter. The pace usually started out slow, steadily increasing, building the suspense in the process. This tactic worked to create a thick atmospheric tension, as the heroine always managed to find herself in danger and unable to trust those around her, including her possible love interest. It was good stuff, I assure you. I think the author was trying to capture some of that old magic, but unfortunately, the story is just too ambitious and falls short of the goal she was striving for. There's just too much happening, an enormous cast, running across three timelines, even blending older Gothic elements into the mix, as well as a mystery, and historical fiction, which left the characters underdeveloped, leading to a probable disconnect with readers. The pacing is slow, which may have been deliberate, mimicking the books the novel is obviously paying homage to, but in this case, it falls flat. Once again, it might have been more effective if the book hadn’t been so busy, but it might also be that most of us have become spoiled to a much brisker pace. Having said that, as a HUGE fan of Victoria Holt, a name the author mentioned a couple of times in this book, I ‘got’ what the author was trying to accomplish. I understood every single nuance, every single twist, the folklore, the haunting, the suspicions, the slow burn, the chaste romance, and the untrustworthy characters. In fact, this book has me craving an old Gothic story so much, I’m planning to put everything else on hold, so I can read at least one of my VH novels, immediately, and maybe even a Mary Stewart novel, too. While I recognize this book was not as cohesive as it needed to be, in order to really pull of that trademark sinister atmosphere, I do appreciate the effort, and loved the tribute to the Gothic genre. I’m celebrating the fact that someone out there is still reading Phyliss Whitney, Dorothy Daniels, Dorothy Eden, Joan Aiken, Mary Stewart, and Barbara Michaels, and many others, as well as the Bronte’s and other classic Gothic tales. I am also keeping my fingers crossed that interest in the genre will continue. It’s a tiny ‘mini-trend’ right now, but to my mind it’s a long overdue resurrection. 3.5 stars rounded up
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  • Melisa
    January 1, 1970
    A mystery based around a 700 year old Irish castle where the secrets lie within the antiquated books of its library. A bibliophile/history buff/reader’s dream scenario. This book has a lot going on in it, and I mean A LOT. Several different mysteries and timelines with elements of police procedural, gothic, historical fiction, murder mystery, supernatural, romance, and Irish geography, history, and folklore. Phew! But somehow the author managed to make a cohesive, flowing story while incorporati A mystery based around a 700 year old Irish castle where the secrets lie within the antiquated books of its library. A bibliophile/history buff/reader’s dream scenario. This book has a lot going on in it, and I mean A LOT. Several different mysteries and timelines with elements of police procedural, gothic, historical fiction, murder mystery, supernatural, romance, and Irish geography, history, and folklore. Phew! But somehow the author managed to make a cohesive, flowing story while incorporating all these ideas together. I had some minor issues with the flow of the book. While it was cohesive, the constant jumping from timeline to timeline and character to character was a bit jarring for me as a reader. Still a very entertaining read, if gothic mysteries are your thing, I encourage you to try this one out!Thank you to Netgalley, Laura Andersen, and Ballantine Books for a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars
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  • JanB
    January 1, 1970
    Atmospheric and suspenseful, this modern day gothic mystery has it all: a centuries old castle, a ghostly presence, family secrets, mysterious deaths, local legends, and yes, even a little romance. The Gallagher family has owned Deeprath Castle in Ireland for centuries, but the current owner, Aiden, has decided to sign it over to the National Trust. A young woman, Carragh Ryan, has been hired to take inventory of the castle's massive library. Aiden’s parents died under suspicious circumstances a Atmospheric and suspenseful, this modern day gothic mystery has it all: a centuries old castle, a ghostly presence, family secrets, mysterious deaths, local legends, and yes, even a little romance. The Gallagher family has owned Deeprath Castle in Ireland for centuries, but the current owner, Aiden, has decided to sign it over to the National Trust. A young woman, Carragh Ryan, has been hired to take inventory of the castle's massive library. Aiden’s parents died under suspicious circumstances at the castle 20 years ago, leaving him and his sister in the care of his stern Aunt Nessa. The deaths have never been solved but the case has been reopened and is is currently being investigated by local police. Adding to the mystery of the castle, in the 1800’s the wife of a famous author died under mysterious circumstances at Deeprath. Local legend has it that the Darkling Bride who haunts the castle is behind the deaths. While cataloguing the libraries contents, Carragh finds clues that may be the key to solving the mysterious deaths. She and Aiden team up to uncover long buried secrets. There was a lot going on with three story lines set in three different time periods, as well as a current police investigation. Unfortunately, it was just a bit too much. As a result, character development suffered, and the requisite romance was lukewarm and unconvincing. Everything started to merge together and I sometimes found it difficult to keep all the stories straight. I would have preferred if the book had focused on only one or two of the plot lines. I would recommend this one for ardent fans of gothic fiction!*thanks to Netgalley, Ballantine Publishing, and Laura Anderson for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    3 moody Gothic starsOnce upon a time, many of us would have loved to live in an Irish castle with its ghosts, secret rooms, hidden passages, and a very long history. For the Gallagher family tracing back hundreds of years that was their life. They had lived in a castle, they had experienced its tragedies, they had and were becoming a part of its history. Many things had transpired over those years and if the walls of the castle Deeprath, oh, the stories they would tell.Now, the castle is being t 3 moody Gothic starsOnce upon a time, many of us would have loved to live in an Irish castle with its ghosts, secret rooms, hidden passages, and a very long history. For the Gallagher family tracing back hundreds of years that was their life. They had lived in a castle, they had experienced its tragedies, they had and were becoming a part of its history. Many things had transpired over those years and if the walls of the castle Deeprath, oh, the stories they would tell.Now, the castle is being turned over to the public trust and so an accounting must be made of it many holdings especially those contained within its enormous library. Carragh Ryan is hired to do the job. She meets the family, the handsome dashing current Viscount Aidan, his severe Aunt Nessa, his sister and brother in law. All of them are always at odds with one another and Carragh seems to be headed for some unforeseeable trouble.For Aidan and his sister, Deeprath castle was a place of tragedy, a place where their parents brutally died, perhaps even killed by the ghost of the Darkling Bride who seems to be both a legend and possibly a reality. Tragically another woman, Jenny Gallagher also lost her life at Deeprath many years prior to the Aidan's parents and she too seemed to fall under the influence of the Darkling Bride. So the mystery of why and how these people died is the basis of this novel.This story is atmospherically told, having many moments of mystery intertwined into the history of the castle. However, at times, the story seemed to meander a bit and be a bit too murky and long winded. In spite of that, it was a fun read for those who enjoy a mysterious castle, a family with secrets, and an historical look into the past.Thanks you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of this novel.
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  • Morgannah
    January 1, 1970
    Ghosts are not supposed to exist, which is one reason why ghost stories are often about things that people try to deny. The Darkling Bride hews to the essential aspects of the traditional ghost story: the big spooky castle with a tragic past, the peculiar noises and eerie events that slowly intensify into a terrifying assault, the blurring line between internal turmoil and external phenomena, the skeptical scientific observer nudged ever closer to belief. I found that class anxiety was the ani Ghosts are not supposed to exist, which is one reason why ghost stories are often about things that people try to deny. The Darkling Bride hews to the essential aspects of the traditional ghost story: the big spooky castle with a tragic past, the peculiar noises and eerie events that slowly intensify into a terrifying assault, the blurring line between internal turmoil and external phenomena, the skeptical scientific observer nudged ever closer to belief. I found that class anxiety was the animating force behind this suspenseful and psychologically layered haunted house story. The story is deftly told through three time periods but Ms. Andersen weaves the story so seamlessly that the transitions between times seem smooth and effortless. There is a romantic element that is secondary to the family mystery and it is done just right. A little romantic and sexual tension never hurts a story as long as it plays in the background and doesn't take center stage. Overall, The Darkling Bride is about class, and the unavoidable yet lamentable price paid when venerable social hierarchies begin to erode.
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  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    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?A seven hundred year old family castle is home to intrigue, mystery, deceit and death. Three generations of one family will be forever lashed together in history when dark secrets are revealed and wicked machinations in th 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?A seven hundred year old family castle is home to intrigue, mystery, deceit and death. Three generations of one family will be forever lashed together in history when dark secrets are revealed and wicked machinations in the name of “family” expose what the human mind is capable of.Carragh has been hired to catalog an ancient family library, but what she unwittingly discovers will forever change both the past and the future of the Gallagher family.THE DARKLING BRIDE by Laura Andersen marries mystery and murder together with an atmosphere that brings the smell of old books and the grit of untold secrets to life. Gothic in its feel, dark and tense, Ms. Andersen delivers a fabulous mystery set in the haunting backdrop of an ancient castle in the Ireland. Perfect reading for a dark and stormy night! Proof that if the walls could talk, secrets will be told.I received a complimentary ARC edition from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine!Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 6, 2018)Publication Date: March 6, 2018Genre: Mystery | Thriller | HistoricalPrint Length: 369 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. Book lover and scholar Carragh Ryan is hired to take inventory of Deeprath Castle's 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.Queue up the creepy gothic music? Nope. The ingredients were there, ancient creepy castle and the owners are a creepy family with dark, creepy secrets but the story barely held my in I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. Book lover and scholar Carragh Ryan is hired to take inventory of Deeprath Castle's 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.Queue up the creepy gothic music? Nope. The ingredients were there, ancient creepy castle and the owners are a creepy family with dark, creepy secrets but the story barely held my interest. It rambled here and there and was hard to keep track of ... too many timelines and characters.3☆
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    AhhhhhhhhhhhhhThat my friends is the poorly rendered sound of a very happy and very satisfied reader. There's something truly, deeply enjoyable about a good, old fashioned gothic mystery. When its also brilliantly written and full of well crafted characters and delicious historical tidbits all the better!I was familiar with author Laura Andersen's cracking good alternative history series The Boleyn Trilogy 3-Book Bundle: The Boleyn King, The Boleyn Deceit, The Boleyn Reckoning that took the "wha AhhhhhhhhhhhhhThat my friends is the poorly rendered sound of a very happy and very satisfied reader. There's something truly, deeply enjoyable about a good, old fashioned gothic mystery. When its also brilliantly written and full of well crafted characters and delicious historical tidbits all the better!I was familiar with author Laura Andersen's cracking good alternative history series The Boleyn Trilogy 3-Book Bundle: The Boleyn King, The Boleyn Deceit, The Boleyn Reckoning that took the "what if Anne Boleyn had a son" idea and ran with it in delightful ways that (thank god above) breathed a welcome fresh breath of air into the Tudor historical fiction genre. Her latest book The Darkling Bride is every bit as riveting.We're introduced to Carragh Ryan, a twenty something recent college grad who's looking for a purpose in life and a little cash flow to fix up the Scottish brownstone she's just been willed by her beloved grandma. Almost on a whim she applies for a position as an archivist for the library of Deeprath Castle, an ancient and noble estate that is about to become the property of the National Trust. Carragh is to catalog the books and ascertain whether anything of value to the family is within the huge library. But what she is also doing (on her own) is searching for an elusive manuscript written by favorite author of her and her grandmother who once stayed at the castle and who's wife died under very mysterious circumstances a hundred years before. It is rumored that book is the story of the darkling bride, a figure of local legend from centuries past who supposedly haunts the castle seeking recompense for her own murder.Upon her arrival she is immediately caught up in the modern day mystery of the present occupants of the estate, Nessa the venerable and cold matriarch of the family and her niece and nephew Kyra and Aidan who she has raised ever since their parents horrendous and unsolved deaths. It isn't long before Carragh and Aidan catch each others attention and a mysterious and violent enemy begins to make it clear they do not want any of these mysteries solved.Its no mean feat that Anderson ably handles three completely separate and wildly different time periods. She also effortlessly connects each individual story to the others as she establishes the dangers of placing too much value on a family name rather than the family itself. Its honestly amazing to read about each incarnation of Deeprath castle, which is just as much of a character as the people who live there. Where this differs slightly from more traditional gothic mystery writing is in its characters, all of whom are very believable. Even the worst of them turn out to have some redeeming qualities and in some cases are clearly haunted and wretched over the things they've done. This is a book where the "why" is just as important as the "who." In fact the entire point of the story hinges on it. This was a deeply engrossing read that I simply couldn't put down till I'd finished it. Its full of wonderful historical descriptions of the wilds of Scotland and populated with richly drawn people. There are enough shocking family secrets and mysterious spectral apparitions and ghostly goings on to satisfy any fan of classic mysteries but its tinged with just enough real human emotion and reaction to make the reader fully invest in the more emotional components of the story. Anderson tackles issues of grief and loyalty with just as much style as she does ghost brides and secret passages. I cared about these characters, every single one of them.A delightful, dark, and just a tad romantic read that I was very sorry to finish!
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  • Tracey
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars rounded to 4The 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. I finished this book a couple of days ago and have been stewing over how to review. How do you review a book that you just didn’t connect to, but yet I couldn’t put it down?While, very much lacking in character d 3.5 Stars rounded to 4The 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. I finished this book a couple of days ago and have been stewing over how to review. How do you review a book that you just didn’t connect to, but yet I couldn’t put it down?While, very much lacking in character development, except Carragh, it was a nice read full of mystery, a complex family, a little romance and a castle with a ghost or two. There are three times lines 1879, 1972 and current day, a little much but not confusing. I think what didn’t work for me, is that I was hoping for more romance than what I got. The mystery, or should I say mysteries, took front and center. Which normally is my preference but in this instance I wanted that romance. So, while a very enjoyable read it was just not for me. Thank you NetGalley, Ballentine Books and author for a free advanced e-book copy for an honest review.
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  • Sophia
    January 1, 1970
    If you have the years on you or simply enjoy pulling some older dusty books off the library shelves, you might remember older gothic-flavored romantic suspenses by Mary Stewart or Victoria Holt or Daphne DuMaurier. I loved their writing that gave one a little chill, a harrowing adventure for a heroine, and a nice bit of legend or history altogether. I say all that to share the fact that The Darklling Bride set in the mountains of County Wicklow, Ireland belongs in that illustrious group.The Dark If you have the years on you or simply enjoy pulling some older dusty books off the library shelves, you might remember older gothic-flavored romantic suspenses by Mary Stewart or Victoria Holt or Daphne DuMaurier. I loved their writing that gave one a little chill, a harrowing adventure for a heroine, and a nice bit of legend or history altogether. I say all that to share the fact that The Darklling Bride set in the mountains of County Wicklow, Ireland belongs in that illustrious group.The Darkling Bride starts the reader in the present day when beginner scholar, Carragh Ryan, is invited to take a three-week temp job that is the job of her dreams- a chance to go to a real Irish castle and seat of the Gallagher family, catalogue the library, and maybe, just maybe find a lost manuscript by an intriguing Victorian novelist who was one of the great.From there, Carragh discovers there is an unsolved murder from twenty years before and hints of a dark cursed history associated with Deeprath Castle and the Gallaghers. The decision by Aidan Gallagher to put the castle and its contents into the hands of the National Trusts stirs up the past and now Carragh and Aidan must discover the secrets of the past to keep darkness from stirring once again.There are flashbacks to two earlier time lines that help fill in what came before as answers are discovered one by one. The author instilled a foreboding atmosphere and an eerie sense that the supernatural is close even though I was never sure about that. Just like, when the family gathers, I was never sure who was innocent or guilty- or should I say, whose secrets were pertinent to the murders and castle secrets. Even Carragh, a stranger in the midst has her secrets and ties to the family.I enjoyed that several genre elements were present- gothic, suspense, romance, and historical fiction. There are personal journeys that Carragh and Aidan and even the police officer are on to make peace with their own pasts, but also their budding interest in each other and, of course, the murders in the past.There was a nice bit of local flavor, legend, and history, but it was organic to the story so that it never felt too much or distracting. There is also a sense of connection and fun wink to several great romantic suspense writers from before so that the writing felt familiar even though this was my first time reading Laura Andersen's work.So, this was a wonderful, riveting read that I can definitely recommend who love the old style mildly chilling romantic suspenses.My thanks to Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Such a fun book to read! If you like Kate Morton's books, you will definitely like this one. This one is perfect to read on a rainy day and it is suspenseful as you try to figure out the mystery of who did it. I hope Andersen writes more books like this one!
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  • ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
    January 1, 1970
    This was a highly enjoyable dark murder mystery. When I first requested this egalley, I was drawn in by the gothic style elements that were present and what bibliophile doesn't like a book that involves books? Especially one set in an irish, gothic, and historical library setting. We also got to enjoy a gothic style romance with a lot of dark mysterious paranormal elements including the descriptions of an Irish Castle library and the rest of the 200 year old castle's secret rooms. This was quite This was a highly enjoyable dark murder mystery. When I first requested this egalley, I was drawn in by the gothic style elements that were present and what bibliophile doesn't like a book that involves books? Especially one set in an irish, gothic, and historical library setting. We also got to enjoy a gothic style romance with a lot of dark mysterious paranormal elements including the descriptions of an Irish Castle library and the rest of the 200 year old castle's secret rooms. This was quite the magnificent tale and the all the characters(including the dead ones ( were enjoyable.The only issue I had with this book was the romance felt a bit off and little forced. Overall, I enjoyed this novel with fantastic characters, a great plot and a gorgeous setting! Highly recommended!I want to thank NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views and opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Mandie
    January 1, 1970
    I normally don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but I really enjoyed The Darkling Bride! It was full of gothic romance and mystery! It was an intriguing and entertaining read! I would recommend this book.
  • MaryannC.Book Fiend
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars for me. A Gothicky read about the Gallagher family who have owned Deeprath Castle and the sinister secrets the castle seems to hold. After much contemplation Aidan Gallagher has come back home to sell his birth right (Deeprath Castle), his parents having been murdered in the castle when he was a child and the case never solved brings forth a new young detective wanting to solve the murders. In a connected storyline there was another mystery surrounding young bride, Jenny Gallagher who 3.5 Stars for me. A Gothicky read about the Gallagher family who have owned Deeprath Castle and the sinister secrets the castle seems to hold. After much contemplation Aidan Gallagher has come back home to sell his birth right (Deeprath Castle), his parents having been murdered in the castle when he was a child and the case never solved brings forth a new young detective wanting to solve the murders. In a connected storyline there was another mystery surrounding young bride, Jenny Gallagher who died in the late 1800's at the castle as well. As Aidan begins tying up loose ends with the castle his elderly and tyrannical aunt hires Carragh Ryan to archive the family's extensive library when she begins to experience odd happenings as she looks into the case of Jenny Gallagher's death as well as the deaths of Aidan's parents. I liked the gothic feel of this read but about 3/4 of the way I felt it lagged a bit and was losing it's momentum for me but all in all this a good read for those who like gothic, mysterious reads.Thanks to NetGalley and author Laura Anderson for providing me a copy for my review.
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  • Dayle (the literary llama)
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely an early contender for one of my best books of the year! I freaking loved it. Longer review forthcoming...*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 stars Deeprath Castle in the Wicklow Mountains near Glendalough has been in the Gallagher family since the 12th century. The current Viscount, Aidan, has decided to sign it over to the National Trust over everyone's protests. It holds bad memories for him as his parents were murdered there 23 years ago when he was 10 and this visit was the first time he has returned since then. Young Carragh Ryan is hired to archive the extensive private library. An enigma herself, she is of Chinese descent 3.75 stars Deeprath Castle in the Wicklow Mountains near Glendalough has been in the Gallagher family since the 12th century. The current Viscount, Aidan, has decided to sign it over to the National Trust over everyone's protests. It holds bad memories for him as his parents were murdered there 23 years ago when he was 10 and this visit was the first time he has returned since then. Young Carragh Ryan is hired to archive the extensive private library. An enigma herself, she is of Chinese descent adopted by Irish parents when she was 4. She is completely fascinated by the history as famed Gothic novelist, Evan Chase, came to the castle, married the daughter of that viscount, and never wrote again. His wife committed suicide in 1882 about three years after their marriage. He left his young son there and returned to England dying several years later. The story revolves those three stories- Jenny and Evan in 1882, the time of the murder of Aidan's parents in 1992 and current times where they are trying to uncover the parents murderers. The castle is full of treasures, history and ghosts. It was slow starting but once the story went along and the action picked up, it became much more interesting. I also liked all the history of the area and the story of St. Kevin. For those who like atmospheric novels, this is a good one. Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    This was such an enjoyable read! Telling the story of one family's history over several hundred years it included a wonderful castle that became a character of the book, amazing landscapes, interesting history, great characters, a bit of romance and a mystery that kept me guessing. It had all the components of a great book that I love and it definitely delivered a really great read. Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Caitlin Christensen
    January 1, 1970
    "And then... disaster. In the shape - as so often in men's recounting of history - a woman." The Darkling Bride is a glorious romp through Irish myth and legend, and I really couldn't put it down. It's not my usual cup o' tea, so to speak, but I am so glad that I requested a review copy and had that request granted! I have no doubt it will be the best Adult fiction title I read this year. Who wouldn't be sucked in by a generations-old myth come to life in an ancient castle in the middle of nowhe "And then... disaster. In the shape - as so often in men's recounting of history - a woman." The Darkling Bride is a glorious romp through Irish myth and legend, and I really couldn't put it down. It's not my usual cup o' tea, so to speak, but I am so glad that I requested a review copy and had that request granted! I have no doubt it will be the best Adult fiction title I read this year. Who wouldn't be sucked in by a generations-old myth come to life in an ancient castle in the middle of nowhere Ireland? Especially when you throw in a heavy dose of family secrets and covered-up scandals, and then sprinkle in a dash (or two) of slow burning Victorian romance? Like I said, it'll hook you. "And that's what crimes were: stories. Of lust and love and anger and hate, of boredom and alcohol and principle." I am a sucker for a bookworm, and Carragh was no exception to that rule. I found her to be an engaging protagonist and I couldn't blame her at all for taking a job at a supposedly haunted castle in order to try to hunt down a long lost manuscript by her favorite author (formerly a resident and victim of a terrible scandal that prevented him from ever finishing the book he was writing while there). I would have done the same. And, of course, she gets quite a bit more than she bargained for because Deeprath Castle has secrets woven into its' very bones, secrets that are begging to be uncovered. But there is someone out there who will do anything to stop those secrets from seeing the light of day. There is quite a bit of mystery here, but it's not as scary as I was afraid it would be, something I'm grateful for as I like to be able to sleep at not. Instead, the mystery is more unnerving than terrifying, I appreciated that. I also really liked the use of magical realism (I won't go into it because I don't want to spoil anything) and I was absolutely shocked by some of the discoveries made along the way to this book's conclusion. And not just the ones pertaining to The Infamous Gallagher Family, either. Carragh's got some interesting nuggets hidden away as well. Overall, excellently executed mystery, in a lush setting, and abounding in gorgeous prose. Rating: 5/5 stars
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  • Christine Roberts
    January 1, 1970
    Review to Follow
  • Jenea Whittington
    January 1, 1970
    The Darkling Brife is a gothic ghost story that spans several hundred years, all in a mysterious castle hidden in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland. Deeprath Castle has been in the Gallagher family for over seven hundred years, and is now being given up to a public trust. The family has brought in a young woman to catalogue their extravagant family library.From the beginning this pulled me into the mystery of the castle and into the secretive families world. The rumors have always circulated abou The Darkling Brife is a gothic ghost story that spans several hundred years, all in a mysterious castle hidden in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland. Deeprath Castle has been in the Gallagher family for over seven hundred years, and is now being given up to a public trust. The family has brought in a young woman to catalogue their extravagant family library.From the beginning this pulled me into the mystery of the castle and into the secretive families world. The rumors have always circulated about the castle and its happenings over the course of history, but when Carragh Ryan start her cataloguing, she learns she is in for more than she bargained for. The letters found hold secrets from long ago, but those secrets also play into the current things going on and make for one suspenseful and creepy tale of love and tragedy.Aiden, who is one the last of the Gallagher family, has wanted nothing to do with the place, and has relunctly agreed to help Carragh. There is a connection between them, which I enjoyed, but the mystery of this castle alone was enthralling. I think it in itself was a character, the things it witnessed, the mysterious Darkling Bride herself, the secrets and truths it held was so fascinating. Anderson definitely wove a ghostly mystery set in a beautifully gothic and perfect setting. This is one author I will certainly be on the lookout for more from.
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  • Wit & Wonder Books
    January 1, 1970
    *** ARC provided by the author for an honest review ***Deeprath Castle is the ancestral home of the Gallagher family. It has seen the life and times, the good and the bad, happy and sad of the Gallagher’s from the beginning and is the backdrop for Laura Andersen's The Darkling Bride.In the late 1882, famed author Evan Chase, lost his wife in an apparent suicide and never wrote again. The two met at Deeprath Castle while he was doing research about the tale of the Darkling Bride. He would have st *** ARC provided by the author for an honest review ***Deeprath Castle is the ancestral home of the Gallagher family. It has seen the life and times, the good and the bad, happy and sad of the Gallagher’s from the beginning and is the backdrop for Laura Andersen's The Darkling Bride.In the late 1882, famed author Evan Chase, lost his wife in an apparent suicide and never wrote again. The two met at Deeprath Castle while he was doing research about the tale of the Darkling Bride. He would have stayed at Deeprath until his ending of days, however, it was not meant to be.In 1992, Lord and Lady Gallagher were found dead at Deeprath Castle. The case for their deaths was never solved. Lord and Lady Gallagher left behind their fifteen year old daughter and ten year old son, the children were never the same from that day. Raised by an older aunt, the family left Deeprath Castle soon after the deaths and never came back.23 years later, the family comes back to ready the house for donation as a tourist attraction. Upon their return, the cold case of the murders of Lord and Lady Gallagher is reopened, and things aren’t quite as cut and dry as they were before. What seemed to be an apparent murder by theft has turned into something darker, something a lot more sinister. But what is the truth about the deaths of Lord and Lady Gallagher.This book was very well written. I found myself wanting to know how all the deaths were connected to the Darkling Bride. I also enjoyed learning the history behind the family and their familial home, reading through the stories of legend. I love to learn new and interesting stories regarding history, and this book delivers. Four stars.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    What an enjoyable, escapist read! For lovers of historical fiction, Gothic fiction, and/or mystery, this book has it all. Andersen aptly braids together three storylines from three different time periods (current, 1970's-1990's, 1880's) and casts the Wicklow area of Ireland (complete with castle and ghosts) as a broody character as well. I finished reading it in a big armchair, cup of tea in hand, as I listened to the rain pattering against the window -- a truly fitting setting for such a novel.
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    I am a big fan of this author's alternative Tudor history series so I was eager to see how she did with more straight-forward historical fiction.A very satisfying, escapist read with a bit of Gothic overtones as well as the parallel narrator structure reminiscent of Kate Morton's works.
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  • Stacey Kade
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED this one!
  • Aisling
    January 1, 1970
    This is a terrific gothic mystery; lots of gorgeous atmosphere in picturesque Ireland, a centuries old family castle, squabbling family, mysterious deaths, a very light touch on the supernatural. The last 75-100 pages are unstoppable. The beginning is a bit slow but the pace at the end makes up for it. I have not read the author's award winning book (The Boleyn King) but I think I might now.
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  • OLT
    January 1, 1970
    (3.5 stars) Although lacking a little character development, this story makes up for it by supplying three separate but interconnected storylines, one taking place in the 1880s, one in the 1990s and a bit before, and one in 2015, all revolving around Deeprath Castle in Ireland and the aristocratic Gallagher family, who have lived there for generations. The title of Andersen's novel is taken from a dark and ghostly old Irish tale which lends this connection to three generations of the family.In 1 (3.5 stars) Although lacking a little character development, this story makes up for it by supplying three separate but interconnected storylines, one taking place in the 1880s, one in the 1990s and a bit before, and one in 2015, all revolving around Deeprath Castle in Ireland and the aristocratic Gallagher family, who have lived there for generations. The title of Andersen's novel is taken from a dark and ghostly old Irish tale which lends this connection to three generations of the family.In 1880 the tale is the impetus for gothic romance author and Englishman Evan Chase to travel to Ireland seeking out inspiration for his next gothic novel. He there meets and falls in love with Jenny Gallagher, daughter of the 13th Viscount Gallagher. Theirs is a bittersweet love story with a somewhat mysterious ending for those concerned.Then we meet up with another mystery in the life of the 16th Viscount, happily married to his American wife Lily, with two children, daughter Kyra, 14 years old, and Aidan, 10, when in 1992 he is discovered brutally murdered in the castle library and his wife dead after a fall from the Bride Tower of the castle. Murder/suicide or a double murder? An unsolved and now cold case.In 2015 the 17th Viscount Gallagher, Aidan, who had not returned to Deeprath Castle since the tragic deaths of his parents, has now decided to sign it away to the National Trust and have no more to do with it. His Aunt Nessa, not wishing to lose any important family books or papers, hires archivist Carragh Ryan to inventory the library before the castle is lost to the Gallagher family.All this opens up the proverbial can of worms. Carragh arrives to work at the castle, Aidan comes to oversee the castle's handover to the Trust, and Aidan's sister Kyra and her daughters (and later her estranged husband Philip) also show up. Not to mention that the old 1992 murder mystery has been reopened by the Garda and we have Inspector Sibeal McKenna nosing around.This is indeed an ensemble cast of characters and perhaps because there are so many (crusty Aunt Nessa, Carragh, Aidan, Aidan's erstwhile girlfriend Penelope, Kyra and her family, inspector McKenna, castle housekeeper and other castle employees, etc. in present day, and additional characters in the 1880s section and in the 1970s-1990s section), none of them became a very real and compelling person to me. But that was no problem for me because I read this mainly for the history and mystery, (possibly) ghostly elements, and scenic descriptions of Ireland and the castle. As such, it's an entertaining and atmospheric intergenerational mystery, with a dash of romance for Carragh and Aidan, the two characters who it is supposed are the main protagonists of Andersen's story.
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  • Maggies Daisy
    January 1, 1970
    Deeprath castle sits uninhabited in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland, that has been the home of the Gallagher family for well over seven hundred years. With the possible transfer of the building and lands to a public trust all the remaining Gallagher family members converge on the grounds for the final days. But when new evidence is unearthed in an old well, more questions are raised concerning the deaths of several past residents, the ghosts and police become more adamant in their struggles to Deeprath castle sits uninhabited in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland, that has been the home of the Gallagher family for well over seven hundred years. With the possible transfer of the building and lands to a public trust all the remaining Gallagher family members converge on the grounds for the final days. But when new evidence is unearthed in an old well, more questions are raised concerning the deaths of several past residents, the ghosts and police become more adamant in their struggles to solve the mysteries that plague this ancestral home. An excellent cast of characters spanning several generations to construct a tangled web of love & lies with a smattering of local history for an ever-present backdrop for the ghosts to roam undeterred in their mourning. By Laura Andersen 2018 Ballantine BooksGenere: Mystery, Thriller, Crime-Detective, Women, Murder,#TheDarklingBride #NetGalleyhttp://www.wicklowmountainsnationalpa...http://www.glendalough.ie/
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  • Marianne
    January 1, 1970
    Great story that drew me in quickly and kept me guessing. The Darkling Bride has all the elements that make it an enjoyable read - mystery, romance, a castle with ghost. Perfect for a rainy day. Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jenny Q
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw the description. A haunted castle? Irish folklore? A giant library? A dark and brooding viscount? Yes, please!When Carragh Ryan interviews for a job inventorying an ancient family library, she has no idea what lies before her. From the snooty matriarch, Nessa, to the frosty heir, Aiden, and his bitter sister, Kyla, the Gallagher family seems anything but welcoming. Carragh determines to enjoy her time in the magnificent stained-glass window-lined libra I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw the description. A haunted castle? Irish folklore? A giant library? A dark and brooding viscount? Yes, please!When Carragh Ryan interviews for a job inventorying an ancient family library, she has no idea what lies before her. From the snooty matriarch, Nessa, to the frosty heir, Aiden, and his bitter sister, Kyla, the Gallagher family seems anything but welcoming. Carragh determines to enjoy her time in the magnificent stained-glass window-lined library, get the job done, and get out. But the re-opening of the investigation into the murder of Aiden's parents two decades earlier stirs up family secrets and appears to provoke the Darkling Bride. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn of the legend of the Darkling Bride, the tragic tale of Jenny Gallagher and Evan Chase, and the details of the fateful summer leading up to Lily and Cillian Gallagher's deaths. When unexplained happenings begin occurring in the castle, and Carragh finds herself at the mercy of two spirits--one that seems to want to help her solve the mystery of what happened to Aiden's parents and one that seems to want her gone--Carragh determines to find the clues she is sure are hidden in the library. But as she gets closer to the truth, someone--or something--will stop at nothing to keep the truth from coming to light.This book and I got off to a rocky start. After seeing so many good reviews for the author's Tudor series, the contemporary romance style of writing was not what I was expecting, nor were the characters. But the mystery of the Darkling Bride and the castle's murders soon had me hooked. Then I was thrown again by the numerous points of view that kept popping up and the fact that we had three timelines to keep track of. But I soon saw how these could all work together. But then I was thrown again by a plot twist. I got to the point where I wondered how much more the author was going to throw into this story and how it could possibly be satisfying beneath the weight of so many elements. But it worked . . . mostly.I can't quite put my finger on why, but this book ended up being just ho-hum for me. This is the type of book that sounds amazing in theory but gets a little lost in its execution. I enjoyed the Irish setting and the folklore tales, and it's got a great Gothic vibe going on, but it was fairly predictable. I can't say that I felt like I really got to know any of the characters, and I also felt like Carragh getting chosen for the job in the first place was a coincidence, so it never really felt like she was fated to be there. A couple of questions related to the mystery weren't answered when everything wrapped up, and there really is no romance to speak of. Just a couple of stolen kisses that could likely be due to being in such close proximity for an extended time. There's a hint at the end that Carragh and Aiden might end up as something more, but I would have appreciated something more concrete.Still, it is a very evocative tale with a nice combination of history, mystery, and spookiness, and I was flying through the final pages to see how everything would shake out. If you're a fan of Irish folklore and are looking for something a little different in historical mystery, The Darkling Bride should fit the bill.
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  • Erin Arkin
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars!I loved Andersen's Tudor books and while this book is a departure from that, I loved it just as much. This book has a great mix of history, family legacy, and mystery. If you're looking for a story that will pull you in, not only with a mystery but with interesting characters, check this one out. I can't wait to see what Laura Andersen writes next. **Edited 3/5/18**The Darkling Bride is the newest book from Laura Andersen and if you haven’t heard me rave about her other books yet…go ch 4.5 stars!I loved Andersen's Tudor books and while this book is a departure from that, I loved it just as much. This book has a great mix of history, family legacy, and mystery. If you're looking for a story that will pull you in, not only with a mystery but with interesting characters, check this one out. I can't wait to see what Laura Andersen writes next. **Edited 3/5/18**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.
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