Cover Image: Path into Darkness

Path into Darkness

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Lisfenora is known across the British Isles for its yearly matchmaking festival. But a local man's murder and the grim discovery in his home have cast a somber mood over the town. Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern tries to make sense of the chaotic scene while struggling to set aside moral conflicts and grief for his comatose wife. Within days, he's plunged into even darker terrain when the investigation leads him on a collision course with the Tate family: troubled Nathan, who conceals secrets within ghastly secrets, and beautiful Zoe, the daughter Nathan abandoned years ago.
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"A haunting tale of family secrets, madness, and healing".

Lisfenora, Ireland.  Renown for its annual matchmaking festival. The 'matchmaker' in this case is the terminally ill Liam. Knowing that his end is near, he appoints his daughter, Merritt Chase, to take over the esteemed role of 'matchmaker'. Merritt, feeling she has no aptitude for this position is reluctant. She has moved to Ireland from California.

In the small village there is another father/daughter duo. Nathan Tate, a potter with PTSD has recently found himself living with his vivacious and beautiful daughter, Zoe. The reader is made aware that he is uncomfortable having Zoe in his house, and in his life. We wonder why...  Nathan has spent time in a psychiatric hospital. When his wife passed away, he abandoned Zoe to her grandparents.  Nathan is now suffering. He rarely sleeps and has nightmares when he does. He often seems in a fugue state, with little to no memory of what has transpired during them. His mental state is fragile and he has a large scar - we wonder how he got it. He becomes involved with Annie, a woman who has recently moved to the village who used to work as a psychiatric nurse. Both with troubles of their own, together the world seems safer.

"Belief becomes its own truth"

Zoe herself, young, beautiful and vibrant, fancies herself a 'healer'.  Some folk take her at face value, some view her absurd claim with amusement. At least one person in the village thinks that there is 'something off' about her...

Elder Joe is a local man who lives near a gravel quarry. A local regular at the village pub, he lives in a house much to large for him. He takes in 'lodgers'. These lodgers are not of the usual variety though, he takes in the elderly and infirm who cannot afford to stay in a care home. And let's just say that caring is not Elder Joe's strong suit.

The novel begins with the body of Elder Joe being found. Tasked with finding out who murdered him is Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern.  Danny, also a pub regular, has a dismal home situation. He has two young children who are cared for by his father-in-law while he is at work. His wife is in a coma and has been for six months now.  He takes his children to visit her every Saturday...

Then, there is a second murder in the small village. Common sense would dictate that they are connected, but are they?

I requested this title from NetGalley back when I thought NetGalley was a sweet shop and I was three years old. No seriously, I went through a spell when I was grabbing everything that took my eye - now of course experience has told me to be more selective.  Don't get me wrong, this was a great novel, but it is 3rd in a series.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate to start a series mid-stream.  I really, really wish I had read the previous two novels before starting this one to get more of the background on the characters. Most of the relationships had underlying complexity that might have been made clearer by starting with the first book, "Kilmoon" in which Merrit and her father Liam were first introduced.

The setting was enchanting. A small Irish village in County Clare. Well described I could just about feel the rain and see the vivid greens when the sun shone.

The characters were interesting and I wanted to know more about them. Why did Nathan suffer so? What secrets was he harboring? Why was Zoe so 'chirpy'? Why did she want to live in a small Irish village with her father? Even though she seems to dote on her father, she seems somehow out of place - like a peacock among pigeons.

Would Garda Danny ever find happiness? Would he discover the murderer?

The mystery plot in this novel was well developed and satisfying to me. I didn't mind the slower pace as the characters were so beguiling.  I do think my enjoyment of this title would have been much greater if I had read the previous novels in the series. In fact, I would go so far as to say it might have been a 5-star read for me if I had read the previous two books. For that, I only have myself to blame.

A novel that explores the themes of familial love, guilt, shame, and responsibility. Recommended to those crime/mystery lovers who like atmospheric settings and complex characters.  In summation, I enjoyed my most recent 'visit' to Ireland. Based on my overall enjoyment of the book, I am rating it at 4 stars.
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I have enjoyed reading this series. It's like revising Ireland. The characters have developed since the first novel. storylines at times were hard to follow. This novel isn't the best in the series but I look forward to the next one. Enjoy the read.....
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book. I plan to recommend it to friends and read more by the author!
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I wish I had discovered Lisa Alber's County Clare mysteries before the third book. You can start with Path into Darkness, but I recommend you start with the first, Kilmoon. The relationships are complicated enough that you should meet the characters in the original atmospheric mystery.
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This book was a pretty quick read, in so much that I just couldn't stop reading it. I always feel that means the story was fantastic. Started a smidge slow, but quickly gained pace.
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I didn't know this was the 3rd book, so maybe this is why I didn't connect to it, as I was hoping. I'm going to read the first one and see how that works for me. The story is slow paced. And it jumps to other characters. Lots of plot twist. I'll definitely give it a re read when I read the previous two book's from this series.
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This is the third book in the County Clare Mystery series. While the mystery aspect of the plot works fine as a standalone story, readers would gain more from the ongoing development of the recurring characters if the books were read in order. The relationships between the characters are pretty complex, the point of view changes frequently, and there are also journal entries. It's a good choice if you enjoy a more slow-moving, character-driven and deeply atmospheric novel.  
Unfortunately, this has been my least favourite of the three I've read now. The story starts off in an interesting and exciting manner and it was nice to reconnect with DS Danny Ahern, with Meredith and with the other oddball locals in the small village of Lisfenora in Ireland. But it soon began to drag and the mystery failed to hold my attention. I found it hard to become invested in the storyline about Zoe and her dad Nate. Mainly, I think, because it was so transparent what was going on with Zoe. I enjoyed the personal aspects of Danny's and Meredith's lives more than the rest of the story. For that reason, I will certainly continue with this series as I've become fond of some of the characters. But overall, not the best one of the series.
I received an ARC via NetGalley.
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this book was very interesting and I really enjoyed it. I would highly recommend this to friends
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I would have loved to have read the previous two books in the series before I read this one. I found the description of the small Irish village so well written I felt like I was there. I found some of the characters unlikeable and perhaps this was the intention of the author and at times the plot twists were confusing. I feel like had I read the previous two books I may have enjoyed this more.
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Having thoroughly enjoyed Whispers in the Mist, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read Lisa Alber’s next book, Path into Darkness.

Despite the murders and the madness, Alber’s writing, characters and plot have an element of charm to them. Perhaps it is the Irish-ness about it; their phrases and superstitions in this small town where being a matchmaker is as believable as being a genuine healer. It was this charm that drew me to the first book, and helped me enjoy the second book.

Danny has his hands full. His wife lies in a comatose state, her condition deteriorating while his children believe she will rise again on Easter Sunday. If that isn’t enough, a murder in the village causes Danny to have to delve deeper into the past of the lads he shares a pint with.

Meanwhile, Nathan has problems of his own, and not just his weak hold on reality. His beautiful and enigmatic daughter, Zoe, has found him. She is determined to look after him. But Zoe’s presence is doing more harm than good and Nathan doesn’t know who he can trust.

The book isn’t short (nearly 400 pages) but the pacing is swift, aided by the numerous changes in narration. The reader follows Danny, Nathan and Merrit, with diary entries from both Annie and her stalker adding their own twists. With sanity being a fluid state of being, there were times I felt overwhelmed by the number of voices to keep track of; especially as they all had their own problems and set of ideas.

That being said, I never got lost in the narration and the plot swept me along. Despite the aforementioned charm, there is darkness in this book, the type that gave me the shudders when it was revealed how far characters were prepared to go. This book delves into human nature and instinct, creating a powerful and brooding tale of love and loss.

The pacing is consistent, with twists scattered throughout. Every time I thought I had figured something out, another twist would undermine that theory. So many mysterious appear predictable these days. But Alber blends reality with superstition and the conclusion is that nothing should be ruled out as impossible. This book will take you for a ride!

Another message from this book: do not underestimate children! What should have been a sad ending was turned around by the reaction of Danny’s kids and it reminded me to never underestimate a child; being young just gives you a different way of thinking of things.

It was a joy returning to the characters from Whispers in the Mist. Although reading the first book gives you the background to the characters’ relationships, it is not a necessity to read it first. You get the feel of the characters through their interactions with one another regardless of whether you have read the first book or not.

An enjoyable mystery with a dark undercurrent. I definitely recommend Alber’s books!
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A local man is found dead..... this is the story of Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern who investigates this crime whilst his wife lies in a hospital bed in a coma.

It is an easy and quick read.  Thank you to Net Galley and Midnight Ink for a copy of this book to read and review
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What could be better reading in the sweltering months of summer than a dark and atmospheric mystery? As I read Lisa Alber’s highly anticipated Path Into Darkness, the third in her County Clare mystery series, I could almost feel the misty rain and brisk winds of Ireland sweeping over me. Although new to the series, I had no trouble becoming immediately engrossed in both the characters and plot line which centered around the murder of one of Lisfenora’s locals and a regular at the Plough and Trough Pub.

(Full review on
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Thanks to Midnight Ink for the copy in exchange for my honest review.

This atmospheric murder mystery thriller was an absorbing read. While Lisa Alber's PATH INTO DARKNESS is book three in the County Clare series, you can read it as a standalone. I do want to go back and read books 1 and 2 simply because the development of some of the relationships is missing. So I did feel like I was missing some background information.

Taking place in Lisfenora, Ireland we start with the discovery of Elder Joe's body in his cottage. Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern is assigned to the murder case, but he is dealing with his own demons that he's trying to keep at bay. With the town's annual matchmaking festival quickly approaching, the pressure is on to catch the killer. His investigation leads him to the Tate family. Nathan has his dark secrets within his secrets, so needless to say he's troubled, and then there's Zoe, the daughter he had abandoned years ago. 

It amazed me how descriptive Alber was, without it feeling too wordy. Sometimes overly descriptive novels feel like they drag on and on. It felt like I was actually there in Lisfenora with the characters and experiencing everything with them. I will say that I'd recommend reading the first two novels. I'm definitely missing some background information and the development of the returning characters. So the transition into their current situations was a little lost on me (hence why I took off half a star).

There were twists and turns, and very disturbing secrets revealed about the residents in this quiet town. If you want an atmospheric murder mystery thriller with flawed characters, then I'd highly recommend this one to you!
I give this 4.5/5 stars!
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This is book 3 in the County Clare mystery series, and I will definitely be going back to read books 1 and 2! The author does allude to incidents in those books, but doesn't give anything away, just allows how opinions may have changed because of incidents that happened, but not the whys. So you don't feel adrift reading this book at all out of sequence! 

The author really sets the place, by characters use of the aforementioned idioms, and through the character of Merritt, who is the outsider, the reader feels like they are there in the story, getting to know the local community, as she does. But things are not as they seem, as we know, every small village holds its secrets, and when everything starts to come undone, more secrets will be exposed. You may feel like you know who the suspect is, but the author throws in a few red herrings, that might just leave you guessing, and being surprised at the end! This is a perfect Fall read, so make sure it (and the previous books) are on your list!
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“Path Into Darkness” by Lisa Alber is part of  the “County Clare”  series. While it is not necessary to have read the previous books to enjoy this one, reading previous books makes it easier understand the characters and situations.  Detective Danny Ahern and his colleagues are investigating the murder of Elder Joe, a man with a decidedly unpleasant personality.  They struggle to find answers without much success. Joe has been running a boarding house, among other things, so they suspect that the killer may be one of his tenants. There are twists and turns on every page as secrets are revealed, families unravel, characters struggle with personal calamities, and the ghosts of the past come screaming into the present. 
The characters are well developed, with captivating personalities and intriguing pasts. The story brings out the rich history and geography of Ireland along with its legends and darkness. In addition, the Irish setting is as much a character in the book as the people are. 

I received a copy of “Path Into Darkness” from Midnight Ink, Lisa Alber, NetGalley in exchange for my impartial review. I enjoyed the book, but gave it three stars because I had not read any previous books, and it took a while for me to sort out the details, characters, and relationships established previously.  I am sure that return readers will have no problem jumping right in. I love character-driven books, and this certainly fits that description.
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This haunting take will keep you glued to the pages. A riviting and intense journey throughout. An excellent read
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The devil is living with you. Nathan is having awful dreams again and since his daughter Zoe has moved they are even worse. He fears that he is losing his mind again, he really thought that he was getting better. But lately more strange things are happening people are dying and someone is framing Nathan. He just can't remember doing any of the things that the police are saying he has done. Danny knows that Nathan is guilty but something is bugging him about this case and he needs to look into Nathan's life even more. But Danny has enough problems already, his wife is still in a coma and will probably never recover and he has two children still to take care of. But Danny knows that he has to get his head into the game and find out why people are been killed in his town and what does Zoe have to do with it all? Merritt just wants to help with the case but Danny just needs her to back off and that just makes her even more determine to help but will she be happy with what she finds out? A really strange story, evil hides everywhere. I was lucky enough to receive a copy in exchange for an honest review via Netgally & the publishing house.
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Alber weaves a psychologically creepy novel that will have readers captured until the very last line.
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I was given Path Into Darkness by Lisa Alber published by Midnight Ink by Netgalley for my honest review. This is my first book written by this author and I enjoyed it. Mystery is a genre I spend lots of time in throughout my reading adventures and this is an author I can happily get lost in. The first thing I should say about this book that I didn’t know is that this is part of a series but it has bones that it actually stands up well on its own. The characters are very well developed and the setting is beautiful in Ireland. I loved the structure and the short chapters made this an easy read! 4 darkness stars from me.
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