The Darkling Bride

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2019

Member Reviews

If nothing else, Andersen did her homework when it comes to Irish geography and folklore. This story jumps between present day, the early 90s, and the late 1880s, but predominately follows the Gallagher family. Carragh is brought in as an outside contractor and is intimately swept up in the family mystery of the Darkling Bride and, more recently, the Gallagher family murder-suicide. There were some slow and disconnected moments, but the story was engaging and I loved Aidan. How I wish the moments between he and Carragh had been a little... steamier, haha. But still, it was an enjoyable partnership. I figured out the motive for the violence before I figured out who dun it. But all that happened for me at the end anyway and unfolded beautifully.
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An interesting gothic mystery, spanning hundreds of years of secrets. Thank you NetGalley for the copy. All opinions are my own.
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This was a great mystery! The characters were intriguing along with the setting and the plot. 
This was a great read.
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I enjoyed this intriguing mystery about dark family secrets, a missing manuscript from a famous Victorian-era writer, and a haunted Irish castle. The characters were interesting and the whodunit aspect kept me guessing. This was the first Laura Andersen book I've read, but I plan to read more.
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I really enjoyed reading The Darkling Bride. Very well written, suspenseful, and intriguing. I'll be on the lookout for more novels by Laura Anderson.
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The Darkling Bride was an enjoyable historical mystery, with a bit of current day thrill and a little romance thrown in! The setting is an old castle with a dark past that has a presence all it's own. Our heroine gets hired on to catalog the library of the castle before it is given over to the National Trust, but she has a bit of an ulterior motive in that she believes there may be an unpublished manuscript related to the family's history. There are many intertwined relationships that made for an interesting and twisting story.

It may not be detailed enough for hard core historical fiction fans, but it was a decent and enjoyable story and I would definitely be interested in more from this author.
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The Darkling Bride is a very enjoyable book. This book has a lot mystery.  I had a hard time putting this book down. Totally worth ☆☆☆☆☆
Thanks to Netgalley,  for this advance copy.  My opinion is my own.
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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.
This was a great Gothic mystery and I’m pretty sure it’s the first one I’ve ever read in this genre. I really enjoyed this mystery and couldn’t put it down. I liked the way the book was laid out as three stories in one and I felt like it was well written and kept a good flow. I highly recommend.
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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Carragh, an adopted child in an Irish American family, has come to Deeprath Castle to archive its library before the castle is given over to the National Trust. She encounters the family, the Gallagher's, in her work and a deep secret of murder, mystery and family issues along the way. Firstly, I really enjoyed the characterization in this book. I felt like every character was distinct in their portrayal and offered a little piece of the puzzle of the story. I found the setting of the tale as almost a character of its own. Deeprath Castle held so many secrets, intriguing details, etc of its own. I did not see certain parts of the story coming together either, which really led to the suspense of this story. I think the big issues I had were things that didn't come together. We got an idea of Carragh's affair, but never exactly what happened. I also felt like the letters between Carragh's Gran and Lily, the mother, never came full circle. I know they were destroyed, but Carragh had read them and they seemed like a pivotal piece of the murder. They sort of did when Nessa lost her cool about them, but not to the extent I felt they should have. I felt a little disconnect with some of the storylines (there was more points of view than there should have been), and I feel some pieces weren't brought to fruition. Overall, I enjoyed this.
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Great mystery novel. I especially love that it takes place in an Irish castle. I've read Laura Andersen before, so I knew right away I wanted to read this novel as well. I was not disappointed. She is a fantastic author who knows how to grab a reader's attention, and also how to create characters that readers are able to connect with. I don't usually go for mystery novels, but this had the element of historical fiction with it, so I knew I wanted to read it. It kept me guessing until the end, and definitely transported me to Ireland as I read.
Whether you like mystery novels or historical fiction or are completely looking to read something new, this is a great novel to pick up. It was well-written, and did not take me long to finish once I really got into it.


https://www.amazon.com/review/R2O7DJTNV3NMAA/ref=cm_cr_othr_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8
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Having first come to Laura Andersen’s work through her Boleyn King and sequel Tudor Legacy series, I was intrigued when I learned she had a new novel that broke from the alternative history genre. Add the fact that the description for The Darkling Bride involved both literary and murder mysteries and it promised to check a surprising number of boxes in terms of what I enjoy in a novel. As I found with her other works, The Darkling Bride took me a little while to become invested but Andersen’s skill with weaving a tight plot from threads that appear too loose to hold their structure ensured a satisfying showdown and resolution.

Carragh Ryan needs a break from dealing with her family as she works to renovate her late grandmother’s house in Dublin. Spending a few weeks cataloguing an old, large, and private library at an estate where power is faulty at best and a cell phone signal is non-existent seems like the perfect excuse to continue her avoidance. That the castle of Viscount Gallagher and his family also has ties to one of her favorite nineteenth century writers is the icing on the cake. But a twenty-year-old double murder cold case begins to thaw soon after she arrives and the Gallagher family’s dark past threatens to suck her in too.

The Darkling Bride is pretty much three stories slowly spiraling into one. In the beginning, this can be confusing and frustrating. The strongest and main thread belongs to Carragh Ryan and Aidan Gallagher in the most recent timeline. At first, the narrative dips into the late 1880s, feel like they’re only connected to Carragh’s interest in the writer, Evan Chase, and his marriage into the Gallagher family. Similarly, the flashes back to Aidan’s parents begin far enough from their murders to feel only loosely connected in their earliest appearances. Both the 1880s and 1990s narrative threads also appear in such short burst that it can be difficult to get much footing with them, making them feel like they’re meant to trip the reader up or distract from what’s really going on—the misdirection necessary to make the sleight of hand work. It’s only after the puzzle pieces of the present begin to fall into place that it becomes clearer that all three timelines are connected by more than just the location and the Gallagher name.

Amongst the hints at the supernatural and the thrill of the murder mystery, there is some heavy-hitting exploration of the interaction between personal identity and the influence of trauma as well as the nature of family and heritage. Carragh and Aidan develop a connection because of their early traumas and the ways they each coped with them. The empathy they not only have, but recognize in each other, keeps the lines of communication open between them and leads to rapid resolution when misunderstandings occur. Though Aidan and his sister arguably experienced the same trauma in the death of their parents, what once brought them together has since contributed to how far they’ve drifted apart.

Though I can’t wait for Laura Andersen to delve back into alternative history (mostly because there are too few writers who tackle it as a subgenre), I will happily read whatever she writes next.
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I really enjoyed this book. I'm not usually a reader of adult novels, but I am usually drawn to mysteries and thrillers every once in a while. I enjoyed the slightly abrasive main character, the standard brooding male main character, and the general mystery aspects. I was never quite certain if supernatural events were taking place or not, and I honestly really liked that aspect - it was almost like magical realism. I've recommended this book to a few friends who enjoy atmospheric mysteries.
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I fell in love with this unusual mystery involving a very old family castle and its inhabitants.

This story has scenes set in three different lifetimes: 1880, 1995, and 2015 and involves three different generations of the Gallagher family at Castle Deeprath in Ireland. The story flows seamlessly and the author blends the heartbreaking stories of each family together into the present. Here, Pride is a major character or character flaw, and instrumental in the family's ultimate fate. Many thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for an ARC; all opinions are my own.
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I found The Darkling Bride  to be a riveting read that had me sitting on the edge of my seat from start to finish!  It's full of history, castles, tragedy, dysfunctional family members and set in a country I love ~ Ireland. Mix in ghosts, eerie unexplained happenings and I just couldn't turn down the opportunity to read and review this book. 

Ms. Andersen penned an amazing story.  I really enjoy books that keep me on my toes and this book did.  So much so, this is one of those beloved books that I will visit and be swept away by again and again. Yes, it's that good!

I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own. Thank you to Ms. Andersen, Ballentine Books,  Random House and Netgalley.
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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.
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Unfortunately this book was just no for me. I appears that most people loved and while it was enjoyable at time it just didn't wow me. I was hooked by the synopsis but it just fell flat and lost interest as each additional character was added.
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I wasn't sure about this book going in, but I really enjoyed it.  I don't like books that include too much of that ominous and frightening feeling that keep me up at night, but this had just the right mix of mystery and suspense with a little romance thrown it.  I usually try to stay away from books that are too creepy or unsettling, so I was wary of this book, but it had the prefect amount of "scariness" without any of the unsettling feelings that lead to sleepless nights worrying about strange noises or dark shadows.
Carragh Ryan takes a temporary position at an old eerie Irish castle that was once home to one of her favorite Victorian authors.  While her job is to catalog the contents of the Gallagher family's extensive and valuable library, she is actually hoping to uncover information about the lost years of the renowned writer who married the daughter of the house during the late 1800s.  In doing so her true wish is to perhaps discover the author's lost manuscript about "The Darkling Bride," the unpublished novel supposedly written about his wife Jenny Gallagher and based on an ancient legend from the family's lands.  Carragh must navigate around the complex family relationships between Nessa, the great-aunt who hired her, Aidan, the current viscount, and his sister Kyla, among others.  These relationships are all tainted by the fact that Aidan and Kyla's parents were murdered in the house 30 years earlier.  As information and secrets come to light, not only from Aidan's parents, but also from Jenny Gallagher and the original Darkling Bride, Carragh begins to feel more and more threatened.  She cannot tell if the malevolence she feels is from one of the inhabitants of the castle--alive or dead.
I feel as though the author did a great job of telling the story of Deeprath Castle and the Darkling Bride.  There were several different timelines and perspectives, but all the threads wove together well to create a nuanced yet complete story.  Several references were made to traditional gothic tropes as well as authors such as Victoria Holt (who I read as a young teenager), which I think added a very slight hint of humor to the story.  As Carragh is doing things like climbing a dark haunted tower she smiles as she realizes what a cliche she is, which made me smile as well.  It was as if the author, through Carragh, was acknowledging the fact that she seemed to be living in a novel of gothic suspense and almost poked fun at that fact.  As someone who has read almost all of Victoria Holt's novels, I enjoyed and appreciated that fact.
This was a really good read.  It was fun, interesting, suspenseful, yet also light and not too frightening.  It had all the gothic staples:  the innocent (yet not at all helpless--it is 2018!) newcomer to the dark and foreboding castle, the handsome yet mysterious lord of the manor, the formidable and unwelcoming elderly female relative, the ancient legend of tragedy, a murder mystery, etc..  Yet the author realized all of these things and used it to her advantage.  I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mystery and gothic romance.  I was pleasantly surprised by this book and would read more by this author.
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I tried numerous times to read this book, but I think it’s a very simple case of it just wasn’t my cup of tea. 

The writing and plot were interesting, but overall I felt very bored while reading. I couldn’t get invested in the characters or really recall what happened earlier on; my mind felt disconnected from what I was reading. The pacing is slow, so that may have contributed to my overall indifference to everything going on. 

Overall, the premise is intriguing, but the execution (for me personally) was not so grand.
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The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen was an engrossing read that encompassed many genres: gothic, folklore, suspense, mystery, romance, historical fiction, modern day fiction.  The setting is the beautiful Wicklow Mountains in Ireland near historic Glendalough, and the novel encompasses a vast sweep of Irish history.  The novel opens in the present day, when scholar Carragh Ryan takes a three-week temp job which looks like the job of her dreams.  She is hired to catalog the library of Deeprath Castle which has been home to the Gallagher family for 700 years.  Besides the library being full of enticing books, Ryan hopes to discover a lost Victorian manuscript by an eminent author who married into the family.  An author who was writing about a local legend—the Darkling Bride.

Carragh ends up becoming embroiled in a family squabble over whether to sell the castle, and a more modern mystery.  Twenty years before, an unsolved murder occurred at the castle.  This has resulted in the current Viscount Aidan Gallagher deciding to put the castle and its contents into the hands of the National Trust.  But the castle also has mysteries from earlier centuries.  There are flashbacks to two earlier time lines that help fill in what came before as answers are discovered one by one.  

I quickly became so embroiled in the multilayered mysteries, that the novel was hard to put down.  It was never predictable, and was full of a foreboding eerie atmosphere.  It was also never obvious who was guilty and who innocent.  The novel reminded me of Daphne DuMaurier, Mary Stewart, and Victoria Holt.  It was the best gothic novel I have read for years, and set in such a beautiful place.  

I highly recommend this novel and thank Ballantine Books and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader’s Copy and for allowing me to review it.
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I really enjoyed this book. The Darkling Bride tells the story of a multigeneration mystery set in an Irish castle. The framework of the narrative reminds me alot of Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series: a bookish outsider comes in to unravel a centuries old mystery and also has a romance with the heir. Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and romance. I received a copy of this book for review purposes.
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