The Darkling Bride

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...

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Title:The Darkling Bride
Author:Laura Andersen
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The Darkling Bride Reviews

  • Morgannah Usher

    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.

  • Amy Leigh

    This book took me by surprise! I was thinking it would be a comfortable historical fiction novel I would enjoy and it was so much more. The atmosphere is very Victorian Gothic. The story was non-stop in a good way. I couldn't get enough of this book! I need this physically on my bookshelf!

    First of all everything is centered on a gorgeous 700 year old Irish castle. Then there's the legend of The Darkling Bride, a ghost who stirs up all kinds of trouble if the legends are true. Then there's the mu

    This book took me by surprise! I was thinking it would be a comfortable historical fiction novel I would enjoy and it was so much more. The atmosphere is very Victorian Gothic. The story was non-stop in a good way. I couldn't get enough of this book! I need this physically on my bookshelf!

    First of all everything is centered on a gorgeous 700 year old Irish castle. Then there's the legend of The Darkling Bride, a ghost who stirs up all kinds of trouble if the legends are true. Then there's the murder mysteries. They seem to line up every hundred years for the past three hundred years.

    Carragh gets caught up in it all by agreeing to catalog the extensive book collection at the castle and meets the son of one of the murder victims. Now she's trying to figure out everything and trying not to fall in love with Aiden. Will justice be served or will murder and mayhem strike again?

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  • Sara

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

    That 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

    that took the "wha

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

    That 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

    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

    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!

  • Dianne

    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.

    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, 2018

    Genre: Mystery | Thriller | Historical

    Print Length: 369 pages

    Available from:

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  • Julie

    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

  • Holly  B

    A gothic tale set in an Irish castle - Deeprath

    Carragh Ryan loves books and she is hired to catalog the library at the castle. She claims she is there for the books, but she becomes entangled in legends, a murder mystery, and more.

    ~

    This one has an intriguing story line, but a confusing timeline (three) and quite a few characters turned out to be too distracting. I think a faster pace and less detailed accounts of the backstory would have made this more enjoyable. I struggled with the writing sty

    A gothic tale set in an Irish castle - Deeprath

    Carragh Ryan loves books and she is hired to catalog the library at the castle. She claims she is there for the books, but she becomes entangled in legends, a murder mystery, and more.

    ~

    This one has an intriguing story line, but a confusing timeline (three) and quite a few characters turned out to be too distracting. I think a faster pace and less detailed accounts of the backstory would have made this more enjoyable. I struggled with the writing style, but loved the story elements and atmosphere created.

    ~

    If you’re in the mood for a gothic mystery with tons of surprises, then check this one out!

    Netgalley provided Arc for review.

  • JanB

    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

  • Marialyce

    3 moody Gothic stars

    Once 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 stars

    Once 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.

  • Melisa

    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 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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