When two sisters and their aunt are found dead in their suburban Dublin home, it seems that the secret behind their untimely demise will never be known. But then Niall, a young mailman, finds a mysterious diary in the post office's dead-letter bin. From beyond the grave, Fiona Walsh shares the most tragic love story he's ever heard---and her tale has only just begun.
Niall soon becomes enveloped by the mystery surrounding itinerant storyteller Jim, who traveled through Ireland enrapturing audiences and wooing women with his macabre mythic narratives. Captivated by Jim, townspeople across Ireland thought it must be a sad coincidence that horrific murders trailed him wherever he went---and they failed to connect that the young female victims, who were smitten by the newest bad boy in town, bore an all too frightening similarity to the victims in Jim's own fictional plots.
The Walsh sisters, fiercely loyal to one another, were not immune to "darling" Jim's powers of seduction, but found themselves in harm's way when they began to uncover his treacherous past. Niall must now continue his dangerous hunt for the truth---and for the vanished third sister---while there's still time. And in the woods, the wolves from Jim's stories begin to gather.
©2009 Christian Moerk; (P)2009 Tantor
"Darling Jim is wickedly good.... The tale spirals like a Celtic knot, wending back into authentic Irish folklore and forward into the modern world where storytellers have a dangerous charm." (Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child)
This was a great story, part mystery and part psychological thriller.
Three women are found dead in an apartment under chilling circumstances. Later, two diaries are discovered, one from each of the sisters found dead. Through these diaries, we learn about the sisters and their aunt, and how things went so awry. We also learn about Jim, a traveling stranger and master storyteller. He is irresistible and magnetic and seduces women easily. But women are dying and soon one of the sisters suspect Jim is a thief and a possible murderer.
But this is just the beginning. This story had me on the edge of my seat making it difficult to stop listening. Both narrators also did a great job. Their Irish accents were perfect and gave this story a haunting quality. A taunt, chilling, well written book. I highly recommend!
The narrators of this book take the story and make it better than it would have been if I had read it on paper myself. Their skilled narration and "spot on" Irish accents kept me immersed in the plot, setting and characters as if I were really there. The story within a story within a story is well crafted with mystery, tragedy and humor that made me watch the time elapse on my iPod with regret. I found the language vibrant and worthy of close attention, no matter which timeframe we were in: medieval or modern. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I felt the motives of two important characters, as revealed at the end, were not as compelling, or fully fleshed out, as they should have been. This will be one of my favorite listens for a long time -- until Christian Moerk publishes again, I'm sure!
What a great listen - the plotting and pacing were right on. The author did a masterful job with the story within a story. Sure there was sex and foul language. The sex was an important part of the story - and as for the language - well, this story takes place at the current time - and this is how people speak. The narrators really added the 'Irish' to this story and really captured the characters for me. I have to believe that someone is going to snatch this book up to make a movie.
This was a solid four stars. I liked the characters. There was a twist that I didn't see coming. It petered out a bit toward the end. But all in all, an enjoyable listen. Very good narration.
Sarah J Wells
This isn't my favorite book. There were times when I was pretty annoyed. There were too many useless digressions. However, the basic story was very interesting and I enjoyed the characters. Loved the sisters.
Not the greatest listen but far far from the worst. The narration was just fine and the characters were believable and often intriguing. Just be prepared that this is not a light listen -- it's often very dark -- but it held my interest all the way through.
Some of the other reviewers had problems with the language -- I felt the use of the "F" word was simply dialectical and took no offense at all.
The title is like a romance novel. But the novel was wonderful. Keeps you interested. The ending unexpected. I loved the readers accent. It fit the setting.
I really did expect to like it but the sisters were too predictable, too type-cast. I only got as far as Jim's second chapter with the gratuitous violence to animals. Just wasn't worth wasting my time on it.
Remove the swearing, especially the F words. Lost interest when the story went to the girl's point of view.
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