The Darkwater Bride

An Audible Original Drama
Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (19,013 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Late Victorian London. When the most respectable of Scottish businessmen is pulled, dead, from the Thames, his daughter is drawn into an investigation which reveals a whole world of secrets and corruption and leads all the way to the tragic truth behind the ghostly legend of The Darkwater Bride – in an epic drama combining the genres of the Victorian mystery thriller with the equally classic Victorian mode of the ghostly tale.

Featuring: Rachel Atkins, Amy Cooke-Hodgson, Clare Corbett, Stephen Critchlow, Donal Finn,Jamie Glover, Peter Gold, Joel Gorf, Chris Grahamson, Edward Harrison, David Holt, Frances Jeater, Yolanda Kettle, Fiz Marcus, Freya Mavor,Gerard McDermott, Nina Millns, James Parkes, Richard Reed, Adrian Scarborough, Lizzie Stables, Mark Straker, Ben Whitehead, Sarah Whitehouse and Sarah-Louise Young.

©2018 Audible, Ltd (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

Our favorite moments from The Darkwater Bride

The river runs restless in the night…
Everything costs something.
Your father was put on this Earth to make others worried.
These black marks around the lips, burns, scars...

  • The Darkwater Bride
  • The river runs restless in the night…
  • The Darkwater Bride
  • Everything costs something.
  • The Darkwater Bride
  • Your father was put on this Earth to make others worried.
  • The Darkwater Bride
  • These black marks around the lips, burns, scars...

"The Darkwater Bride is a great thriller. Dark, captivating, intense at times and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, with a satisfying conclusion—this is an Audible drama that I can definitely recommend for fans of a good mystery thriller…Will be giving a second listen for sure."

- Mook, Audible UK listener
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About the Creator

Marty Ross, dubbed the Glaswegian master of radio horror by the BBC, is the author of a number of radio and audio dramas, including the popular BBC series Ghost Zone and Catch My Breath, as well as audio dramas based on Doctor Who and Dark Shadows for Big Finish and several plays for the Wireless Theatre Company. He has written a series of grand scale audio dramas for Audible, ranging from radically contemporary re-imaginings of Shakespeare (Romeo and Jude) to his Audie-nominated adaptation of Treasure Island, and two volumes of Arabian Nights dramatizations. Ross also performs his own work as a live theater storyteller. Born in Glasgow, he now lives on the Scottish island of Arran, a few steps from a beach ideal for long walks the thinking of writerly thoughts.

About the Performer

Adrian Scarborough is an English actor known for a range of theater, television, and film performances. On stage, he has performed in Nottingham Playhouse's The Madness of George III, Don Juan in Soho at the Wyndham's Theatre, and The False Servant at National Theatre, Hedda Gabler at The Old Vic. In additional to several other stage performances, including Exit the King, King Lear, The Habit of Art, Time and the Conways, Once in a Life Time, and The Mandate, Scarborough's performance in After the Dance won him the title of Best Supporting Actor at the 2011 Olivier Awards. On television, he has been featured in Killing Eve, A Very English Scandal, Blunt Talk, Little Women, Professor Branestawm, Call the Midwife, Psychoville, Upstairs Downstairs, Gavin and Stacey, and Doctor Who. In film, Scarborough has appeared in hits such as Artemis Fowl, Christopher Robin, Les Miserables, The King's Speech, Lyrebird, The Madness of King George, and 2019's 1917, a Sam Mendes film about WWI. Most recently, he is in the process of filming as a regular character on Sandition for ITV.

About the Performer

Freya Mavor is one of the most exciting young talents in the industry and at the age of 25 has already been long listed for a César award for her work in France, named a Screen International Star of Tomorrow and been nominated for 2 Scottish BAFTAS. In the English Language her film credits include Sense of an Ending directed by Ritesh Batra, Sunshine on Leith directed by Dexter Fletcher and the forthcoming Trautmann directed by Marcus H.Rosenmuller. In French, Freya has shot the title role in La Dame Dans L'Auto Avec Des Lunettes Et Un Fusil by the award-winning director Joann Sfar, Cézanne et Moi directed by Danièle Thompson and the recent box-office hit L'Empereur de Paris opposite Vincent Cassel.

Her television credits include a leading role in the iconic series Skins, period dramas The White Queen for the BBC and New Worlds for Channel 4 and the HBO Alan Ball pilot Virtuoso. She was recently seen in The ABC Murders for the BBC and Amazon.

On stage Freya took the leading role in Good Canary, directed by John Malkovich.

What listeners say about The Darkwater Bride

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7,102
  • 4 Stars
    4,901
  • 3 Stars
    3,587
  • 2 Stars
    1,579
  • 1 Stars
    1,844
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    10,049
  • 4 Stars
    3,577
  • 3 Stars
    1,912
  • 2 Stars
    789
  • 1 Stars
    1,099
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,032
  • 4 Stars
    4,111
  • 3 Stars
    3,487
  • 2 Stars
    1,750
  • 1 Stars
    1,997

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

spooky audio drama / sex & violence crime fiction

I'm a big fan of well made audio drama and would probably listen to a one about pottery. This was definitely technically strong enough performance to keep me listening.

The mood is gloomy to fit a really disturbing story that also attracted my interest as a fan of 19th century horror. Throughout the story is underlined the struggle of the female protagonist in a man's world where she's either overlooked or threatened, often sexually. This combines well with the crime story which is related to violence against women. The theme of women's emancipation is well developed throughout the story, even if sometimes the constant and relentless abuse of women by men felt a bit over the top to me. It was very disturbing, which was probably the purpose, but same time I also felt that the picture it painted of the world was too negative and sometimes it got me questioning the likelihood of the turns of events.

[EDIT: Since this review, I have been reading and listening to the history about the culture in the era, and it turns out that English culture really was incredibly male chauvinistic at the time and women's position extremely poor, rather exactly what it is described to be in this story, so much so that the non-supernatural content in this story now appears to me rather plausible.]

This is basically a detective story that combines elements of fairy tale sort of fantasy horror and violent sex crime fiction. Not exactly my cup of tea. I'm not completely against the use of supernatural in fiction per se, e.g. I love Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Lovecraft's work. But here I was left with a feeling, from very early on, that more realistic choices could have been more to my taste in this story, maybe because of its strong detective story nature. I'm also not a big fan of this sex and violence crime fiction. However, these elements were not badly woven together if you like this stuff.

The drama was bit broken by protagonist being also occasionally the narrator. This means that time to time she was telling the story instead instead of living it. This could be backed up by her being the only living witness to the story, but not actually witnessing all parts of it. So far so good. However, I felt that this was slightly inconsistent, since parts of the story seemed to be acted without her presence or narration. So, in the end, maybe better narrative solutions could have been made.

The performance was really fine. My only complaint would be that early to the story I sometimes was not sure who were the characters in the scene and where it took place. In the whole this was not a problem.

168 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Well that was uncomfortable

The performances and production of this was spot on, just excellent voice acting, pacing, and effects. The premise had a lot of promise, and I expected to be delivered of a gothic, sexy, maybe supernatural yarn.

Instead I got modern sexual sensibilities shoehorned into a period setting in a way that ruined any authenticity the atmosphere provided. Instead of sexy I got grossed out.
Side characters were all over the place in a way that made them seem opaque and confusing, not complex or real. Connections between people just - poof - appeared out of thin air. I didn't care about any of these people enough to even dislike them. Things could have been included and pulled off if the author had just left some veils over the nastiest bits. So dissapointing.

211 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Men are bad, mmkay?

Story starts out strong then drones on for the rest of the book. The sound design and performance are alright, but not enough to save the book. I can tell who's the main character, is it Kat? Cause she has the least amount of lines compared to every other major monologuing character. She's also 1 dimensional and boring.

The icing on the cake is the message of the book: men are bad. All the male characters in the story are 1 dimential asshats and the characteristic for every female character is that they were hurt by men.

Would not recommend.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

GRAPHIC

I made it about halfway through this and wanted to get to the end because the mystery factor really roped me in, but it contained truly graphic violence against a child and I just can’t find entertainment in that. It’s too disgusting and too dark.

79 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Take it easy on the sex, Marty!

While I appreciate the old style and settings, the author went overboard on the disturbing sex scenes. I wish I’d known—I felt like I was stuck in someone’s fantasies, supposedly justified by some version of inappropriately insistent Girl Power. AND...the amount of times the characters say, “Huh? What? Oh” or “Wh—where? Wh—why? Oh.” “What did you say?” Lord, they are a highly distracted bunch.

89 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Thought it would never end

Child mutilation, sexual predator, violence, cruel sex, profanity, boredom. This performance has it all . The plot drags on and on. This book uses every opportunity to bring in lurid sex and sick behavior. I should have just stopped listening to it. Audible usually does much better than this performance

111 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I couldn’t finish it

I love audio books because my commute to work is so long that I rather preoccupy my mind with a book. But this is more like a theater show that was recorded. I didn’t get to envision myself in the scenes because there wasn’t a description of the places or of the people as a narrated book would have. This would be amazing if I could see what was going on. I listened to about 10 minutes of it and left it. It might’ve been a great story but this is def not my style of audiobook. Sorry, my ratings are biased. Good thing it was free no credits wasted.

16 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Erratic and Loud

The acting (voice) of female lead was abrasive and her script was simplistic. The story focused so much on depravity and shock rather than development of the story.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

If you hate men you'll love this one.

If I could unlisten I would be ahead of the game. The essence of the story is there are no good men, women are noble victims. The structure of the story is pretty good. The presentation is some times busy but all in all engaging.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A bad insubstantial story of a weak ghost

This audio drama is, in a plain and accurate word BAD. A not awful, not the worst, even at being bad, it's unremarkable.
The acting is dull, they can't convey the simplest emotion, and I ended iou up not caring about the protagonist, her sidekick, the antagonists. The "plot twists" are boring, this story could've used half a dozen less chapters. The sound effects, rather than immersive, are distracting and make even more difficult to engage into a story that fails at every step into painting a believable scenario. The character development is non existent. And the protagonist is an out of time strong willed woman that doesn't make it to the kind of rebel she and the writer aspires her to be.

The supernatural element is poorly developed, a vengeful ghost that falls in love with the same kind of man that tortured her in life, and that seemed at some points an unstoppable force and later a soft damoiselle in need of and controlled by the man by her side.

I feel I waisted my time forcing me to finish this book. Sometimes, being committed to have things completed is an awful defect, specially when it comes to bad books and bad audiodrama.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 10-30-18

Ghostly Thriller With a Dark Heart!

This is another deeply atmospheric Audible Studios offering coupling a rich soundscape with some high quality acting which evokes a feel of the darkness that was much of Victorian London. It would be fair to call it a piece of Victorian Noir as what begins as a young girl's attempt to find out what happened to her father descends into the seediest and darkest corners of a depraved city. It's also truly a ghostly tale and most definitely not one for those who like "cozy" mysteries.

I wouldn't rate it quite as highly as say the wonderful "Scarlet City" out of these Audible productions as it is a little repetitive in terms of the relationship between the two main characters; the poor hapless Culley striving to keep his feisty female companion in what he saw as her place. And some of the acting is also perhaps a little overwrought at times but it's a very enjoyable play all the same overall which builds up to what I thought was a thoroughly satisfying climax.

A genuine ghostly thriller with a dark heart, well worth a credit.

43 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ashley
  • 01-16-19

An excellent storyline, extremely well performed

An excellent and novel story, extremely well performed and executed. I really couldn't put this one down. It's great to hear the sound effects and dramatisation, nice one.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-10-18

Best listen since getting Audio

Really enjoyed it scary at times always a thriller,well read by several readers to keep tension going

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel
  • 01-17-19

FIRST TIME I TRULY FELT CAPTURED!!

First off. I HATE horror stories or crimes on audio books. Most of them are boring or not scary at all. And this book was for me personally not scary or super complex with crime...
...But.

Thru all my entire list of audiobooks (I got too many) this instantly landed on my top 3!! Never expected; as I felt like a child hearing his first ghost story, like a young adult feel his first love to women's voices, and the love for true good old British accents. I still can't believe I was so captured.

Acting and the narrators: I sometimes end a book quickly if a narrator breath too much, make too much S'hissing noises or being too flat and lifeless. But these performers made me truly laugh on my bus home, in public, as I got so impressed by the sound and their performers. Honestly I don't know if I if I would read this book on my own as it quickly would dismiss it as another average book (which is just me being too rude and impatience as it's a well written book). But, knowing how good a theatre performance can sound like, I gave it a small chance, and I TRULY found a hidden gem!

Good story overall, with lovely descriptions, not too much and too heavy, but greatly added actions in between. I find "great readers" often describe way too much, so I close the book or audio-book way before the end. The combined creepy descriptions of eels, blood, corpses to touch of love, sensuality and the focus of courtesy in this era... well I just love it!!

Thank you so much for making me stay up all night for this astonishing performance! Well worth the money!

ps: sorry for the long review, but I don't care. It's well deserved!

11 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Prof P. M. King
  • 03-30-20

Wooden melodrama

This was like a first-year student production : the plot meanders to a pointless conclusion, and the production went way over the top with clunky, seriously un-frightening effects. Someone, everyone, needs to learn that less is more.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Princess
  • 01-28-20

Predictable

Well performed. The story was a little 2 dimensional. it qas wntertaining, but nothing amazing.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew H
  • 11-11-18

Superb

A brilliantly dark ghostly tale that examines the sexual perversity of men in the Victorian era and, let's be frank, today at a time when misogyny is on the rise and violent crime against women remains high. Given the subject matter, it makes sense and balance to have a strong female narrator who combines a certain vulnerability with a dogged determination to find out about her father's secret life and how and why he died.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jamisa Hunter
  • 06-12-20

Brilliant

great storyline, wonderful actors, thrilling to hear and experience. happy to read it again of course

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • valb
  • 05-16-20

More like this please

Excellent drama, well acted gothic horror- mystery, very atmospheric
Hope we can have more like this

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen and Stephen Ross
  • 03-01-20

Loved this!!!!!

Loved it. couldn't stop listening . wish it had been longer though. Characters well played. Very atmospheric.

1 person found this helpful