katknit, June 8, 2009 (view all comments by katknit)
For centuries, storytellers have crisscrossed Ireland, weaving spells in the homes and pubs of towns and villages in return for room, board, and a little money. A few of these bards still remain in this age of instantaneous communication, and when a handsome young beguiler blows into quiet Castletownbere on his vintage motorcycle, the entire town, especially its women, falls subject to his charms.
Author Moerk imbues his tale with malevolent fairy tale and mythic elements, weaving a spell of mystery and menace from the very first page. Darling Jim is no mystery - we know who ends up dead - but, as the truth is unveiled via two diaries, the atmosphere grows increasingly sinister. There is more than one monster in this book.
Highly recommended to fans of subtle horror. (Note: Those who are easily offended by language and sexual content will not enjoy Darling Jim.)
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Amy E, April 3, 2009 (view all comments by Amy E)
The 'Seanchai' are the keepers of the Irish lore. According to Christian Moerk and his debut novel, they can still be found in Ireland to this very day! They travel from pub to pub telling their tales. It is an honored and well crafted skill. After reading and LOVING 'Darling Jim', I am convinced that this talented new writer would be declared a 'Seanchai' himself. He's one that can certainly spin a yarn with ease! Take some time and read this dark tale that kept me on the edge of my seat. You'll be glad you did! A page-turner from beginning to end!
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Henry Holt & Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Like the itinerant Irish storyteller at the crux of this riveting novel, Danish-born author Moerk mixes mythology, Arthurian legend, fairy tales, noir and horror in his American debut. When reclusive Moira Hegarty and her two nieces, Fiona and Risn Walsh, are found dead in Moira's secluded home in a Dublin suburb, evidence suggests the sisters were imprisoned for months by their aunt, along with a third person, perhaps Risn's twin sister. The young women left behind two diaries, one of which a postal clerk finds. Three years before, they fell under the spell of Jim Quick, a sanachai (or bard), whose tales of wolves and kings gave him rock star status in the sleepy town of Castletownbere. Only the Walsh sisters appear to have seen beyond the charm of 'darling Jim,' whose presence coincides with several women's murders. Moerk tightly meshes each separate plot strand — the murders, the diaries and Quick's tales — into an enthralling story that never falters. Author tour. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The widely acclaimed debut novel—about three sisters, three tales, and a very dark secret—thats a “chilling bedtime story for adults.”—People (three stars)
Fiona Walsh thought her familys secrets would follow her to her grave, but when her diary is found by a young postman, Niall, the truth about her untimely demise—and that of her sister and aunt—begins to see the light of day. Its the most tragic love story hes ever heard.
Niall soon becomes enveloped by the mystery surrounding Jim—an itinerant storyteller who traveled through Ireland enrapturing audiences and wooing women with his macabre mythic sagas—though a trail of murder followed him wherever he went. The Walsh sisters, fiercely loyal to each other, were not immune to “darling” Jims powers of seduction, but found themselves in harms 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 theres still time.
And in the woods, the wolves from Jims stories begin to gather.
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