Author: Christian Moerk
A modern gothic novel of suspense that reveals, through their diaries, the story of sisters who fall in love with a beguiling stranger and of the town that turns a blind eye to his murderous ways.
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.
An irresistible dark tale of murder and revenge successfully told from the primarily feminine point of view by a male author. Darling Jim is a story within a story within a story. The perspective does change, but the author makes transitions easy to follow and does it seamlessly without creating any disjointed jolt in time. It held my interest all the way through and I thought all the characters were fully developed and engaging. The author makes use of several themes including old fork lore, superstitions and cultural details, all of which are incorporated in modern scenery and time and expose social issues and flaws in the system. The language is neatly designed with believable dialogue and fairly tolerable imagery.
Although this is a story within a story within a story, I would like the main tale to remain the forward focus. It needs to carry the weight and continue to capture the audience. The supporting stories provide details, but at times become a bit too lengthy. Towards the end, the story wobbles taking a turn towards the fantastical. A map, a castle gate and descriptions of wizards and princes are intended to aid to the fairy tale sub theme and could have worked if the author remained more concrete with his details. I think this approach was chosen to create a mysterious atmosphere but because it does not remain grounded it takes away from the actual horror of the story by making it too unbelievable and because of this, I began to lose some of the sympathy I originally felt for the sister characters. Although the author makes a valiant attempt, the language does not evoke or appeal to all senses and therefore, does not carry the spine shivering effect he was most likely hoping for.
All in all, it is an entertaining read that I think is great for a stormy day or to cuddle up with on a chilly October night.
Bitsy’s Rating: 3 stars