If you love hair-raising Gothic novels, you can’t do better than The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen. This is a complex, well-plotted novel that came out just this year, and it hits all the right notes for a dark and intriguing read. Pitch-perfect!
The story takes place in Ireland, and begins in 2015 with Carragh Ryan, a young American student who has recently completed her studies at Trinity College, Dublin. Carragh is thrilled to be hired for the task of creating an inventory of a centuries-old library at isolated Deeprath Castle, ancestral home to the Gallagher family. Carragh is especially fascinated by the castle because one of her favorite Victorian novelists married into the Gallaghers and then abruptly and mysteriously ceased his writing career.
Enter the Gothic hero: Viscount Aidan Gallagher, who is a dark and brooding lord haunted by a tragedy that struck his family during his childhood. The solution to the sudden and appalling deaths of Aidan’s parents has been a mystery for two decades. Aidan, unable to face his family’s horrifying past, is poised to give Deeprath Castle over as a public trust, when the cold case is re-opened by the police.
Two dark mysteries; one from Victorian times and one from Aidan’s childhood. Both are clouded by the legend of the Darkling Bride, the horror story local to the Wicklow Mountains. Carragh and Aidan are determined to investigate the legend and how it has cast its long shadow over generations of Gallaghers. It’s a creepy adventure, full of plot twists and secrets and storms. Pitch-perfect Gothic!
For more spine-tingling novels featuring family secrets, try:
The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai
Memento Park by Mark Sarvas
Burntown by Jennifer MacMahon