Darling Jim by Christian Moerk

darlingA postman discovers the bodies of three women – two nieces in their twenties and their aunt  – in a row house in a Dublin suburb and loses his mind, while a younger colleague who is an aspiring graphic artist becomes the recipient of the diary of one of the young women who died and gets drawn into the drama preceding the whole ghastly business.  Sounds enticing, huh?  After you turn the first few pages, you will probably be addicted.  I know I was.

The Walsh sisters (reluctant schoolmarm Fiona, Goth man-magnet Roisin, and hippy earthgirl Aoife) make quite a name for themselves in their backwater Irish hometown.  It’s a sleepy place that’s gradually being transformed by the outside crush of tourists and the European Union.  There’s still plenty of the traditional Irish charm still there, and the town almost melts into its own tranquility, until the arrival of a motorcycling itinerent storyteller turns the community on its head.  Jim Quick is a charmer and a rake who leaves a string of broken hearts wherever he goes to tell a tale and a suspicious trail of murder in his wake.  Do the Walsh sisters fall under his spell?  Well, yes and no.  But you’ll have read through this gem to find out.

There’s enough murder and mayhem to satisfy the most ardent mystery reader, and plenty of Irish-y charm and folklore to get one wishing for those green hills.  Or maybe not, depending on whether this book thrills you with its depictions of the country or chills you to the bone. 

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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