Darling Jim

A Novel

Jacqueline Winspear

Henry Holt and Co.

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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.

Niall soon becomes enveloped by the mystery surrounding itinerant storyteller Jim, who traveled through Ireland enrapturing audiences and wooing women with his macabre mythic narratives. Captivated by Jim, townspeople across Ireland thought it must be a sad coincidence that horrific murders trailed him wherever he went—and they failed to connect that the young female victims, who were smitten by the newest bad boy in town, bore an all too frightening similarity to the victims in Jim’s own fictional plots.

The Walsh sisters, fiercely loyal to one another, were not immune to “darling” Jim’s powers of seduction, but found themselves in harm’s 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 there’s still time. And in the woods, the wolves from Jim’s stories begin to gather.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

 

Malahide, just north of Dublin. Not so long ago.

 

Long after the house had been disinfected for new occupants and the bodies rested safely in the ground, people still didn't come near it. "Cursed," whispered the neighborhood gossips and nodded meaningfully. "Deadly, a haunted house!" cried the children, but they only ever mustered up the courage to take a step or two into the front yard before losing heart.

 

Because what Desmond the mailman had been the first to see inside had been unnatural strange.

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Christian Moerk on writing his book Darling Jim

Hear author Christian Moerk talk about writing his novel Darling Jim. This widely acclaimed debut novel—about three sisters, three tales, and a very dark secret—is a “chilling bedtime story for adults.”—People magazine. A young postman uncovers a dark secret and embarks on a dangerous hunt for the truth.

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Reviews

Praise for Darling Jim

“Spellbinding. . . Aglow with fairy-tale inflections, this hypnotic, neo-Gothic suspense story unfolds like a hothouse bloom, lush and pungent; it’s a sprig of nightshade, all petals and poison. And it heralds the arrival of an astonishingly gifted storyteller. . . Sly, wry and utterly original.”—Daniel Mallory, The Washington Post

“Gripping.”—John Searles on NBC’s Weekend Today, “Ten must-read books for spring” segment

“Moerk, a former film executive, would do very well carrying on the seanchaí tradition in any dark, cozy Irish pub. He weaves a creepy, entertaining, sometimes outlandish tale about the perils of loving the wrong guy. A chilling bedtime story for adults.”—People (three stars)

“Christian Moerk . . . writes the best novel I've read in more than a year. . . I recommend this exotic book to all readers - not as ‘just a mystery’ but as a superb and inventive literary tour-de-force.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer (Grade: A)

“Enthralling. . . . Moerk shows how the various forms of storytelling—myths, fairy tales, horror and crime fiction—each have the strength to entertain, to reflect society’s concerns and to show people at their best and worst.”—Oline H. Cogdill, Florida Sun Sentinel

“Moerk tightly meshes each separate plot strand—the murders, the diaries and Quick’s tales—into an enthralling story that never falters.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Darling Jim is wickedly good. From its shocking beginning to the unwinding stories of three sisters, the tale spirals like a Celtic knot, wending back into authentic Irish folklore and forward into the modern world where storytellers have a dangerous charm. A page-turner of the highest sort."—Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child

"A dark, seductive fairy tale of a book. Christian Moerk is a thrilling storyteller."—Gillian Flynn, author of Sharp Objects

"Darling Jim is a delicious, dangerous and very original story within a story, exactly what I love to read."—Pam Lewis, author of Speak Softly, She Can Hear and Perfect Family


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About the Author

Jacqueline Winspear

Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, Christian Moerk moved to Vermont in his early twenties. After getting his MS in journalism at Columbia University, he was a movie executive for Warner Bros. Pictures and later wrote about film for The New York Times. Darling Jim is his first novel published in America. He lives in Brooklyn.

Christian Moerk

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Available Formats and Book Details

Darling Jim
A Novel
Jacqueline Winspear

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
March 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429920216
ISBN10: 1429920211
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
March 2010
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780805092080
ISBN10: 0805092080
5 1/4 x 8 inches, 320 pages, 1 Illustration
$18.99
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From The Publisher

Henry Holt and Co.

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