You asked me to chronicle a typical day in my life, and as my therapist, you’re allowed. However, I don’t have a typical day anymore. All I have is what I can etch out of the long days, trying not to feel paranoid even though I am paranoid. He’s out there somewhere. We both know he is, and I suspect he’ll come for me at some point. I wonder if I’ll feel him in the vicinity before I see him . . .
So, how about I tell you about an atypical day? You’ve been urging me to meet new people. You’ll be happy to know I met the detective in charge of the murder investigation I told you about. People are saying the death was quite gruesome, poor man.
The detective’s name is Danny Ahern. I met him while I was visiting Liam Donnellan’s house—the local matchmaker, you remember. Nathan asked me to accompany him on the visit. As soon as I stepped into Liam’s house I sensed illness and tension swirling through the air.
The illness came from Liam, who has cancer, but the tension came from Danny. I’ve since learned that his wife is in a coma as a result of a previous investigation. Danny isn’t taking care of himself. He’s thin and his skin color was off. He looked tired, but even so, I could tell that Nathan interested him. Something dark swirls around Nathan, to be sure. I sensed it the first time I met him; it’s what drew me to him, in fact. No surprise since I have my own darkness swirling around me.
Watching Danny watch Nathan had me wondering whether Nathan is a suspect in the murder investigation. There was something going on in the room, but I couldn’t decipher it, except that it somehow also had to do with Nathan’s daughter. I’ve seen her from afar, and she’s bright as a spring lamb. Beautiful and bouncy and evidentally a devoted daughter even if Nathan doesn’t seem particularly thrilled that she recently moved in with him.
Liam’s daughter Merrit arrived not long afterwards. She couldn’t hide her surprise when she walked into the kitchen carrying several bags of groceries. She shot Liam a what-the-bloody-hell? look that made me smile into my tea cup. I read her easily enough. She suspected Liam was up to something. He probably was. Even I can tell that he’s a wily old devil inside that frail body.
As soon as Merrit arrived, Danny went on alert and called her outside with him for a chat. Through the window, I spied them walking in the rain, the intensity of their conversation evident in Danny’s tensed shoulders and Merrit’s hand gestures.
There’s plenty going on beneath the surface of quiet Lisfenora village. The good thing is that speculating about these people took my mind off my own problems for awhile. I’m a stranger to County Clare, a stranger to these people, yet I can’t help feeling I’m being dragged into some new darkness. This may be my paranoia talking again, but I keep picturing the new darkness overlapping with him, out there somewhere.
You can read more about Danny, Merrit, Nathan, and Liam (not to mention the anonymous journaler) in Path Into Darkness, the third book in the “County Clare” mystery series.
By the author of Whispers in the Mist, heralded by Library Journal as “a first-rate crime novel,” comes this haunting tale of family secrets, madness, and healing in small-town Ireland
Lisfenora is known across the British Isles for its yearly matchmaking festival. But a local man’s murder and the grim discovery in his home have cast a somber mood over the town. Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern tries to make sense of the chaotic scene while struggling to set aside moral conflicts and grief for his comatose wife. Within days, he’s plunged into even darker terrain when the investigation leads him on a collision course with the Tate family: troubled Nathan, who conceals secrets within ghastly secrets, and beautiful Zoe, the daughter Nathan abandoned years ago.
In this “dark, compelling mystery” (Booklist), one man is propelled toward a tragic downfall while the other struggles to walk the narrow path between life and death.
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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Path Into Darkness. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end August 27, 2017. Good luck everyone!
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About the author
Lisa Alber writes the County Clare mysteries. Her debut novel, Kilmoon, was nominated for the Rosebud Award of Best First Novel. Kirkus called her second novel, Whispers in the Mist, a “worthy successor to Kilmoon in tone, mood, complexity, and keen insight into human failures and triumphs.” She balances writing with gardening, dog-walking, and goofing off. She lives in Portland, OR.
All comments are welcomed.