Mork, Christian. Darling Jim. Henry Holt & Co, 2009. ISBN 978-0805089479 320 pp. $25
A Dublin postman makes the unfortunate discovery that someone on his route is deceased, but signs of a struggle and two other bodies discovered within the house indicate there is much more than meets the eye going on. His colleague is intrigued by story, and begins investigating the triple homicide of a maiden aunt and her two nieces.
I thought the language was beautiful, but didn’t like that we had to dig though so many layers to get to the story–we have the weird postman, then Niall, then the story delivered through the journals, and then within the journals, Jim’s allegoric storytelling. For all those points of view, there weren’t a lot of distinct voices, to me. Maybe for this reason, I found the pacing slow and the characters, uncompelling. Institutionalized racism gives the novel an old-timey tone, despite its present day setting.
The novel blends a strong sense of the gothic with fairytale elements, and when you add love for a bad boy, revenge, sex, and murder to the menu, it seems like all the right ingredients for an unputdownable book, and I really had to push to get through it. I did like how neatly the ending wrapped up, and thought that was cleverly done.