In his first novel, Darling Jim (Henry Holt and Co.), Christian Moerk weaves a tale of murder, romance, and intrigue into the green, rainy hills of Ireland. Niall Clearly, a post office employee, discovers a mysterious package in the dead letter bin. The package contains the diary of a young woman whose body was recently found alongside those of her aunt and her sister. Niall is compelled to unravel the events that led to their deaths. The tale he stumbles upon centers on Jim, a charming, handsome, motorcycle-riding seanchai (Irish storyteller) who folds townspeople (mostly townswomen) into his story of castles, princes, twins, and wolves. The diary reveals how the loyal, orphaned sisters were ensnared in Jim's web of charm, and the violent actions they took to free themselves. But as he embarks on a quest to find out what happened to the third sister and entangles himself further into the story, Niall's own life becomes endangered as the line between myth and reality blurs.
Wed., April 29, 7:30 p.m., 2009