Format Hardcover
Publication Date 04/01/13
ISBN 9781605984582
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.3 in / 336

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The Darkling

A Novel

R. B. Chesterton Carolyn Haines

When the Henderson family takes in a mysterious teenager, they are happy to have a new addition to the family, but it soon becomes clear that Annie is no regular orphan...

In the 1940s, Coden, Alabama was a hideaway for movie stars - an isolated playground tucked among live oaks and placid bay waters where pleasure and vice could be indulged. By the summer of 1974 Coden's glamour has faded, but it doesn't bother Mimi Bosarge, who is just happy to have a job as a live-in tutor with the wealthiest family in town, the Hendersons. When the Hendersons generously open their arms to Annie, a troubled teenager with no recollection of her past, Mimi's greatest concern is creating a curriculum for the family's new ward.

But it soon becomes obvious that something is wrong. Annie seems suspiciously savvy for her young age, and Mimi can't quell the unnerving sense that there is something malicious about the waiflike beauty.

R. B. Chesterton is the pseudonym for Carolyn Haines.

Carolyn Haines was the 2010 recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing, the 2009 recipient of the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence, and the 2011 RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Amateur Sleuth. She is the author of more than sixty books in a number of genres. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of South Alabama where she teaches fiction writing.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“A good storyteller - and R. B. Chesterton is quite a good storyteller - knows to lower her voice when she's talking about ghosts...[a] spellbinding tale, offering eloquent evidence that Southern storytelling is indeed a very special art form.” The New York Times Book Review
“In this unsettling piece of American gothic, the arrival of a 16-year-old foster child results in the unraveling of a close-knit family, arousing the suspicions of their young nanny. With its 1974 setting and slow burn narrative, The Darkling is a throwback to a time when the novels of Ira Levin and Thomas Tryon ruled bookshelves, when the most popular horror novels were both literary and scary.”
“As the questions hover and grow more intense, it's virtually impossible not to pursue the answers to the end. In fact, as [Chesterton's] novel gains momentum like a fast-moving train, it's hard to put the book down at all. Not for nothing is she one of our most decorated writers.” Alabama Writers Forum
“Coden, Ala., once a thriving resort town, serves as the setting for this sharp and edgy gothic thriller, set in 1974. Coden residents look to California transplants Berta and Bob Henderson to bring prosperity back, since the couple plans to restore the shabby Paradise Inn, once a magnet for Hollywood legends. Meanwhile, canny 21-year-old Marie Bosarge, whom the Hendersons have hired to tutor their three adventurous youngsters and to be a companion to 16-year-old Annie, a foster child of uncertain origin, slowly realizes she’s dealing with malevolent forces she can’t understand. Why do unidentified claw marks appear in Belle Fleur, the family’s historic house? And who’s the sinister wraith at the edge of the woods? As Marie begins to research the past of the Paradise Inn and Belle Fleur, she comes across a tragic and horrific story that resonates into the present.” Publishers Weekly