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Path Into Darkness

(County Clare Mystery #3)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  41 reviews
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 S
Paperback, 386 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by Midnight Ink
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  93 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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"A haunting tale of family secrets, madness, and healing".

Lisfenora, Ireland.  Renown for its annual matchmaking festival. The 'matchmaker' in this case is the terminally ill Liam. Knowing that his end is near, he appoints his daughter, Merritt Chase, to take over the esteemed role of 'matchmaker'. Merritt, feeling she has no aptitude for this position is reluctant. She has moved to Ireland from California.

In the small village there is another father/daughter duo. Nathan Tate, a potter with PTSD
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the third book in the County Clare Mystery series. While the mystery aspect of the plot works fine as a standalone story, readers would gain more from the ongoing development of the recurring characters if the books were read in order. The relationships between the characters are pretty complex, the point of view changes frequently, and there are also journal entries. It's a good choice if you enjoy a more slow-moving, character-driven and deeply atmospheric novel.
Unfortunately, this ha
Mandy White
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
A local man is found dead..... this is the story of Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern who investigates this crime whilst his wife lies in a hospital bed in a coma.

It is an easy and quick read. Thank you to Net Galley and Midnight Ink for a copy of this book to read and review
With the third installment of the County Clare mysteries, Lisa Alber has cemented the series’ success. One of the descriptions heard in reviews of this series is that it is atmospheric, and that is indeed a delicious element of each book. There is always a lingering of the fey, both its positive and negative mysterious underpinnings. Another strength is Alber’s adeptness at developing interesting characters whose stories weave together from book to book, anchoring the readers to the community of ...more
Debby Author
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
While this is part of a series, it also stands alone quite nicely. In another review I compared Alber to Kate Atkinson and Wilkie Collins and this still holds true for me. Character-driven mystery with beautiful descriptive passages that might make you check the locks on your doors a few times if you're reading it at night!
I wish I had discovered Lisa Alber's County Clare mysteries before the third book. You can start with Path into Darkness, but I recommend you start with the first, Kilmoon. The relationships are complicated enough that you should meet the characters in the original atmospheric mystery.

Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern is struggling. His wife is on life-support, and his weekly trips to the hospital with his children and father-in-law are difficult. Now, there's a murder in Lisfenora. Danny recognize
Nicole Overmoyer
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest and original review.)
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
So here's the conundrum with reading series books out of order. You tend to miss out on certain backgrounds of characters and if these aren't addressed in the book you're reading (out of order), you feel a bit at a loss. However, if you are reading a series in order and the author spends too much time revisiting past circumstances then I get irritated. I don't think I knew this was series book until I received it. Being number 3 in the County Clare Mystery series, there were definitely things I ...more
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Path Into Darkness had a lot of potential and started off well, making me excited to get stuck into the novel. However after a certain point, it all fell a little short. The characters were extremely hard to connect to and unlikeable (not that they have to be, but you have to at least want to read about them). The story also felt very choppy and confusing.

I'm sure others might pick this up and
Jen (Thismomreads)
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley and Midnight Ink for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Path Into Darkness is part of a larger series featuring Sargeant Detective Danny Ahern and the citizens of Lisfenora. I will say there were elements of the novel that would have made more sense had I read the first two, but overall it was an enjoyable read as a stand alone story.
Detective Ahern is called to the murder of Elder Joe, a local man who is known in town for his unpleasant temperament
Kerry Schafer
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Lisa Alber's mystery series just keeps getting better with every book. Path Into Darkness reminds me a little bit of another beloved series - the Richard Jury novels by Martha Grimes. The series has a marvelous array of interesting characters, threads that follow through from one book to the next, beautiful plotting, a brooding emotional intensity, and things that make me laugh. Path Into Darkness has a lovely Gothic element that I adore. This book could easily be read as a stand alone, as well. ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: partner-read
Thanks to Midnight Ink for the copy in exchange for my honest review.

This atmospheric murder mystery thriller was an absorbing read. While Lisa Alber's PATH INTO DARKNESS is book three in the County Clare series, you can read it as a standalone. I do want to go back and read books 1 and 2 simply because the development of some of the relationships is missing. So I did feel like I was missing some background information.

Taking place in Lisfenora, Ireland we start with the discovery of Elder Joe's
3 no 7
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
“Path Into Darkness” by Lisa Alber is part of the “County Clare” series. While it is not necessary to have read the previous books to enjoy this one, reading previous books makes it easier understand the characters and situations. Detective Danny Ahern and his colleagues are investigating the murder of Elder Joe, a man with a decidedly unpleasant personality. They struggle to find answers without much success. Joe has been running a boarding house, among other things, so they suspect that the k ...more
Lillian Cummings
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The devil is living with you. Nathan is having awful dreams again and since his daughter Zoe has moved they are even worse. He fears that he is losing his mind again, he really thought that he was getting better. But lately more strange things are happening people are dying and someone is framing Nathan. He just can't remember doing any of the things that the police are saying he has done. Danny knows that Nathan is guilty but something is bugging him about this case and he needs to look into Na ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Path Into Darkness (A County Clare Mystery) is a gripping, atmospheric book with characters full of secrets. Lisa Alber's writing is so descriptive that I almost felt that I was in Lisfenora, Ireland and walking side by side with its residents. When Elder Joe (EJ) is murdered, it is up to Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern to solve the crime while dealing with his own demons. The upcoming matchmaking festival has several residents up in arms -- will "outsider" Merrit be able to take over from her ai ...more
Karin A.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-read
Lisa nailed it again. Mystery mastery. Although part of a series, this book can stand alone. The setting in Co. Clare, Ireland drew me to Lisa's books. I love the colloquial expressions of the characters.

Who killed Elder Joe Macey in his cottage keeps the reader guessing with subtle twists. I had four guesses but one could find possibly more suspects. There is more than one mystery to solve than murder as the characters'lives unfold. Plenty going on behind the scenes as Detective Sargeant Danny
The Brazen Bull
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
What could be better reading in the sweltering months of summer than a dark and atmospheric mystery? As I read Lisa Alber’s highly anticipated Path Into Darkness, the third in her County Clare mystery series, I could almost feel the misty rain and brisk winds of Ireland sweeping over me. Although new to the series, I had no trouble becoming immediately engrossed in both the characters and plot line which centered around the murder of one of Lisfenora’s locals and a regular at the Plough and Trou ...more
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful book by Lisa Alber. This is another entry in the series that began with Kilmoon. And, while a lot of the characters are still here, the emphasis in this book has shifted slightly to feature Danny. There are many mysteries in this book, set in Ireland in the days leading up to Easter...who killed Elder John is only the beginning. Why is Nathan clinging (and not well) to reality, and why is he so afraid of his daughter, Zoe? What secrets is Annie hiding? Really, the entire book i ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Midnight Ink for an advance copy of Path Into Darkness, the third murder mystery set in the fictional town of Lisfenora, Co. Clare, featuring DS Danny Ahern.

Danny is called out to the murder of Joseph "Elder Joe" Macy who has been stabbed in his home. Despite being a fairly unpleasant man with some unsavoury means of making money no one can think of a suspect. The closest they come is Nathan Tate, a mentally unstable man who used to lodge with Elder Joe.

Tea Leaves and Reads
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 wit ...more
Michaela Shannon-sank
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The story pulled me in and kept me thinking about it (and brooding over it!) even when I had to put it down. (Which wasn't often as I finished it within a day!) The stories all entwined in such a way that you don't see it coming, or even suspect it, and the characters are so real you would recognize them instantly. The writing is just so good, it flows evenly throughout the book and you really feel everything. I'm not going to post any spoilers, not even a hint, I will only sa ...more
Pat Dupuy
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lisa Alber's County Clare books just get better and better. The village and its inhabitants seem real. Their victories and heartbreaks seem real. The different story threads weave together, part, and reconnect in unexpected ways. I finish each story wondering what will happen next in these peoples' lives. This book sucked me in and didn't want to let go. I finished reading, stepped back a pace, and now I'm wondering what will happen next.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing

This book turned out to be very good overall. It had a bit of a slow start, but once you get about a quarter of the way through it becomes addictive. There are so many twists and turns, with a surprise ending that I did not see coming. The main characters were well thought out, each with their own individual back stories and complications. They end up all tying in together nicely. I highly recommend for people that like to read mysteries.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this mystery based in Ireland. It is the second in the series so now I’ll going back to reading the first of the series, which is helping me with the backstory. But I enjoyed this even without having red the first.
I recommend it for suspense and mystery lovers.
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
An engrossing , suspenseful read that drew me in and kept me guessing until the end. Ms. Albers deftly explores the darker side of the human psyche in her third County Claire mystery, Path Into Darkness. Although a darker tale, the reader will find glimmers of hope and joy spread within the story.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had a difficult time connecting with this story. It just wasn't very interesting to me. There were some strange tangents going on with other characters that I didn't care about. I skimmed through but didn't finish it in the end.
Will Zeilinger
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Having visited Ireland a couple of years ago, I can say that reading Path Into Darkness made me feel like I was living in a small Irish village. Alber takes her time weaving the intricate story like a celtic knot. Her writing is strong and her voice is distinct.
Kathleen Freeman
I have to say I really like Danny as a character and I glad we got to see various aspects of his life in this book. Hope there are more books in this series.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like this series and the author is getting better at the stories with each book. Good mysteries and interesting characters.
Rachael Carter
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
I'm not sure if I'm picking the wrong books for myself or what but another book I could not get into.
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Other books in the series

County Clare Mystery (3 books)
  • Kilmoon (County Clare Mystery #1)
  • Whispers in the Mist