Born in Sligo, Ireland, Declan Burke now lives in Co Wicklow. A freelance writer and journalist, his novels have been described as 'Irish screwball noir.' He is a regular contributor to The Sunday Times, Irish Times and the Sunday Independent, and hosts a website devoted to crime fiction called Crime Always Pays. In 2012, he won the Goldsboro Last Laugh Award with ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL.
But old Ma Beauchamp's private existence is interrupted when a stranger arrives - a young man called Adam who wanders into the vast grounds of Trawbawn and becomes one of Lydia's most welcome contacts with the outside world.
When Lydia sets her new confidante a challenge, he eagerly accepts - Adam must travel to Dublin to find her estranged daughter. But it is a task tainted by an air of menace. For what terrible past has driven a daughter from her mother? And what true motive lies behind Adam's generous act?
Soon the unlikely friends are entwined in a deadly game, and a pursuit born of an old lady's desire for peace mutates into a terrible, relentless need for revenge . . .
It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby’s father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.
The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town’s golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not.
When a sudden polio epidemic strikes Hickory, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess knows she is needed and defies Henry’s wishes to begin working at there. Through this work, she begins to find purpose and meaning. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle the truth behind her husband’s mysterious behavior and find the love—and the life—she was meant to have?
A Library Reads Top Ten Book of October 2017
Praise for The Stolen Marriage:
"[A] well-crafted crime-tinged tale." —Publishers Weekly
"The Stolen Marriage is the kind of story that will grab you and refuse to let you go until you turn the last page." —All About Romance
"Readers will be sucked in immediately...you just can't go wrong with a book with [Chamberlain's] name on the cover." —Southern Pines Pilot