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The Darkwater Bride

An Audible Original Drama
Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
4 out of 5 stars (370 ratings)

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Summary

Late Victorian London. When James Miller, the most respectable of Scottish businessmen, is pulled, dead, from the Thames, his daughter is drawn into an investigation which reveals a whole world of secrets and corruption. Alongside local detective Culley, Catriona's search for her father's killer leads all the way to the tragic truth behind the ghostly legend of The Darkwater Bride and the power of her deadly kiss.

An epic drama starring Adrian Scarborough, Claire Corbett, Freya Mayor and Jamie Glover, The Darkwater Bride combines the genres of the Victorian mystery thriller with the equally classic Victorian mode of the ghostly tale.

©2018 Audible, Ltd (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Ghostly Thriller With a Dark Heart!

This is another deeply atmospheric Audible Studios offering coupling a rich soundscape with some high quality acting which evokes a feel of the darkness that was much of Victorian London. It would be fair to call it a piece of Victorian Noir as what begins as a young girl's attempt to find out what happened to her father descends into the seediest and darkest corners of a depraved city. It's also truly a ghostly tale and most definitely not one for those who like "cozy" mysteries.

I wouldn't rate it quite as highly as say the wonderful "Scarlet City" out of these Audible productions as it is a little repetitive in terms of the relationship between the two main characters; the poor hapless Culley striving to keep his feisty female companion in what he saw as her place. And some of the acting is also perhaps a little overwrought at times but it's a very enjoyable play all the same overall which builds up to what I thought was a thoroughly satisfying climax.

A genuine ghostly thriller with a dark heart, well worth a credit.

36 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best listen since getting Audio

Really enjoyed it scary at times always a thriller,well read by several readers to keep tension going

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent storyline, extremely well performed

An excellent and novel story, extremely well performed and executed. I really couldn't put this one down. It's great to hear the sound effects and dramatisation, nice one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

FIRST TIME I TRULY FELT CAPTURED!!

First off. I HATE horror stories or crimes on audio books. Most of them are boring or not scary at all. And this book was for me personally not scary or super complex with crime...
...But.

Thru all my entire list of audiobooks (I got too many) this instantly landed on my top 3!! Never expected; as I felt like a child hearing his first ghost story, like a young adult feel his first love to women's voices, and the love for true good old British accents. I still can't believe I was so captured.

Acting and the narrators: I sometimes end a book quickly if a narrator breath too much, make too much S'hissing noises or being too flat and lifeless. But these performers made me truly laugh on my bus home, in public, as I got so impressed by the sound and their performers. Honestly I don't know if I if I would read this book on my own as it quickly would dismiss it as another average book (which is just me being too rude and impatience as it's a well written book). But, knowing how good a theatre performance can sound like, I gave it a small chance, and I TRULY found a hidden gem!

Good story overall, with lovely descriptions, not too much and too heavy, but greatly added actions in between. I find "great readers" often describe way too much, so I close the book or audio-book way before the end. The combined creepy descriptions of eels, blood, corpses to touch of love, sensuality and the focus of courtesy in this era... well I just love it!!

Thank you so much for making me stay up all night for this astonishing performance! Well worth the money!

ps: sorry for the long review, but I don't care. It's well deserved!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb

A brilliantly dark ghostly tale that examines the sexual perversity of men in the Victorian era and, let's be frank, today at a time when misogyny is on the rise and violent crime against women remains high. Given the subject matter, it makes sense and balance to have a strong female narrator who combines a certain vulnerability with a dogged determination to find out about her father's secret life and how and why he died.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Well performed and great if you hate men.

full of fun and action. The young girl drives the story and learns the world is full of perverted and evil men. Men rape and abuse, beat and push around girls all the time. this is explained by their 'natural state', and not even her gentel farther could stray from this natural behaviour. Theres not much story but our heroin that goes from brothel to brothel and learns of misery. Must admit it was hard to finish, but for the great production and voice acting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great production, brimful with menace

Marty Ross is a very gifted horror writer and all his craft is in display here, with a very pacey script and excellent descriptions that are both lyrical and horrifying. This is definitely not a production for those that are of a sensitive disposition, but for those that enjoy a full-blooded, dark, gothic story, this have much to recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

love it love it love it!

Very creepy around the edges and wonderfully atmospheric story. Really enjoyed this tale of tragedy, spirit and ghosts. Beware the dark water bride especially in the middle of the night! Loving dramatisations - lots more please!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Gritty

Got straight into it. Great performances that brought the story to life. Thoroughly enjoyed for my first audio book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Original and Engaging

I love the Audible Originals, and the quality of them seems to be getting better all the time. The blurb for this one hooked me in straight away, as I love the Victorian era and supernatural and paranormal themes (but rarely find what I'm looking for).

I was not disappointed. I found The Darkwater Bride to be a very atmospheric and (generally) well scripted drama. The characters are nicely written and the performances by the cast - especially from that of Clare Corbett and Donal Finn - are top-notch.

This is a great mystery thriller, that doesn't overplay it's supernatural edge. The score and sound effects are used just enough to compliment the story, but never too much, so as to drown out the performances and irritate the listener - as sometimes they have the tendency to do.

My only negative is that some (a very few) of the scenes that play out seem slightly unnecessary, and could have been skipped. Also, i felt that - on occasion - a character's dialogue lingered on for a few sentences more than necessary.

overall, The Darkwater Bride is a great thriller. Dark, captivating, intense at times and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, with a satisfying comclusion; this is an Audible drama that I can definitely recommend for fans of a good mystery thriller. I really hope Audible do more of these dark dramas. Will be giving a second listen for sure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 07-04-19

spooky audio drama / sex & violence crime fiction

I'm a big fan of well made audio drama and would probably listen to a one about pottery. This was definitely technically strong enough performance to keep me listening.

The mood is gloomy to fit a really disturbing story that also attracted my interest as a fan of 19th century horror. Throughout the story is underlined the struggle of the female protagonist in a man's world where she's either overlooked or threatened, often sexually. This combines well with the crime story which is related to violence against women. The theme of women's emancipation is well developed throughout the story, even if sometimes the constant and relentless abuse of women by men felt a bit over the top to me. It was very disturbing, which was probably the purpose, but same time I also felt that the picture it painted of the world was too negative and sometimes it got me questioning the likelihood of the turns of events.

[EDIT: Since this review, I have been reading and listening to the history about the culture in the era, and it turns out that English culture really was incredibly male chauvinistic at the time and women's position extremely poor, rather exactly what it is described to be in this story, so much so that the non-supernatural content in this story now appears to me rather plausible.]

This is basically a detective story that combines elements of fairy tale sort of fantasy horror and violent sex crime fiction. Not exactly my cup of tea. I'm not completely against the use of supernatural in fiction per se, e.g. I love Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Lovecraft's work. But here I was left with a feeling, from very early on, that more realistic choices could have been more to my taste in this story, maybe because of its strong detective story nature. I'm also not a big fan of this sex and violence crime fiction. However, these elements were not badly woven together if you like this stuff.

The drama was bit broken by protagonist being also occasionally the narrator. This means that time to time she was telling the story instead instead of living it. This could be backed up by her being the only living witness to the story, but not actually witnessing all parts of it. So far so good. However, I felt that this was slightly inconsistent, since parts of the story seemed to be acted without her presence or narration. So, in the end, maybe better narrative solutions could have been made.

The performance was really fine. My only complaint would be that early to the story I sometimes was not sure who were the characters in the scene and where it took place. In the whole this was not a problem.

165 of 176 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brady
  • Brady
  • 13-05-19

Men are bad, mmkay?

Story starts out strong then drones on for the rest of the book. The sound design and performance are alright, but not enough to save the book. I can tell who's the main character, is it Kat? Cause she has the least amount of lines compared to every other major monologuing character. She's also 1 dimensional and boring.

The icing on the cake is the message of the book: men are bad. All the male characters in the story are 1 dimential asshats and the characteristic for every female character is that they were hurt by men.

Would not recommend.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous 1
  • 09-05-19

A parade of 2-dimensional characters.

First of all this is mildly pornographic and has some depictions of sexual brutality which I did not expect. I was hoping more for ghost story which this is not.

That said, my big complaint here is that this features poorly written, ridiculous female characters all while pretending to be about "girl power." Every female character was either absurdly naive and continuously confused (drinking game idea: take a shot every time you hear someone say. "Hmm, what?") or stereo-typically crass and jaded but none had any common sense or personality beyond being a victim. Why does every story about female empowerment written by a man have to revolve around revenge for rape victimization, while at the same time graphically describing said victimization? Lest I be unfair, let me also point out the men were written just as poorly. All were sex-driven madmen hell bent on torturing women. ALL of them. What was the intended message here? All men are pigs and all women are hapless victims? Where were the fleshed out characters we could get behind and relate to?

It was hard to follow at times because the narration was sparse and much of the time it was just sounds and people talking without reference for what was actually happening.

Furthermore, plot lines moved at a snail's pace and action and dialogue was repeated over and over without moving the story forward. I rarely stop a book, and I made it to the end of this one, but it was on my last nerve and I only made it to the end thanks to the shorter length.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Deb in PA
  • 11-04-19

Well that was uncomfortable

The performances and production of this was spot on, just excellent voice acting, pacing, and effects. The premise had a lot of promise, and I expected to be delivered of a gothic, sexy, maybe supernatural yarn.

Instead I got modern sexual sensibilities shoehorned into a period setting in a way that ruined any authenticity the atmosphere provided. Instead of sexy I got grossed out.
Side characters were all over the place in a way that made them seem opaque and confusing, not complex or real. Connections between people just - poof - appeared out of thin air. I didn't care about any of these people enough to even dislike them. Things could have been included and pulled off if the author had just left some veils over the nastiest bits. So dissapointing.

203 of 223 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer90046
  • 10-04-19

Take it easy on the sex, Marty!

While I appreciate the old style and settings, the author went overboard on the disturbing sex scenes. I wish I’d known—I felt like I was stuck in someone’s fantasies, supposedly justified by some version of inappropriately insistent Girl Power. AND...the amount of times the characters say, “Huh? What? Oh” or “Wh—where? Wh—why? Oh.” “What did you say?” Lord, they are a highly distracted bunch.

82 of 90 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Elizabeth
  • Elizabeth
  • 11-04-19

GRAPHIC

I made it about halfway through this and wanted to get to the end because the mystery factor really roped me in, but it contained truly graphic violence against a child and I just can’t find entertainment in that. It’s too disgusting and too dark.

72 of 79 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sandy N.
  • Sandy N.
  • 10-04-19

Thought it would never end

Child mutilation, sexual predator, violence, cruel sex, profanity, boredom. This performance has it all . The plot drags on and on. This book uses every opportunity to bring in lurid sex and sick behavior. I should have just stopped listening to it. Audible usually does much better than this performance

104 of 115 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sajecha
  • Sajecha
  • 10-04-19

I couldn’t finish it

I love audio books because my commute to work is so long that I rather preoccupy my mind with a book. But this is more like a theater show that was recorded. I didn’t get to envision myself in the scenes because there wasn’t a description of the places or of the people as a narrated book would have. This would be amazing if I could see what was going on. I listened to about 10 minutes of it and left it. It might’ve been a great story but this is def not my style of audiobook. Sorry, my ratings are biased. Good thing it was free no credits wasted.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Crazy Cat Lady Bridget
  • Crazy Cat Lady Bridget
  • 06-04-19

Anticlimactic

I thought the acting was exceptional, but I found myself becoming uncommonly annoyed with the heroine as the story progressed. I also regard the ending as lackluster, but overall it was entertaining.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sean Kennedy
  • Sean Kennedy
  • 13-11-18

Fantastic!

This was a wonderful production! The story was fun, creepy, and went to some dark places, and the production was top notch! If only every audiobook could be this good! I listened to this mostly riding my bicycle in the evenings, and it was perfectly fitting. Really looking forward to more original dramas!

92 of 108 people found this review helpful