Huge thanks to Zoé at Zooloo’s Book Tours and author for a place on the tour & the opportunity to read and review this book.
Ten years have passed since Isla Frost left the family manor. The past; a hidden memory comes to her in jolts. She blames one man for all that has happened. Her father, a cold brittle man who is now facing his mortality. Isla has returned to care for him. However, things are about to take a dark sinister turn.
A body has been found. Deep beneath the rocks of a cut off underpass. The rotten corpse of a long forgotten victim. So begins a quest for truth that will have Isla questioning everybody and everything she knows.
Old friendships are tested, family ties unbound, and Isla finds herself in the mouth of danger. What happened to her mother? Is her father a killer? How many other people need to die to protect a killer?
A tense stand-alone novel that lurks on the periphery of the haunted house genre, ‘Whispers,’ will delve into the secrets of the past to unveil a murderous conspiracy.
The synopsis captured my attention straight away – the idea of returning to the family manor after 10 years shows there’s already a complicated dynamic, throw in a dead body and hunt for the killer and it makes for an incredible read.
It’s well written, the story pulls you along and you can’t help but keep turning the pages to see where the mystery takes you. I was hooked from the prologue!
The contrast of the idyllic, quiet village setting against the sinister goings on and haunting quality of the characters’ lives sets the scene well. The story is told from multiple points of view which enables the reader to glimpse little bits of information and feelings from each person. There’s an interesting mix of characters who are all flawed in some way. The reader knows that secrets are being kept which builds up the suspense and intrigue. As you move through the chapters you can see that everyones’ story is interconnected and cleverly woven together.
Isla’s dealing with connecting with her past while avoiding something in her present. She can’t remember a lot from her past, and what she does recall is not good. Being back home she starts having flashbacks and is trying to piece these together. The dead body makes her question those closest to her and makes her think about the disappearance of her Mother when she was a child.
I really warmed to Daniel but had mixed feelings at the start. No one in the village has a favourable opinion of him, but we are privy to his thoughts and can see how much he loves and cares about Isla. Is he just misunderstood or hiding something?
I enjoyed Murdo heading up the police investigation – there’s not much to go on and you see how difficult a task it is. You feel a bit like a detective trying to piece together the information we find along the way.
The story also explores the power of a ‘whisper’ in our mind from an absent person or past experience and the effect it can have on our present. I found this a thought provoking notion and enjoyed seeing this in play in the novel.
The author creates a fascinating web connecting the characters in ways I couldn’t even imagine! We have to think about who’s account we are seeing – prejudice can distort the perception of things – and the reader is seeing everything through the eyes of one of the characters. As the story unfolds you realise nothing is as it seems.
I could not read the last few chapters fast enough, there were twists and turns around every corner – the tension was palpable. It had me gasping out loud in places as I did not foresee any of the revelations! As the saying goes, the truth will out!
Overall, it’s an intriguing, suspenseful and atmospheric read which is beautifully written. The threads of each character’s story pull together to give an intense and shocking ending making it a must-read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Billy McLaughlin is a Scottish born writer with 8 books currently under his belt. Four of the books, including 2019’s serial killer thriller, ‘Four,’ are part of the DI Phil Morris Mysteries. His first full length novel, ‘Lost Girl,’ arrived in May 2016 and has gone on to achieve more than 15,000 downloads. The follow up, ‘In the Wake of Death,’ has received rave reviews for it’s dark tone and psychological elements.
His most downloaded book came in the form of 2017’s, ‘The Dead of Winter,’ a novella that focuses as much on the broken relationships of a small community as it does the crime itself. One reader described it as being like ‘a full series of Broadchurch.’ Once again, praise was leveled at the atmospheric tone with another reader suggesting that the material would work well as a movie.
Billy is passionate about reading but recognises the need for bite-sized thrillers for people who enjoy reading but simply don’t have the time. As he begins works on his ninth book, he finds himself even more excited about the writing process. ‘The Blood Runs Darker,’ arrived in December 2020. A new collection of short stories arrived in December 2021 and his 11th publication, ‘Whispers,’ came along on Christmas Day 2021.
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