Guest Review: Whispers in the Dark by Laurel Hightower

(Last Updated On: October 5, 2019)

Greetings friends, I am super excited to announce the first guest review on Reader Voracious! Lilyn from Sci-fi & Scary read Whispers in the Dark and loved it so much that they needed to write a review for it. The problem? One of the SF&S contributors already reviewed it and was looking for a blog to host their review.

I was more than happy to lend Reader Voracious for the day to give you a bonus review, so please give Lilyn a warm welcome!

About the Book

Publisher: JournalStone  |  Release Date: December 7, 2018  |  Pages: 318
Genre: Horror

Whispers in the Dark coverRose McFarland is a trained killer–a Memphis S.W.A.T. sniper with a secret. Her team knows about the burn scars that lurk under her clothes, a legacy of the house fire that killed her father and brother sixteen years before. Her supervisors know that she spent two years in a rehabilitative facility, healing and learning to cope with the emotional trauma of the fire. But no one knows about the visions that drove her there, angry spirits that consumed her childhood, alienated her from her family and made her doubt her own sanity–the Whispers.

When Charlie Akers, a half-brother she never knew, ends up on the wrong side of Rose’s rifle, she unwittingly sets off a chain of events that puts her family in the middle of increasingly dangerous paranormal visitations. Charlie won’t stay dead, and soon ghosts from Rose’s past are creeping back into her life. People she’s killed in the line of duty, family she thought long buried, every one of them under the influence of Rose’s greatest fear, the Whispers themselves.

As the walls between our world and the world of the dead grow thin, Rose will have to face her old nightmares to stop the Whispers from breaking free. If she can’t, it won’t just be Memphis that falls to the dead–there will be no safe place left on earth for the living.

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Lilyn’s Review

I normally don’t review books by authors that I ‘know’ (even if it’s just a loose connection on Twitter). I feel like there is a potential for bias there as soon as you develop any sort of affection for them as a person. It’s gotten cracks about me being a princess in a white tower before, but I don’t care. We all operate to our own personal standards of what we’re comfortable with.

Well, this is the princess coming down from her white tower and breaking her own rules to tell you all that You Need to Read This Book because it’s just that damned good.

Laurel Hightower’s Whispers in the Dark is one of those books that puts a weight on your chest and tugs at your soul. Each chapter is its own little bite-sized piece of emotional chocolate.  I had to pause in between them just to let the ache that was building in me die down a little bit. At one point, when I was reading over my lunch break at work, I had to close the book, get up, and leave the room.  Hightower’s writing got under my skin that badly.

There is so much to love in this book. The adult characters are all sorts of perfectly flawed. The relationships between everyone are not quite believable but only because everyone dreams of being loved that much. And I don’t think that sort of love is real…or at least it’s not in my reality. But the non-believability isn’t an issue here, because it lends such a sweet air to the absolute fucking emotional slash job she’s doing to you the rest of the time. The action is great, the pacing is freaking chef’s kiss perfect, and some of the dialogue had me sitting back from my screen (read it on the computer) and clapping because it was just so perfect.

Good lord. This is how you write a ghost story.  Rose is the type of Gifted female character so many of us love so much but that hardly anyone ever gets perfectly right.  So many authors try to write the hard-ass, loving, fierce, take-no-prisoners Strong Female Lead that will stay with their readers long after the story is over. So much so that it has become its own trope in paranormal fantasy/horror/etc.

Rose broke the flawed mold that these characters have been crafted in.

Laurel Hightower did a brilliant job all around on Whispers in the Dark, and if you don’t get your hands on it as soon as possible… well… I feel sorry for you because you’re missing out on an exceptional piece of work by a very talented author.

Have you read anything by Laurel Hightower? Does this book sound as good to you as it does to me (Kal)? Let’s chat!


  1. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    October 7, 2019 at 6:27 AM

    I’ve not heard of this book or author, so I’m glad you highlighted Lilyn’s review, it sounds powerful!

    1. Lilyn

      October 7, 2019 at 5:13 PM

      Absolutely is.
      I am not someone who puts much stock by signed author copies and whatnot. To me, a signature on a book doesn’t mean much at all.

      If this author doesn’t make it big at some point, I would be absolutely shocked. I believe in her enough that I bought a signed copy off of her just so I could say I knew her back when.

    2. Kal

      October 22, 2019 at 6:02 PM

      I am glad too, this was the first time I heard anything about the author and I am excited to read it someday now!

  2. Laurie | Bark

    October 7, 2019 at 12:07 PM

    I love ghost stories. Looks like need to get me a copy of this one when I’m caught up!

    1. Lilyn

      October 7, 2019 at 5:14 PM

      Yes, yes you do!

    2. Kal

      October 22, 2019 at 6:04 PM

      Me too, me too!

  3. R A I N

    October 9, 2019 at 11:39 AM

    WHOAAA!! I have never heard of this author or book before but DAMN WAS THAT AN AMAZING REVIEW!!😍😍 It’s soo nice of you to lend Lilyn a space to share her thoughts on the book! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE REVIEW AND WILL DEFINITELY ADD THIS TO MY TBR!! 😍😍😍❤️❤️❤️

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