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From a Whisper to a Scream (Newford)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  688 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Originally published under the pen name “Samuel M. Key”

"Years after the death of a notorious child murderer, children have begun to die again...and a crime photographer begins to suspect he has the one true clue that connects the horrific events."

In the early 1990s, Charles de Lint wrote and published three dark fantasy novels under the pen name “Samuel M. Key.” Now, Orb p
ebook, 304 pages
Published January 18th 2003 by Orb Books (first published 1992)
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Community Reviews

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From a Whisper to a Scream is not as creepy as Angel of Darkness, but it does make me wish it was still daylight out (and not just above freezing) so I could go for a walk. This is apparently the first Newford novel ever written, but it's worlds away from the other Newford books. I don't want to spoil it too much but it's basically about the ghost of a serial killing pedophile who rises from the grave and starts murdering again. It comes at it from two separate viewpoints. The first, from a news ...more
This is a reissue from when Charles de Lint wrote a more horror-based story under the pen name of Samuel M. Key. I've read some of de Lint's more horror-based stuff before, and I don't think this early work is as good. A runaway punk girl is being haunted by the ghost of her dead stepfather, who, of course, sexually abused her. De Lint really gets into describing the thoughts of the abuser and my reaction is just...Eeeww, do I really have to read this in so much detail? Also, the way that the po ...more
After reading and really liking The Blue Girl I wanted to read more by Charles de Lint. I decided to pick this book because it sounded like it might be a dark and scary read.

And it is indeed a lot darker and a lot more grim, but just as beautiful despite its darkness.

The story is told from multiple viewpoints, some of the characters likable, others far more seedier. My favorite character was Thomas Morningstar, a Native American police officer. I thought the story line about him trying to find h
Charles de Lint has been one of those writers that I have been lukewarm about. I’m not sure why, but there it is. I can say that the odds of my picking this book up at a reminder sale would have been close to non-existent if it hadn’t been for two Goodreads friends and their absolute, but critical, love for de Lint. He owes them drinks, dinner, a free book, an autograph.

According to the book blurb, de Lint published this in the early 90s under a pseudonym because it was darker than this other
Kirk Macleod
Charles de Lint's second horror novel, From a Whisper to a Scream (1992) also happens to be his first novel set in Newford, which, as I'm reading his books in publication order, doesn't mean much to me, but for fans of his Urban Fantasy work, it may be a title which slipped past your radar.

As with Angel of Darkness, the book has some very dark material in; and the fact that it's dedicated to crime writer Andrew Vachss may give you an idea of the direction of that material.

The story focuses on a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rick Piatt
I'm very divided on how I want to review this. Like all books in the Newford setting I enjoyed the characters and writing style. The plot moves along at an enjoyable pace. You're introduced to the main characters and throughout the story are given just enough information / back story to keep you hungrily flipping pages. In this Charles de Lint is second to none. There is a large amount of information about pedophilia in the book and it was honestly disgusting. To de Lint's credit he does this so ...more
Originally published under the pseudonym Samuel Key, this Newford novel reveals a darker side of the world. de Lint wanted to give his traditional readers an easy way to delineate between his less-dark (i.e., normal) writing and his darker forays. Now the Key books are available under his actual name, which makes them easier to find at the library.

In this book, a dead serial killer and child molester has found a way to express himself physically in Newford... and he's not letting a little thing
JG (The Introverted Reader)
This was really written under a pseudonym, and I can see why. It's really way too dark for me.

Re-read December 11, 2011

A serial killer has been viciously murdering women in the Combat Zone, a seedy area of Newford. He makes a mistake when he kills a wealthy man's daughter, apparently mistaking her for one of the prostitutes he normally targets. There's a witness to this one too. He swears the killer stepped out of the side of a building and disappeared the same way.

Detective Thomas Morningstar
Brad Judd
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Big fan of DeLint. He wrote several novels (this is one) under the pseudonym Samuel M. Key, as they were much darker in tone than his usual urban fantasy offerings. I enjoyed this novel quite a bit. DeLint writes well and is an easy read. It’s a page-turner. Like several of his other books I’ve read, he starts with four different characters (or sets of characters) each approaching the same “story” from different perspectives. It’s always interesting to see how DeLint manages to bring them all to ...more
Loved the story . I read the digital version from Google Play. Really didn't like all the spelling mistakes and strange grammar. I don't know if this from Google or the publisher but it detracts from the story
3.5 stars

Jim is a photographer and he suspects a woman he took a picture of knows something about some recent murders, so he sets out to find her. When they figure out what's actually going on, he (and the others) are in for more than they bargained for.

It took a little while to get into it. The book is told from many different points of view, so the first number of chapters are all introducing different characters, so it made it harder for me to get into it, as I was trying to figure out who e
Joey Cruz
My first de Lint book. I remember it being a satisfying supernatural mystery novel that's due for a reread. I'm very interested in reading more de Lint as well.
This is the first one of the Samuel Key pseudonym de Lint I've read - and, as his intro makes clear, it's more graphic in the violence than the other Newford books - they can be awfully dark, but the violence is not as direct. I liked it - I just can't NOT like de Lint or anything he writes, but I prefer the "regular" Newford books.
Debra S
Much darker than the Newford series written under the name de Lint. I can see why he used a pen name to warn people there was a difference.

While it had the usual mix called urban fantasy, he was far more graphic in describing the abuse that frequently haunts his characters. It was a relief when Nikki stood up to her father in the end and sent him back to where he belonged, freeing all the souls he had bound to him. I do not recall any of these characters in his later Newford books and can only h
This book had everything you expect from de Lint. Buskers, homeless kids, and a bizarre magic no one believes but it obviously real. Much darker than his other things, but still a similar feel. I'd probably go 3.5 if I could.

Going into it, what was happening was obvious. So glaringly so that it had to be dramatic irony. The journey was still fun, but I knew who the monster was from the start. If that was meant to be a surprise? It was not.
Oct 20, 2011 Lesley marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
August 19, 2011

Read 150 pages.

I'm not sure what it was but I was quite bored from the very start. Maybe I was just tired when reading this but too many characters were introduced and I was mixing people up and just not interested in finding out more about the strange occurrences, deaths, and supernatural parts of the story.
Not like most of de Lint's other works; Whisper to a Scream, while set in Newford, takes a much darker and more horrific turn than other stories. It gets downright uncomfortable as well, since sexual abuse is a major part of the book. Still, it is well-written and some of the characters are both likeable and 3-dimensional.
It's deLint, it's part of Newford, it's not good!! The premise of a supernatural murder mystery was great but the story got bogged down in the lives of the detectives etc. I just did not enjoy this one and deLint said it was not essential to the Newford story but I wanted to read it anyway, guess I should skipped it.
Eh. Not really my thing, I guess, but nothing very interesting happened in this book. The most notable element of the novel was the rampant racism. Were the early nineties that racially charged? That's not what I remember of the time.
Geoff Seymour
Early Newport novel, gritty and dark, a supernatural serial killer with voudoun and shamanism to round it out. A great read! I once again marvel at de Lint's capacity to make his characters come alive within the pages.
A very well-done piece of dark modern fantasy. Not that there is any relation between the two, but fans of White Wolf Publishing's World of Darkness will feel very much at home in the world of this novel.
IT WAS GREAT! after chapter 19 or so all i could say was: OH MY GOD ! I couldn't seat steel. i was jumping up and down, passing the room and when it ended I was like : phew it was good :)
Had some pretty disturbing imagery. Definitely not for the faint at heart, it made me intensely uncomfortable with some of the passages describing a pedophile.
Dark book so far. Not the normal lighthearted charles de lint.

I liked the end - the way that everyone came together after all working from different angles.
A darker, and a little less fantastical de Lint, but I loved it none the less. If you're reading de Lint; save this one for stormy winter nights :)
Jen Besser
Wasn't sure how to rate this one. I absolutely love all things de Lint. But this book was terrifying - and I hate to be terrified!
This Charles De Lint book barely held my attention. I always come away from him feeling as though something was missed when he wrote...
JoAnn Ainsworth
Terrific Suspenseful. Learned a lot for my own writing.
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Charles de Lint is the much beloved author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint's b ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Newford (1 - 10 of 27 books)
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  • Memory and Dream (Newford, #2)
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  • Trader (Newford, #4)
  • Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #5)
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