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The Piper

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  272 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
In this bone-chilling tale of terror from Shamus Award-winning thriller writer Lynn Hightower, a devoted mother must confront the paranormal forces that have cursed her family.

When Olivia James receives a phone call just after midnight, she recognizes her brother’s voice. But there’s a problem: her brother has been dead for the past nine weeks. Moving back to her old child
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Severn House Publishers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Emily Cherry
Feb 22, 2013 Emily Cherry rated it it was amazing
Okay, first things first.

I HATE horror.

Not because I don't think it's any good, but because I'm an extremely suggestible person, and a single horror novel can have me on edge for months later. Horror about your family going missing and or getting killed? I'm OUT. PERIOD. Nope, not for me. EVER.

So, when I needed to read this for work, I was... not loving my job quite as much as usual. But by the end of the first day, when I had to stop, because work was over, I was very, very, veryveryvery tempte
Jun 19, 2013 Bandit rated it liked it
This was a random selection based in part on a great cover, in part on its availability at the library and in part on my constant quest to find good female horror authors. Hightower has a background in crime fiction and it shows, because the book kept slipping into a police procedural. Another thing constantly evident was the fact that it was written by a female an extreme case of write what you know all the major characters were female and oddly abbreviated (seriously, Amel and Ack, ...more
Jul 17, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal
This book had me in at the first page but by the end of it i struggled Hightower is supposed to be horror but was not scary it kept me turning pages but hate descriptive sex scenes was supposed to be a paranormal horror but was more like a dreary read in the end
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Didn't like it.
I struggled to finish this.
Oh well... On to the next one.
Jul 19, 2013 Kimberly rated it liked it
2.5 Stars

This book was barely a horror novel. I never had a shiver down my spine. Nor did the dark creep me out after a reading session.

I HATED how Hightower began the book. In my personal opinion, a book of this nature (ie. some dark entity haunting and harming the protagonists) should not reveal the supernatural entity at the bloody beginning of the novel! It really took the creepy-mysterious-suspense factor out of the book (not that having it really would have helped make the book scarier).
Aug 03, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing
I just finished “The Piper” by Lynn Hightower, which simply blew me away. I’ve known Hightower as a Shamus-Award-winning mystery writer, so I didn’t look into what I was buying at all. I started the Audible book, and was quickly introduced to Olivia James, a pragmatic Southern woman living in Los Angeles. She receives a strange phone call from her brother who assures her everything is all right, that he “has paid the piper.” The thing is, her brother has been dead for nine weeks.

I don’t buy sca
Carrie Rzeppa
Nov 08, 2015 Carrie Rzeppa rated it really liked it
Couldn't stop turning the pages. Although the ending is a little lackluster, the overall suspense that the author builds throughout the story makes this a worthwhile read if you like books about the paranormal.
John P
Apr 07, 2013 John P rated it really liked it
Begins with a phone call from her deceased brother, broken with static, that he "had to pay the piper." Then evolves in a story, in the authors words, of spirits - "the good things and the bad" that, if you "turned your head just right," you might "get a glimpse of."
Apr 29, 2016 Christie rated it it was amazing
I read this book in a week so a very fast read. The author spins a great ghost story that you are kept wondering what is real and what isn't.
Apr 12, 2013 Shan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I LOVED it!!! this def needs to be made into a movie.. it kept you in suspense the entire time. Thanks so much for the opportunity to read The Piper .
Apr 12, 2013 Michele rated it really liked it
This novel scared the **** of out me. I loved it.
Apr 07, 2014 Sierra rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by A Simple Taste for Reading:

Oooooh this book needs to be made into a movie! Very eerie and I loved it, kept me on the seat of my chair! I would highly recommend this book if you want a great chilling read!

Christopher James has been dead for nine weeks, but that doesn’t stop him from phoning his sister Olivia and warning her: “I had to pay the piper….Don’t let him…after you.” Olivia knows instantly that the piper is the nameless malefactor who ca
Jan 23, 2016 Beverly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Someone on Shelfari recommended this book because it was creepy and I love creepy. The had an audio version of this and I wish I had just read it because it was creepy and I think that reading it would have maintained that atmosphere. However, since I did not like the voice of the reader for the audio, Xe Sands, the book just lost some of its "creep" factor. The story starts off with Olivia receiving a phone call from her deceased brother. His message is that he has paid the piper but Olivia doe ...more
Jul 30, 2013 Meagan rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. There were definitely sections that were creepy, but there weren't nearly enough of them given how many weird things happened. The book has a huge body count for the number of characters in it, but after a little while they stop meaning anything. Especially since you never even meet some of the characters who die. Sure the situation with them would be creepy if it actually happened, but in a novel I have a hard time caring about them.

Some of the word choice
Natasha Margulis
Apr 03, 2013 Natasha Margulis rated it it was amazing
Lynn Hightower has written the ultimate mystery/supernatural book. This book was so good I couldn't put it down, but it was so creepy I had to. I am usually not squeamish about reading horror and mystery books at night, but then I had never read The Piper before. I won it as part of a goodreads book give a way from the author and I have never been so thrilled with my luck in my life. I didn't even really give a thought to one of the key places in this novel, Waverly Hills, until it snuck up on m ...more
Aug 04, 2016 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This should really be 3 and a half stars, rather than 4.. but 3 seems too harsh.
It was enjoyable, and parts were quite scary. But, sometimes the characters were too idiotic, and not in a good “no don’t do it” horror way.

For example, one character finds out why a bad thing happened and explicitly tells the reader this. They then also go and tell another character this, so it is clear they know X (thing) caused Y (bad thing). However, they still end up thinking that doing X again would be a good
Daniel Rudge
Apr 21, 2015 Daniel Rudge rated it really liked it
In The Piper, Lynn Hightower introduces us to a malevolent spirit that is targeting her family and friends. You make a deal with the Piper for what you want and he takes away something you hold dear. While billed as a horror novel, I found this to be more of a psychological thriller, and a very good one at that. While Olivia James is not the most likeable character I have found in a book, she adequately makes a nice foil for those who would try and defeat the Piper. I guess what makes this such ...more
Apr 07, 2013 Oneida rated it it was amazing
This was my first reading a book by Lynn S. Hightower and I really enjoyed this story line very much, it did leave me with some unanswered questions but it also scared me too! I look forward to reading more stories written by this author. :)

In this bone-chilling tale of terror from Shamus Award-winning thriller writer Lynn Hightower, a devoted mother must confront the paranormal forces that have cursed her family.

When Olivia James receives a phone call just after midnight, she recognizes her bro
Kyle Sweet
Mar 01, 2016 Kyle Sweet rated it really liked it
I took to this book fairly slowly, but when I did, I fell head and heels in with the characters. From the first few chapters I foolishly assumed where it was going, and there wasn't much to suggest I would be wrong and I almost dismissed the story as another clichéd paranormal / mystery / thriller type title, but the careful pace and escalation of events paid off and before I knew it I was hooked onto Olivia's every move, feeling the relief and stress with her in every page.

When this book gets g
I should have read this during the day. Once I started I couldn't stop which sucks for me because not only did it creep me (it takes a lot to accomplish this), I'll be sleeping with the lights on. For readers who love reading bone-chilling thrillers with paranormal elements that make the hairs on your neck stand up, look no further as "The Piper" does not disappoint. The author successfully delivers a well-written story that captures the reader's attention and imagination; watching it unfold lik ...more
Evelyn Doyle
The story sounds intriguing, so it's on my To-Do-One-Day list (if I remember) to borrow a dead tree edition from the library — I just couldn't listen to the audiobook. The narrator's voice was insurmountable, despite my attempt to ignore it, hoping I'd just get used to it as the story went on. She sounded irritatingly floaty, to me — like she was constantly on the brink of falling asleep, or was perhaps enveloped in the haze of some distracting smokey substance. This timbre was even more pronoun ...more
Apr 25, 2013 Sheila rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
First a disclaimer: I know Lynn Hightower. She's a mentor and friend. Secondly, she's a fiend. She knows that I have a sensitive nature and yet she still writes these stories that have me looking over my shoulder and jumping whenever the furnace kicks on. I suspect that she giggles about this.
Anyway, The Piper is a suspenseful story with a paranormal twist (and a twisted paranormal entity) so be afraid. Be very afraid.
[I've suggested to Lynn that she try romantic fiction next time and stop frigh
Nov 02, 2015 Superangela rated it it was amazing
THis was a pleasant surprise, Olivia has just gotten divorced and her brother has passed away when he gets a phonecall coming from him (brother) warning her that he has already paid the piper. She is confused and talks to ehr best friend, Emily, a pediatrician. Since her brother died, she inherits their parents' house and moves from California to Knoxville to find out there is something wrong with her childhood home...A lot of suspense, great original story...
Jayne Lamb
Dec 27, 2013 Jayne Lamb rated it liked it
Shelves: horror-fiction
A really solid, 3.5 star horror read. It's a kind of chilling paranormal thriller rather than anything truly gory, but I liked the pace and the characterisations. Reminded me of both the movie 'Absentia' and alsoThe Dwelling, although it wasn't quite as intriuging as either of those. Still definitely recommend for a quick beach or commute read, though.
Apr 20, 2013 Maggie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
5 stars for the 5 or more sleepless nights I'm about to have...Lynn S. Hightower does a magnificent job of permanently scarring me in this scary Slenderman-like novel. If anyone has seen or ever heard of Slenderman then you basically have a good grasp of what this book will be about. Every turn of the page left me gasping for more and yet at the same time..I really didn't want to know what would happen. Time to watch some Disney movies....

I received this book from Goodreads! Thanks!
Apr 12, 2016 Nicole rated it it was ok
At first it had me at a few pages - to be honest, I had a few restless sleeps because of "the piper". Getting closer to the finish, I realized that the fear had disappeared and was replaced by disappointment. I found too many lose ends, too many "huh?" moments that left me almost jumping sentences to find out what happened. I felt almost as if the writer herself became too bored with the story and the characters to give the book the strong ending it rightfully deserved.
I enjoyed this book. The story is quite haunting, although not as scary as I would have hoped it would be, but the again, I have yet to find a horror novel that actually scares me, so I won't hold that against the book. It made me think if The Excorsist quite a lot but this book was more to my liking.
Nov 09, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book because it had a unique plot filled with interesting characters! It was creepy at points that made me stop and think about it before I continued on. I was left confused and unsatisfied with the ending, so I think that the book ended in a bad place. Amazing book though! 5 stars!
Feb 17, 2016 Eadie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lynn Hightower's book is a very easy read as the words just flow. The subject matter is not so easy as the book keeps you interested until the last page as many members of Olivia's family keep dying at the hands of The Piper and you need to keep turning the pages to see how this book ends. I read it in one sitting and will certainly be checking out some more of her books.
Jessica Clark
Mar 14, 2013 Jessica Clark rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, hauntings
Hightower provides quite a page turner in this ghostly thriller. There were more than a few times I found myself on the edge of the couch with an elevated heart rate and biting my nails. The heroine is very easy to relate to and the supernatural being is definitely one that left the hairs on the back of my neck tingling. An all around enjoyable read.
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Lynn Hightower grew up in Kentucky, and graduated from the University of Kentucky, where she studied creative writing with Wendell Berry and earned a degree in Journalism. She also teaches novel writing in the Writer’s Program at UCLA. Survival jobs include writing television commercials, catering waitress, and bartender for one day.

Her books have been included in the New York Times List of Notabl
More about Lynn S. Hightower...

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