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Whispers in the Dark

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Rose 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 n ...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published December 7th 2018 by JournalStone
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Average rating 4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  157 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the author, Laurel Hightower and JournalStone publishing for the FREE review copies to our Night Worms Book Party. You can follow our Book Party on Instagram with #nightwormswhispers or #nightwormsbookparty

This book gets a lot of traction in the "horror family" circle on social media. It has captured the hearts of so many readers of indie horror fiction.
It's hard to believe this is a debut book; an impressive way to make a first impression. The story centers on Rose McFarland, a sn
Janelle Janson
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, horror, night-worms
Thank you so much JournalStone Publishing for my free copy. Another day, another fantastic #nightwormsbookparty under my belt.

WHISPERS IN THE DARK by @laurelhightower is nonstop intensity, suspense, and intrigue. I am still gobsmacked that this is a debut novel. It’s a horror story wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in a police procedural, wrapped in a character building extravaganza.

We meet our strong female protagonist, Rose McFarland, who is a no nonsense sniper for the Memphis S.W.A.T. team. The
Lilith Black Bee
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
O.M.G! This was amazing! One of the best books l have read so far in the last years! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Laurel, for asking me to review this! Can't wait for your next book!

Full review to come soon!
Jeremy Hepler
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great, intriguing novel! It's hard to believe this is Laurel Hightower's first. She seamlessly mixes supernatural horror with thriller and mystery elements to create a fast-paced story that had me from page one. Her writing style is easy to fall into and equally as hard to get out of. All the characters, especially the protagonist Rose, were written as though they were real people - rich backgrounds, flaws, insecurities, etc. I'll definitely be eager to dive into whatever Hightower ch ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book with the Night Worms blog team for a Night Worms book party, and I'm so glad this was our pick for this month.

This is Hightower's first book, and I was absolutely shocked when I found that out. This does not read like a book from a new author. It seriously reads like Hightower is a seasoned writer. Her characters are fully fleshed out, and I would love to read another book with Rose McFarland as the main character. She's a tough female character who knows how to take charge of a
Tracy Robinson
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I somehow missed getting a full review up for this. I’ll say it was the holidays and then a new semester of teaching and just life in general that caused me to miss this one.

BUT: I still remember almost everything about this book. From plot, to characters, to writing style, I haven’t really forgotten much. That’s a hallmark of a good read for sure. I loved Rose. She’s a flawed, strong female character. She isn’t a “strong girl” trope nor a damsel in distress. She’s like, well, me, if my life ha
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m going to be honest here and say that I’m not a major fan of police procedural type books, movies or tv but I’ll always make an exception when several someones tell me I need to pay attention to something and that’s why I decided to read Whispers In The Dark. People on my Twitter feed would not shut up about it and now that I’ve read it I can understand the positive buzz.

Rose is a sniper with a painful past and when the book begins she is in a standoff with an irrational man. The scene is int
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The dark is coming, and you need to be ready when it does."

I buddy read Whispers in the Dark with my friend Tracy, and I enjoyed it so much! When I first read the synopsis, I was sort of worried that this was mostly going to be a procedural with horror tones (which isn't my favorite), but Whispers in the Dark was not like that at all. This is a solid horror story, and it was so entertaining.

This is Laurel Hightower's debut novel, but it doesn't feel that way at all. The story is intriguing, an
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jesus christ, this was exceptional.
Alex | | findingmontauk1
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, lohf
For starters: I cannot believe this is a debut novel from Laurel Hightower! The storyline, her knack for getting under your skin, her ability to write believable characters, etc make it seem like she has been doing this for quite some time.

Rose McFarland can be described as a gutsy woman who takes no crap. She is a sniper for S.W.A.T. and her fiery past is definitely one for the books. But as the story progresses, her past and present reunite in the best and worst ways. All of these things make
Hunter Shea
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, Whispers in the Dark is a hell of a debut novel. The ghosts within these pages are downright terrifying. A fast-paced ride to hell and back!
Well Read Beard
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
This is a debut novel? No way, really? I loved this book. We get a strong female lead, we learn how much of a bad ass she is early on. Her past haunts her and we learn more and more about that as the book goes on. She has a small circle, only letting a few past her defenses. As a reader/introvert this just rang of home. The story starts hot and burns steady - but the last 100 pages - Laurel keeps applying the accelerant ( why does goodreads think i spelled that wrong ) and we reach inferno level ...more
Steve Stred
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **
4.5 /5

If you spend any time on Twitter within the horror community, you’ve undoubtedly experienced two things; A) someone recommending ‘Whispers in the Dark’ as a must-read or B) Laurel piping in on a Twitter thread with her hilarious wit.

I don’t believe I’ve ever once been on an extending sub-tweet thread with Laurel where we haven’t gone off the rails and it’s always hilarious.

When the Ladies of Horror Fiction announced that they wanted peopl
Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
Whispers in the Dark was interesting and creepy!
I loved reading about Rose (a S.W.A.T. sniper) and how she coped with the emotional trauma that came from surviving a rough religious childhood and surviving a mysterious fire that killed her father and brother. Rose thinks she's left the past behind, but it comes back in the form of a brother she never knew and whispers of the undead that grow louder and more menacing.
Edward Lorn
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounded up.
Michael Clark
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My first take on this book is that I’ve never read anything like it, and that’s a good thing. In a world of rehashed stories and remade movies, we need new blood (pun intended), and this is a slice of what we’ve all been waiting for. Yes, I have heard W.I.T.D. described as “The Sixth Sense except the main character is a SWAT team member,” and that’s pretty close, but at the same time, that ain’t quite it. The main character in this story is a brave woman (and trained killer) protecting her child ...more
Siân Plummer (plumreads__s)
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Bad-ass female protagonist, spooky storyline and vivid imagery, a brilliant selection of ingredients for this scintillating horror novel."

Read my full review here!
Kallie (pageandparlor) Lou Weisgarber
The Night Worms review team had another book party with WHISPERS IN THE DARK by Laurel Hightower. Thank you to Laurel, Night Worms and Journalstone for my free ebook.

WHISPERS IN THE DARK follows Rose. She’s a hard-core S.W.A.T. sniper who takes no guff from anyone. When her job puts someone she knows in the sights of her gun, her haunting past comes back to whisper to her.

Rose is an amazing character. She is tough and unapologetic but she isn’t just one of those female protagonists that are tou
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
A woman named Rose who is a mother and S.W.A.T sniper with fierce loyalty, a sordid and painful past and a fierce personality - this is a woman you do NOT want to mess with. What can I say? I fell in love with this book. Solid writing, a very interesting story line, some shiver inducing scenes and characters that felt extremely human. What more do you need?

I absolutely love Rose's characters. For all that she's endured, she has risen above and yet now she's in for the fight of her (and her chil
Toni | Dark Reads
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As Always you can check out all of my reviews on my blog -

Yikes that was a creepy read!

Whispers In The Dark is the debut novel from the awesome Laurel Hightower, it is a perfect genre cocktail; Horror, Thriller and Mystery a must read for fans of any of those genres!

The story follows Rose McFarland, a S.W.A.T sniper with a past. Rose has survived a traumatic childhood filled with psychological abuse and death and a supernatural ability she has spent her whole life trying
Sonora Taylor
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
A compulsively readable paranormal thriller. I look forward to reading more work from Hightower.
S.D. Vassallo
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this novel with little to no knowledge of what it was about. I knew the protagonist was a sniper and that she would be facing supernatural forces and that was it. If I had any expectations at all, it's that the novel would maybe be an action horror along the lines of Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International series. I was wrong.

"Whispers in the Dark" is a straight up horror story. There are some downright terrifying moments throughout the book, and while Rose McFarland is a
Sara Tantlinger
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic debut novel by Laurel Hightower, and a great first read of the year for me! This book reminded me of some of my favorite things -- Gillian Flynn's novels but with a more supernatural twist, and the show Supernatural itself. Rose was such a great main character, and if Dean Winchester was a female cop in another life, I'm pretty sure he'd be a bit like Rose McFarland. The dynamics between the characters are strongly crafted, and the author does a great job at getting the reader to be ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a great blend of paranormal, mystery and thriller. I had a hard time putting it down, but Motherhhood calls and one must answer. I, however, found that reading this before bed was probably not a wise decision - especially since the main character, Rose, is a Mother and her children become involved with the Whispers...

I greatly enjoyed the plot and the way Hightower tied everything together rather seemlessly. I finished the book feeling like all my questions were answered throughout
Sherry Fundin
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am blown away by Laurel Hightower’s first novel, Whispers in the Dark. Very impressive.

The fabulous cover fits the dark story on the pages inside…the doors of hell opening up to her, calling her, the dead demanding her attention. Some warn her, others want…something from her.

Is her son in danger? Her daughter? Her friends and coworkers? All the characters have their part to play and I must say, I wouldn’t mind killing a couple of them myself, in the book of course. lol

Her son, Tommy, is the sw
Max Stark
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
I didn’t knew what to expect from this novel. But everyone I know in Twitter was praising it. So I got the opportunity to read it without knowing anything from it and it wasn’t what I expected at all. Laurel Hightower’s debut novel isn’t perfect but it’s damn close of being one. It’s a very entertaining story full of suspense, a supernatural detective thriller if you like. We start the story just at the middle of a raid, and it would seem like a regular police story. But short after before the f ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t understand how this is a “first book”. This read like book 10 in a series. Effortless. It grabs hold immediately, its far from predictable and it creeped me out several times (which is a good thing). This is another author who I’ll have to read everything that she writes. Can’t wait.
Sam (The Literary Hooker)
This was my first read of 2020, and I definitely feel like I've started the decade off on the right foot! Whispers in the Dark is an incredible debut novel. The plot is fresh and creepy, the writing is strong, but most importantly, the characters are just stellar.

I loved very nearly everything about this novel, but where it really stood out for me was in the relationships depicts between the characters. So often in horror (and especially, it seems, when female characters are involved), the focu
Marcy Reads on IG
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WOW! I CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS IS A DEBUT NOVEL!!! Mrs. Hightower you killed it, this is a haunting masterpiece. It seriously gave me the creepy crawler chills!

Following Rose through her scarred childhood into her rough and tormented adulthood was incredible. Rose is the kind of character that makes you want to put your big girl panties on and take on the world, ghosts and all!

”With my scars, weapons, and attitude, I was no one’s first choice to mess with.”

She’s a badass S.W.A.T sniper and an amazi
Mandy McHugh
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up Whispers in the Dark after several rave reviews flooded my Twitter feed. The cover is stunning and the premise is right up my alley.

Let me just say: I devoured this book.

Rose is a flawed, raw, real protagonist, and Hightower doesn't shy away from highlighting those characteristics. She's scarred, swears almost as much as I do, co-parents, dates, loves her physical, dangerous job, and doesn't apologize for any of it. It's refreshing to see a layered female protagonist who struggles
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