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Whispers in the Dark

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  230 ratings  ·  123 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 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  230 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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Sadie Hartmann
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
Johann (jobis89)
Feb 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Eerie, well-written, addictive, creepy… and a strong female protagonist!! Brilliant read
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
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
Ross Jeffery
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Updated as now live in STORGY Magazine

Whispers in the Dark by Laurel Hightower is pretty damn good, actually it’s pretty stunning – and to think this was her debut, bloody hell! Fierce storytelling, prose to die for, and a story that is achingly brutal; whilst also populated by characters that are really relatable, even the secondary cast of characters – all of these elements makes for a perfect storm in the bottle. Whispers in the Dark is a book that will have you hooked on Hightower’s brillian
Alex | | findingmontauk1
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
Jun 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
WITD captivated me from the get go. The story centers on Rose McFarland, a SWAT sniper working in Memphis and also our first person narrator for the duration of the tale. When we first encounter Rose, she is engaged as a sniper in a hostage situation and after two days, finally gets her shot and takes the perp out. Rose is horribly scared on her torso and arms/hands from a house fire when she was a teenager; today, she wears gloves and long sleeve shirts to hide the scars (and she also has wicke ...more
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
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!
Red Lace Reviews
Rose McFarland has a traumatic past, one that involves a fire that burned her skin, leaving her with scarred flesh to hide from the world. It’s a reminder of the angry spirits that pursued her childhood, of how her sanity was put in jeopardy while her family accused her of being dangerous. Now, as an adult, all that matters are her children, yet the Whispers that tormented her are back, and she’s not the only one they’re putting in danger this time. Rose must now confront her fears for those she ...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
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
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.
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
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!
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
Sonora Taylor
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
A compulsively readable paranormal thriller. I look forward to reading more work from Hightower.
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Pretty impressive for a debut novel. Real close to five stars.
Human evil combined with the supernatural reminds me a bit of the Charles Parker series.

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
Toni | Dark Reads
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As Always you can check out all of my reviews on my blog - https://darkreads.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
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
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.
Erica Robyn Metcalf
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Whispers in the Dark by Laurel Hightower is a powerful and fiery tale about motherhood and the lengths one woman will go to protect those that she loves.

Rose McFarland is a member of the Memphis S.W.A.T. team who works as a sniper when duty calls, taking out the targets when negotiations fail. When she puts down her gun and removes her work clothes, she’s a mother to two young children.

Rose also struggles with two things that always have her on edge. One, her body image; Rose is covered in burn
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