Written by: Tim Meyer
Steve and Melody move from the city after purchasing Hope House, their gorgeous dream home in the middle of a forest near the small town of Oakwell. Everything seems perfect. Like a fairy-tale. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Could it? Of course it can. In fact, things go very wrong when Steve and Melody unearth a deadly secret the tight-knit community buried centuries ago. Things go very wrong indeed.
Whisper has all the elements of a great, classic horror novel; the young family, adapting to new surroundings; sinister, town-kept secrets; the creepy, untrustworthy real-estate agent; the bartender who knows more than he lets on; the old drunkard, whose stories nobody wants to believe; and of course, the whisperers in the woods. Michael Bray crafts this story well. The author’s world-building abilities are nothing short of amazing; the town of Oakwell is a character itself, and one of the finest. The dark, Gothic tone is reminiscent of Stoker and Shelley.
From page one, this book had me. It’s quickly paced, contains delightful, well-groomed prose, and has believable characters with everyday problems. The plot is fluent, accompanied with flashbacks that break up what would have probably been an average haunted-house tale. The reader is thrown into the past in very creative ways. Bray’s fresh take on a familiar story is what makes Whisper so enjoyable. It’s tough to stay ahead on this one, and the reader is at the writer’s mercy. Just when the book seems like it’s going to slow down or drag on unnecessarily, Bray sucks you back in, leaving you craving more voices.
Michael Bray’s Whisper is a solid piece of horror fiction. It’s a ghost story that puts the reader in a trance. I found myself blasting through the last half of the book, wanting to know how it ended and wanting to know that very moment. That’s the mark of a great story-teller.