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The Whispering Dead

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Homeless, hunted, and desperate to escape a bitter storm, Keira takes refuge in an abandoned groundskeeper's cottage. Her new home is tucked away at the edge of a cemetery, surrounded on all sides by gravestones: some recent, some hundreds of years old, all suffering from neglect. And in the darkness, she can hear the unquiet dead whispering. The cemetery is alive with faint Homeless, hunted, and desperate to escape a bitter storm, Keira takes refuge in an abandoned groundskeeper's cottage. Her new home is tucked away at the edge of a cemetery, surrounded on all sides by gravestones: some recent, some hundreds of years old, all suffering from neglect. And in the darkness, she can hear the unquiet dead whispering. The cemetery is alive with faint, spectral shapes, led by a woman who died before her time... and Keira, the only person who can see her, has become her new target. Determined to help put the ghost to rest, Keira digs into the spirit's past life with the help of unlikely new friends, and discovers a history of deception, ill-fated love, and murder. But the past is not as simple as it seems, and Keira's time is running out. Tangled in a dangerous web, she has to find a way to free the spirit... even if it means offering her own life in return. USA Today bestseller and rising queen of atmospheric horror Darcy Coates returns with a ghost story that will haunt you long after the final page. She hears them whispering...


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Homeless, hunted, and desperate to escape a bitter storm, Keira takes refuge in an abandoned groundskeeper's cottage. Her new home is tucked away at the edge of a cemetery, surrounded on all sides by gravestones: some recent, some hundreds of years old, all suffering from neglect. And in the darkness, she can hear the unquiet dead whispering. The cemetery is alive with faint Homeless, hunted, and desperate to escape a bitter storm, Keira takes refuge in an abandoned groundskeeper's cottage. Her new home is tucked away at the edge of a cemetery, surrounded on all sides by gravestones: some recent, some hundreds of years old, all suffering from neglect. And in the darkness, she can hear the unquiet dead whispering. The cemetery is alive with faint, spectral shapes, led by a woman who died before her time... and Keira, the only person who can see her, has become her new target. Determined to help put the ghost to rest, Keira digs into the spirit's past life with the help of unlikely new friends, and discovers a history of deception, ill-fated love, and murder. But the past is not as simple as it seems, and Keira's time is running out. Tangled in a dangerous web, she has to find a way to free the spirit... even if it means offering her own life in return. USA Today bestseller and rising queen of atmospheric horror Darcy Coates returns with a ghost story that will haunt you long after the final page. She hears them whispering...

30 review for The Whispering Dead

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bridgett

    I didn't realize this was the start of a new series. ::sigh:: This had so many plot holes and unanswered questions. It was frustrating as heck to read. Beyond that, it just wasn't a terribly interesting story, especially since it's left so wide open. I will say that I enjoyed Zoe's over-the-top persona, and Daisy the Cat was certainly a stand-out; actually, now that I think about it, all the characters were pretty decent. The whole town of Blighty is quirky and full of secrets. I can definite I didn't realize this was the start of a new series. ::sigh:: This had so many plot holes and unanswered questions. It was frustrating as heck to read. Beyond that, it just wasn't a terribly interesting story, especially since it's left so wide open. I will say that I enjoyed Zoe's over-the-top persona, and Daisy the Cat was certainly a stand-out; actually, now that I think about it, all the characters were pretty decent. The whole town of Blighty is quirky and full of secrets. I can definitely see how Darcy Coates was setting this up for future volumes. Regardless, this wasn't a book I was excited to pick up, and for that reason, there will be no recommendation. Available May 4, 2021 2.5 stars My sincere thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for my review copy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    The Whispering Dead is the first book in a brand new series, Gravekeeper. Keira is running, she just doesn't know who or what she's running from. Her escape leads her to an abandoned groundskeepers cottage, tucked away at the edge of a cemetery. It's here Keira discovers she can communicate with ghosts. I loved the small town setting and found it to be quite charming. It's full of secrets and interesting characters. One in particular had a very short introduction that I hope we see more of in th The Whispering Dead is the first book in a brand new series, Gravekeeper. Keira is running, she just doesn't know who or what she's running from. Her escape leads her to an abandoned groundskeepers cottage, tucked away at the edge of a cemetery. It's here Keira discovers she can communicate with ghosts. I loved the small town setting and found it to be quite charming. It's full of secrets and interesting characters. One in particular had a very short introduction that I hope we see more of in the coming books. I found the cast of characters extremely interesting, well developed and entertaining. They were all so different and had such unique personalities. Plus there's a cat!! My only complaint would be the amount of plot holes. I'm hopeful these will all come to make sense as the series continues. Give me a ghost story and I'm ALL in! Huge thank you to Poisoned Pen Press and Sourcebooks for my gifted copy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    OutlawPoet

    Oh, I struggled with my rating on this one. Literally, my head was like: 3? 4? 3? 4? Maybe 4? No, 3. See, it’s a very entertaining and easy breezy read. It’s kind of Horror-Lite. It’s got its spooky bits that do give a bit of a chill. Light gruesomeness, but not too much. Lots of buddy-humor. Remarkably light and leaves you smiling. On a scale of Shirley Jackson to Edward Lee, it’s…R.L. Stine. And I *almost* gave it four stars for sheer entertainment value and the fact that I do want to read the n Oh, I struggled with my rating on this one. Literally, my head was like: 3? 4? 3? 4? Maybe 4? No, 3. See, it’s a very entertaining and easy breezy read. It’s kind of Horror-Lite. It’s got its spooky bits that do give a bit of a chill. Light gruesomeness, but not too much. Lots of buddy-humor. Remarkably light and leaves you smiling. On a scale of Shirley Jackson to Edward Lee, it’s…R.L. Stine. And I *almost* gave it four stars for sheer entertainment value and the fact that I do want to read the next book. But… It has about 800,000,000 loose ends! This is the 1st book in the series and it’s all set up for the next books. We get one solution to a tiny mystery, but every other loose end in the book is not only left open, but the author throws some new ones in! There are some books that leave you satisfied, like you just finished a good meal. This one? It’s like the waiter took your order, but never brought your food. I worry about the next book. As I said above, I do want to read it. But I’m really afraid that it’s going to end with more loose ends, no solutions, and then I’m going to be kind of mad I read it. I’m both a masochist and an optimist. I’ll try the next one, but I’ll be expecting and hoping for much more! *ARC Provided via Net Galley

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dana-Adriana B.

    Somebody is haunting Keira and she is taking refuge in a cottage near a cemetery. She can't remember anything about her and her life. From the cottage she can see that the cemetery is full of ghosts, why are they still here? What is keeping the dead to move on? Keira is going to try and find out. Thanks to Netgalley for this book. Somebody is haunting Keira and she is taking refuge in a cottage near a cemetery. She can't remember anything about her and her life. From the cottage she can see that the cemetery is full of ghosts, why are they still here? What is keeping the dead to move on? Keira is going to try and find out. Thanks to Netgalley for this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    “There’s something evil here. Something evil...something evil... something evil...” I ask you...how could any “ghost story junkie” resist after that? I have yet to read anything by this author that I have not absolutely loved...this one is no exception. The reader has plenty of mysteries to sort out. Who is Keira? Why is someone hunting her? Who are they? Why can Keira do the things she can do? You usually don’t have characters that are all fun. The main characters are delightfully quirky and so “There’s something evil here. Something evil...something evil... something evil...” I ask you...how could any “ghost story junkie” resist after that? I have yet to read anything by this author that I have not absolutely loved...this one is no exception. The reader has plenty of mysteries to sort out. Who is Keira? Why is someone hunting her? Who are they? Why can Keira do the things she can do? You usually don’t have characters that are all fun. The main characters are delightfully quirky and so entirely likeable. Makes you think of the best grandparents in the entire world. Not all the questions were answered in this one... but that certainly leaves something to grab book #2 for.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    This was a good ghost story!If you are interested in a plot like this, I highly recommend this book! Keira wakes up in a forest clearing. She knows she's being hunted, but doesn't know who it is. Keira remembers nothing about her life except for her name. A pastor gives her refuge and let's her stay in an old cottage. Keira's cottage is right next to a graveyard and she starts seeing ghosts. One in particular is begging for her help. Keira makes a few friends in town and they all embark on a ques This was a good ghost story!If you are interested in a plot like this, I highly recommend this book! Keira wakes up in a forest clearing. She knows she's being hunted, but doesn't know who it is. Keira remembers nothing about her life except for her name. A pastor gives her refuge and let's her stay in an old cottage. Keira's cottage is right next to a graveyard and she starts seeing ghosts. One in particular is begging for her help. Keira makes a few friends in town and they all embark on a quest to help her figure out what this ghost needs in order to move on. This means that they all must risk their own lives to figure out the mystery. This book had me hooked from the first page to the very last. I enjoyed the four main characters and really felt that they all had a good connection. This book is the first in a new series and I am excited to see what happens with Keira and her friends in the next book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    2.5 stars. The Whispering Dead, by Darcy Coates was a book I found well written, and easy to read. The problem? I just didn't find it "scary" in any way. Unsettling in parts, but never the kind of creepy ghost story that I love. There was one main issue (no spoilers), which is a "troupe" I never liked that comes into play. That is probably why my overall enjoyment wasn't as much as I had hoped for. Still, a solid read with interesting characters. 2.5 stars. The Whispering Dead, by Darcy Coates was a book I found well written, and easy to read. The problem? I just didn't find it "scary" in any way. Unsettling in parts, but never the kind of creepy ghost story that I love. There was one main issue (no spoilers), which is a "troupe" I never liked that comes into play. That is probably why my overall enjoyment wasn't as much as I had hoped for. Still, a solid read with interesting characters.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gatorman

    Satisfying tale from Coates about a mysterious woman, Keira, who awakens one night near a cemetery with no memory of who she is and where she came from and being chased by unknown men. As she is taken in by a local pastor, she starts seeing ghosts and tries to unravel the mysteries of both her past and those of the ghosts, in particular a young woman who seems rather distressed. The book is more mystery than horror, and there aren't any real surprises here, but the characters are rather likable Satisfying tale from Coates about a mysterious woman, Keira, who awakens one night near a cemetery with no memory of who she is and where she came from and being chased by unknown men. As she is taken in by a local pastor, she starts seeing ghosts and tries to unravel the mysteries of both her past and those of the ghosts, in particular a young woman who seems rather distressed. The book is more mystery than horror, and there aren't any real surprises here, but the characters are rather likable and the story moves along nicely as the mystery of the young ghost is unveiled. Not all that original but it manages to overcome the familiarity with an entertaining take on "second sight". The first in a series with which I will gladly continue. If you don't expect too much, you'll likely enjoy the ride. P.S.--Darcy, you need to learn the difference between "hanged" and "hung". People are hanged, pictures are hung. I would expect an author to know the difference.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alice 🌙

    4/5 ⭐️ This was so creepy!!! I actually had a theory right off the bat but that definitely didn’t come to be true, but I still enjoyed this. I loved the atmosphere and the ghosts and graveyard.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Stickney

    The Whispering Dead is the first book in a new series called Gravekeeper. This book starts out with our main character, Keira, waking up in pouring rain somewhere in the woods with no memory of how or why she is there. She is injured and running from men with guns who are chasing her. She stumbles upon the home of a pastor who takes her in. He lets her stay in the groundskeeeper's cottage, located in the nearby cemetery. During her stay in the cottage, she realizes that she can see the ghosts of The Whispering Dead is the first book in a new series called Gravekeeper. This book starts out with our main character, Keira, waking up in pouring rain somewhere in the woods with no memory of how or why she is there. She is injured and running from men with guns who are chasing her. She stumbles upon the home of a pastor who takes her in. He lets her stay in the groundskeeeper's cottage, located in the nearby cemetery. During her stay in the cottage, she realizes that she can see the ghosts of some of the people who are buried in the cemetery. She sees the ghost of a young woman who was murdered decades before and Keira is determined to find out why this ghost is unable to move on. This story take place in the quaint little town of Blightly. It is a charming town with many secrets and interesting characters. Keira befriends a conspiracy theorists named Zoe and a med school dropout named Mason. I love this cast of characters and can't wait to see what kind of trouble they get into in The Ravenous Dead, the next book in this series. There are definitely some unanswered questions, but I have now doubt that they will be answered in the volumes yet to come in this new series. I am a huge fan of Darcy Coates and I highly recommend this first volume in her new Gravekeeper series. Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

  11. 4 out of 5

    CaraDico

    Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press, Darcy Coates and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review* The Whispering Dead is the first book in a new series called Gravekeeper. The second book in the series comes out in May 2022. Darcy Coates is the queen of clean but frightening ghost stories. I have read many of her books and this one does not disappoint. Kiera, the principal character, wakes up in the woods with no idea who she is or how she got there. She is bruised and bloody and there are Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press, Darcy Coates and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review* The Whispering Dead is the first book in a new series called Gravekeeper. The second book in the series comes out in May 2022. Darcy Coates is the queen of clean but frightening ghost stories. I have read many of her books and this one does not disappoint. Kiera, the principal character, wakes up in the woods with no idea who she is or how she got there. She is bruised and bloody and there are men chasing her. She stumbles upon the home of a pastor, who takes her in and feeds her. He lets her stay in the small groundskeeper's cottage, which sits in the middle of a nearby cemetery. On the first night of her stay in the cottage, she sees a woman at her window who is clearly a ghost trying to communicate with her. At that, she realizes she can see many ghosts in the cemetery. The woman trying to communicate with her has died tragically over 40 years ago and Keira is determined to help her move on. Keira makes friends quickly with two people in town; zany Zoe and handsome Mason, a med school drop-out trying to find his way. The novel takes place in Blighty, a tiny little town seemingly in the middle of nowhere with lots of stories and quirky characters. Keira is determined to investigate the mystery of the whispering woman and enlists Zoe and Mason to help her. This is a great cast of characters and some scenes are laugh out loud funny, which is rare in a ghost story. Of course, we have the evil characters also, such as Gavin who wants to make sure that Keira doesn’t get in his way. Darcy Coates is a master at her craft. The dialogue is amazing and flows beautifully. How she describes the cemetery is breathtaking, with the lost souls wandering around. While there may be some plot holes in the book - we never find out who Keira actually is and who was following her - I have good faith that the author will cover those in the sequel. There is a dark fog throughout the book, with rain and thunderstorms, that will put you in the mood to be scared. If you have never read this author, I recommend you take the plunge if you love light horror and a good mystery.. The Whispering Dead is simply written, as is the author’s usual style.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    The Whispering Dead is the first book in Darcy Coates new Gravekeeper series (book 2—The Ravenous Dead—is due for release in May 2022). The book has all the earmarks for a proper series. First, we have a gothic heroine in Keira: an amnesiac in peril who is endowed with a supernatural gift. Second, there is the mystery that surrounds her: who is she, why are there armed men after her, and why did she appear in Blighty of all places? Third, she makes friends quickly with the village outcasts: ecce The Whispering Dead is the first book in Darcy Coates new Gravekeeper series (book 2—The Ravenous Dead—is due for release in May 2022). The book has all the earmarks for a proper series. First, we have a gothic heroine in Keira: an amnesiac in peril who is endowed with a supernatural gift. Second, there is the mystery that surrounds her: who is she, why are there armed men after her, and why did she appear in Blighty of all places? Third, she makes friends quickly with the village outcasts: eccentric Zoe, and medical school dropout Mason (will there be love?). Fourth, there is the village villain, Gavin (will he continue to be a malicious menace?). Lastly, by the end of the book, she has both unfinished and new business to take care of. Darcy Coates is at her best in the dialogue. The verbal sparring is genuine and flows naturally. The descriptive parts are okay; the sections where she illustrates the supernatural elements are evocative. However, I became confused by how during thunderstorms with copious amounts of rain, there is also mist and fog. If you are looking for a fun, quick read with elements of the gothic and supernatural, this book is for you. I’d like to thank Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the opportunity to read and review this fun book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wade

    “There’s something evil here. Something evil…something evil…something evil…” “That’s the problem with having a mystery past life—you don’t know what you might be guilty of.” “It couldn’t have been a ghost, could it? The only spirits I’ve seen are inaudible and intangible…” I always enjoy a Darcy Coates’ book. This one was a bit of a departure for her (apparently she had written it years ago), but there is also a familiarity too. Interesting main heroine? Check. Creepy ghosts? Check. Mystery? Check. “There’s something evil here. Something evil…something evil…something evil…” “That’s the problem with having a mystery past life—you don’t know what you might be guilty of.” “It couldn’t have been a ghost, could it? The only spirits I’ve seen are inaudible and intangible…” I always enjoy a Darcy Coates’ book. This one was a bit of a departure for her (apparently she had written it years ago), but there is also a familiarity too. Interesting main heroine? Check. Creepy ghosts? Check. Mystery? Check. Strong, fast paced writing? Check. While I didn’t enjoy this as much as her haunted house books, this one did keep my attention and the mystery aspect was very strong. There were a few, slow spots that did seem necessary to the plot. And as this is a series, there are a few unresolved plot points that will come back up again in later books. So all in all, I liked this book and can see myself continuing with the series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    This story definitely wasn't the spooky tale I thought it would be. I mean, a cottage in a haunted cemetery? Sounds scary. Like read it in the dark kinda scary. It wasn't. I really liked the plot, though and that Keira got to help, even if it was too late to really help any of them since they were dead. At least they got their closure. It did leave me with the feeling of, Oh, poor little baby. What a way to die. However, it was a fun story in a quirky town with unique characters. Keira was spunk This story definitely wasn't the spooky tale I thought it would be. I mean, a cottage in a haunted cemetery? Sounds scary. Like read it in the dark kinda scary. It wasn't. I really liked the plot, though and that Keira got to help, even if it was too late to really help any of them since they were dead. At least they got their closure. It did leave me with the feeling of, Oh, poor little baby. What a way to die. However, it was a fun story in a quirky town with unique characters. Keira was spunky and independent, but knew when she needed help and had no issue taking it (even if she didn't ask). However, I do have to say that she was way over-shadowed by Zoe. I loved Zoe! She was so funny and different and had so many theories about everything! Zoe is the best friend that I wish I had. She told people exactly what she thought and befriended Keira with, well, a lot of questions asked. But fun questions, not suspicious ones. Interestingly, no one seemed that suspicious of the new girl in the small town, not even Adage- who I also loved. This was a fun mystery and I look forward to more of the series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    This was so good!! The story was super interesting and I really enjoyed the characters. I hate that I don’t have the sequels yet because so many questions were left unanswered! I can’t wait to find them out!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    This just wasn't my cup of tea. The good were so just so so so good. And the bad guys were just short of mustache twirling, cackling meanies. I wish I'd liked it more. This just wasn't my cup of tea. The good were so just so so so good. And the bad guys were just short of mustache twirling, cackling meanies. I wish I'd liked it more.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    At first I kept getting distracted as if the book wasn't able to hold my attention but eventually it grew on me. There's no other way to describe it, it grew on me - the characters, the ghosts, the mystery. I'll admit it is a little Scooby-Dooish, but I embrace the campy. I am looking forward to the Gravekeeper #2. Thanks Nicole for the book suggestion! At first I kept getting distracted as if the book wasn't able to hold my attention but eventually it grew on me. There's no other way to describe it, it grew on me - the characters, the ghosts, the mystery. I'll admit it is a little Scooby-Dooish, but I embrace the campy. I am looking forward to the Gravekeeper #2. Thanks Nicole for the book suggestion!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Minde

    The Whispering Dead starts out strong with a young woman waking up in a forest at night, with almost complete memory loss. The sound of rifle shots and men's voices lead her to believe she is being hunted. The kindness of stranger saves her, and he shelters her for the night in an empty groundskeeper's cabin on the edge of a cemetery. Alone in the cabin, she sees the ghost of a young woman who appears to be bleeding from her head standing outside her window. By morning the only clues she has con The Whispering Dead starts out strong with a young woman waking up in a forest at night, with almost complete memory loss. The sound of rifle shots and men's voices lead her to believe she is being hunted. The kindness of stranger saves her, and he shelters her for the night in an empty groundskeeper's cabin on the edge of a cemetery. Alone in the cabin, she sees the ghost of a young woman who appears to be bleeding from her head standing outside her window. By morning the only clues she has concerning her past are her name-Keira-her worn out clothing, and a photo she found in her coat pocket. Good strong creepy, spooky start. Then it gets kinda corny, kinda cliched, kinda silly. The author adds a character who believes in conspiracy theories; she's funny, but I felt like she was in the wrong book. There's a med student who is definitely the love interest, but don't get too excited. Then Keira discovers she has an "extra muscle" that allows her to see a whole lot of ghosts hanging around that cemetery and feels she needs to solve the mystery of the ghostly woman. The mystery of who Keira is seems to take a back seat to the ghost story. There are a couple of scenes where hints are dropped but then the narrative returns to the ghosts. It wasn't until the end that I realized this was a series so I was not going to get all the answers concerning Keira and I was mildly annoyed because I don't know if I want to read the next book. The Whispering Dead is a fast read, not too complex, and despite Keira's literal lack of character development, it's fun. (Many thanks to Edelweiss and Above The Treeline for providing a copy of The Whispering Dead in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    This just didn't have the same pizzazz as Darcy's other books do for me. I really enjoy her work (it hits the spot when I need a fun/entertaining haunt read) but this one felt a little flat. While there was a ghost, I feel like a lot of other pieces of the story took the main focus. Also, there were a few important unanswered plot pieces. This just didn't have the same pizzazz as Darcy's other books do for me. I really enjoy her work (it hits the spot when I need a fun/entertaining haunt read) but this one felt a little flat. While there was a ghost, I feel like a lot of other pieces of the story took the main focus. Also, there were a few important unanswered plot pieces.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Niko

    Great story, I really enjoyed Zoe

  21. 5 out of 5

    C. D. R. Eyestone

    Weak start, really enjoyed this by the end, though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Lewis

    Rounded to 3.5 stars. It’s an ok story but predictable. There is a mystery that’s is somewhat of a cliffhanger. Recommended for lovers of Ghost Stories and mysteries.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gayle

    I liked this book. Good story. The only part I didn’t like was you don’t ever find out why Keira was being chased by those men in the beginning of the book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

    The best thing about this book was that it was blessedly short. The end.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Santiago

    I think this is my favorite one by this author. I can't wait for the next installment I think this is my favorite one by this author. I can't wait for the next installment

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heather Miller

    I have yet to read a Darcy Coates novel that I didn't like. She's sort of become the queen of the modern atmospheric Gothic novel. This story was a little different. Oh, it's full of creepy misty woods and graveyards, ghosts and all. But in addition to ghosty goodness, it has a mystery or two and a bit of a thriller element at the same time. Main character Keira finds herself in the woods in the middle of a storm, cold, hurt, scared, being chased...and with absolutely no idea who she is (other th I have yet to read a Darcy Coates novel that I didn't like. She's sort of become the queen of the modern atmospheric Gothic novel. This story was a little different. Oh, it's full of creepy misty woods and graveyards, ghosts and all. But in addition to ghosty goodness, it has a mystery or two and a bit of a thriller element at the same time. Main character Keira finds herself in the woods in the middle of a storm, cold, hurt, scared, being chased...and with absolutely no idea who she is (other than a first name), how she got there, or why those men are after her. She finds refuge in a cozy parsonage with a charmingly quaint elderly pastor, and from there our story kicks off. Taking up temporary residence in the old groundskeeper's cottage, Keira, as if she didn't have enough trouble already, gets herself befriended by the town conspiracy theorist, angers a possibly psychotic young man, and...sees ghosts in the cemetery outside her cottage window. The story revolves around Keira figuring out the mystery of the tormented ghost of a young woman who needs her help. . This book sets itself up to be the first in a series. We have lots of questions left unanswered at the end of the book, but I am excited at the prospect of where this series could go. Keira and her newfound friends make up an endearing group, and a whole cemetery of ghosts that need help? I'm here for that.

  27. 5 out of 5

    NicholeReadsWithCats

    I've been waiting to read The Whispering Dead since it was announced in the fall. My excitement grew when I started getting emails from the Darcy Coates mailing list about this exciting book she had kept a secret from her readers. I was intrigued for sure. Just a few pages in and I was already feeling disappointed but remained hopeful. I suppose this happens with all authors, but The Whispering Dead is the first Darcy Coates book I have not enjoyed. In fact, I downright disliked The Whispering D I've been waiting to read The Whispering Dead since it was announced in the fall. My excitement grew when I started getting emails from the Darcy Coates mailing list about this exciting book she had kept a secret from her readers. I was intrigued for sure. Just a few pages in and I was already feeling disappointed but remained hopeful. I suppose this happens with all authors, but The Whispering Dead is the first Darcy Coates book I have not enjoyed. In fact, I downright disliked The Whispering Dead. It pains me to do this - but, here we go... We start with Keira, she "awakens" in the woods during a storm. She has no memories except for her name, but quickly realizes she is being chased and shot at by a group of men. She runs to a nearby church and is taken in by the pastor who allows her to stay in the groundkeeper's cottage. Strong start that quickly went off the rails when a whole other plot line was immediately brought in. Her first night in the cottage, Kiera starts seeing ghosts using a new "muscle" she has discovered. (Note about the ridiculous overuse of this muscle at end of review) The local townspeople offer to help Kiera figure out who she is or take her to the police. She wants nothing to do with either option, insisting she is probably a criminal. If you were being chased through the woods by men with guns, who definitely are not the police, would your first response be "I must be a criminal!"? Hmm. Kiera spends the rest of the book attempting to solve a mystery she has uncovered about one of the ghosts. She never once tries to uncover who she was, why people were chasing and attacking her, or anything about her prior life. We do find out she is apparently quite the brawler when she takes down the town bully. So, there's that. I think the idea she has no interest in her prior life is absurd and unrealistic. Zoe and Mason, Kiera's sidekicks, felt out of place. Their relationship to one another and constant banter felt trite. Lots of plot holes throughout but I am guessing these will be wrapped up in future installments, this is essentially a novel broken into five parts. According to Darcy, this book has sat completed on her hard drive for years. Reading The Whispering Dead, I felt this was the work of a younger and less experienced author. The Whispering Dead is not up to par with other books by Darcy. Muscle? For some reason, the way the Kiera-can-see-and-communicate-with-ghosts plot line was portrayed did not sit well with me. It felt generic and corny. I also felt beat over the head with the idea that she had discovered a special muscle. Over a dozen uses in a book that's barely 250 pages. Here's a few examples: "It was as though she had a muscle just behind her eyes that made the ghost visible." "...focusing on using the muscle she hadn't even known existed." "Kiera felt for the muscle behind her eyes and strained it." "The headache flared when she flexed the muscle behind her eyes." "Kiera strained the muscle more, but the pain shot deep into her head." "She found the aching muscle and pulled on it to open her second sight." Sigh. There's many more, but here is one final example, "She was certain the graveyard would be full if she used her second sight. She touched the muscle and felt it ache. It was still sore from the previous night, so she didn't pull on it." I thought the so called muscle was deep inside her head? How exactly is she touching it? Thanks to Net Galley and Poisoned Pen Press for this ARC to read and review, I'm truly sorry I did not enjoy it more!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ami

    Originally published on the book blog Creature From the Book Lagoon. It is no secret how much I adore this author. She has not let me down so far. I was extremely excited when this book came out because it would be the first time catching one of her series from the beginning. The Whispering Dead had everything I had hoped for. First we have plenty of mysteries to figure out. Who is Keira? Why is someone hunting her? Who are they? Why can Keira do the things she can do? So many delightful question Originally published on the book blog Creature From the Book Lagoon. It is no secret how much I adore this author. She has not let me down so far. I was extremely excited when this book came out because it would be the first time catching one of her series from the beginning. The Whispering Dead had everything I had hoped for. First we have plenty of mysteries to figure out. Who is Keira? Why is someone hunting her? Who are they? Why can Keira do the things she can do? So many delightful questions! Some reviews have complained that Keira didn’t seem to care about these pressing issues, and that it was just completely unrealistic. I don’t agree with this at all. To me, Keira seemed too afraid to look into these questions. She was afraid she had done something horrible. She didn’t want to know… at least not yet. It was too scary and too overwhelming for her. She seemed to use the mystery of Emma’s death as a form of escapism. So I didn’t find that unrealistic at all. There were plenty of other mysteries too, once we start adding ghosts into the mix. What do they want? Who are they? And the biggest question, what can Keira do about it? The ghosts are described beautifully. Emma was the clearest and she had a pretty nasty look to her. Very cool. I can not wait to see more ghost actions in future books of the series. I love the setting of Blighty. A very quaint little town. What secrets and mysteries does it hold? We are introduced to some of the locals. I gotta say, everyone was so likeable! You normally don’t have a book where all the characters are fun, but it’s true for this book. The main set of characters are delightfully quirky. I can’t wait to see more from them as well. Something I really loved about this book is the set up. I loved how the set up was sprinkled throughout the book instead of all just crammed into the start of the book. I really love this method because it feels naturally balanced. When you have a story that sets up everything in the beginning, it can feel slowed down. Sometimes that can really drag and feel tedious. But in this book, nothing was rushed to be set up, it is spread through out the book and it never dragged. Pacing was just on point. With mysteries at every corner, I never felt bored. There were engaging and constantly left me wanting more. That said, there are a LOT of unanswered questions. Some people may feel it was too many, and maybe I’m a little biased, but to me, it just makes me want book # 2 even more! Very entertaining plot. The real gem in the novel are the awesome characters. You can’t help but fall for them. I really look forward to visiting this town again.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    I have been anxiously awaiting this book from Darcy Coates since I read in her newsletter that it was being released. Keira awakes in the forest being pursued by men with guns. She is unsure of why she is being chased and of who she is. All she knows is that she needs to run to get away from the men who wish to harm her. She finally sees a building and makes her way toward it. She knocks on the door and Pastor Adage invites her in and hides her from one of the men who comes searching for her. Pa I have been anxiously awaiting this book from Darcy Coates since I read in her newsletter that it was being released. Keira awakes in the forest being pursued by men with guns. She is unsure of why she is being chased and of who she is. All she knows is that she needs to run to get away from the men who wish to harm her. She finally sees a building and makes her way toward it. She knocks on the door and Pastor Adage invites her in and hides her from one of the men who comes searching for her. Pastor Adage provides a caretaker cottage surrounded by grave stones for Keira to stay in after she chooses to not stay in the parsonage with him. She is afraid for his safety. Her first night, she sees a woman moving around outside the cottage and realizes that it is a ghost. She is scared but she does realize that the ghost is asking for help. Keira now tries to learn all she can about the woman buried in cemetery. She finds out the name of the ghost, her cause of murder and tries her best to help Emma so she can rest in peace. Keira meets some friends during her time in Blighty. Mason, the man who dropped out of medical school not long before he would have completed his studies. Zoe, the lovable conspiracy nut who becomes Keira's first friend. Gavin, the spoiled doctors son and some other residents of Blighty. I'm not always fond of a series of books but I'm so happy that this will be one. I can't wait to find out who Keira really is and why she was being hunted. The characters are well written and made me care about what happens to them as well as some of the ghosts still roaming the cemetery and the old mill. If you like ghost stories without graphic descriptions of blood and guts and no sex scenes, you will love this book. As well as all of Ms. Coates other books.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    Another fantastic book by Darcy Coates, love her style of storytelling the gothic vibes she weaves in her stories are absolutely brilliant and this book is no different. Keira wakes up in the woods being hunted she can only remember her name nothing else, during a stormy night she seeks shelter with a pastor in a cemetery who helps hide her from the man chasing her with a gun. Adage helps her by letting her stay at the grave keepers cottage. She gradually gets used to the town of Blighty and it’ Another fantastic book by Darcy Coates, love her style of storytelling the gothic vibes she weaves in her stories are absolutely brilliant and this book is no different. Keira wakes up in the woods being hunted she can only remember her name nothing else, during a stormy night she seeks shelter with a pastor in a cemetery who helps hide her from the man chasing her with a gun. Adage helps her by letting her stay at the grave keepers cottage. She gradually gets used to the town of Blighty and it’s residents medical student Mason and eccentric Zoe become her friends but she learns new things about herself she has supernatural abilities she can see ghosts, has empathetic imprint abilities there are dozens of spirits in the graveyard but one In particular Emma is seeking help, with the help of her friends Keira discovers the grim past of Blighty and soon discovers that Emma had a baby with Frank and was looking for her baby’s spirit when Keira tells her the body was found but her spirit had moved on so did Emma. I loved the fact that once Adage who knew Emma and Frank found out that Keira could see her spirit and was trying to help her move on offered her to stay at the cottage for a wage to help the spirits move on to the next life. I loved the characters in the book the kind pastor Adage, the kind and mysterious Mason, the conspiracy theorist Zoe, I feel like Harry is an interesting character that we may learn more about In the later books maybe with a bigger role, Gavin the town bully and thanks to Keira’s imprint abilities saw his dark secret of killing a man, and I like the fact there is still the mystery of Keira’s origins and who are the people hunting her. I can’t wait to read more of this series to find out what happens next. I definitely want to find out more about Keira’s mysterious black cat Daisy who may not be a normal cat, I loved the cat character I thought it was cute. I loved this book I highly recommend reading this book and any other Darcy Coates books are definitely worth reading as well I love the gothic, creepy, haunted places and cemetery vibes she is known for in her books.

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