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The Whispering by Sarah Rayne
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The Whispering (2014)

by Sarah Rayne

Series: Flint (4)

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The Whispering] by Sarah Rayne
4.5 Stars
Nell West & Michael Flint series Book #4

From The Book:
Michael Flint, a music and literature professor at Oxford, is working on a book about musical influences on the poets of WWI. Flint travels to the remote fens, in eastern England, to visit Fosse House and examine the records concerning the Palestrina Choir, circa 1900–14. His host, the personable but secretive septuagenarian Luisa Gilmore, welcomes Michael, even gives him a place to sleep when inclement weather makes traveling to the nearby town impossible, but soon Michael discovers that the history of Luisa’s family, not to mention the history of the choir, is filled with secrets.

My Views:
Sarah Rayne has an amazing talent for blending the past and the present into one neat package. Her specialty is the supernatural/paranormal genre which she weaves with history. These 100 year old events take shape through the letters and journals of men long dead but certainly not gone by any means. A goose-bump raising, creepy tale that keeps you wanting more and more. ( )
  Carol420 | May 6, 2017 |
Library copy ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 17, 2016 |
Very good ending. I had so many guesses that Rayne did very well to avoid and kept me intrigued to wanting to find out more. ( )
  libgirl69 | Apr 19, 2014 |
The Whispering is the fourth in Sarah Rayne's ghost series featuring Nell West and Michael Flint.

This time Michael Flint is researching the music and poetry of the Great War; in particular how music influenced their individual outlook and work.

Michael is also researching the origins of the Palestrina Choir: a girl's choir based in a convent that sang behind a rood screen to hide their 'deformities'. Girls who were crippled, malformed or simple were left at the convent by their parents, joined the choir and created angelic music but could never be seen.

Here's a quote from The Whispering about the origins of the long-dead choir. The Palestrina Choir was "..formed in an ancient monastery in Belgium in 1900 to commemorate the start of the new century, and was named for the sixteenth-century composer of sacred music."

I was fascinated by the choir, and Michael visits Fosse House to meet reclusive Luisa Gilmore as part of his research but ends up discovering more than he bargained for.

Meanwhile, Nell is researching the origin of the Holzminden sketch, a drawing that Michael finds in Fosse House, and which could be a sketch made at a WWI prisoner of war camp.

The Whispering is nicely layered and I enjoyed having Michael as the protagonist this time around instead of Nell. There was an important reveal at the end that I had incorrectly predicted, and for me that's a sign of a great read when the plot carries you in an unexpected direction.

The Whispering can be enjoyed as a stand-alone and is recommended for readers who like a good ghost story, or the idea that the past can bleed into the future and vice versa. ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Feb 24, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0727883631, Hardcover)

Fosse House, home of the reclusive Luisa Gilmore, harbours curious secrets - secrets that stretch back almost a century, to the ill-fated Palestrina Choir in its remote Belgian convent.

When Oxford don Michael Flint travels to the house to trace the origins of the long-dead Choir, he is at once aware of the house's eerie menace. Who is the shadowy young man who lurks in the grounds, and why does his exact likeness appear in a sketch from 1917? What is the strange whispering that echoes through the corridors? And why is Luisa so afraid when a storm makes it necessary for Michael to spend the night inside the house?

Back in Oxford, when Nell West uncovers the story of the infamous 1917 'Holzminden sketch' - the lost, legendary drawing from World War I - a dark fragment of the past begins to stir. A fragment that Michael, in the lonely old house, may not be able to resist.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:17 -0400)

Fosse House, home of the reclusive Luisa Gilmore, harbours curious secrets -- secrets that stretch back almost a century, to the ill-fated Palestrina Choir in its remote Belgian convent. When Oxford don Michael Flint travels to the house to trace the origins of the long-dead Choir, he is at once aware of the house's eerie menace. Who is the shadowy young man who lurks in the grounds, and why does his exact likeness appear in a sketch from 1917? What is the strange whispering that echoes through the corridors? And why is Luisa so afraid when a storm makes it necessary for Michael to spend the night inside the house? Back in Oxford, when Nell West uncovers the story of the infamous 1917 'Holzminden sketch' -- the lost, legendary drawing from World War I - a dark fragment of the past begins to stir. A fragment that Michael, in the lonely old house, may not be able to resist.… (more)

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