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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Winner of the Exeter Novel Prize

Alone in the world, Elspeth Swansome has taken the position of nanny to a family on the remote Scottish island of Skelthsea. 

Her charge, Mary, is a strange child. Distracted and secretive, she hasn't uttered a word since the sudden death of her twin, William - just days after their former nanny disappeared.

With her charge defiantly silent, Elspeth turns to the islanders. But no one will speak of what happened to William.

Just as no one can explain the hypnotic lullabies sung in empty corridors.

Nor the strange dolls that appear in abandoned rooms.

Nor the faint whistling that comes in the night....

As winter draws in and passage to the mainland becomes impossible, Elspeth finds herself trapped.

But is this house haunted by the ghosts of the past?

Or the secrets of the living?

Chilling, twisty and emotionally gripping, The Whistling is an atmospheric pause-resister with shades of the classics, yet a unique character of its own. Perfect for fans of Susan Hill and Laura Purcell.

©2021 Rebecca Netley (P)2021 Penguin Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great ghost story

A ghost story set on a remote Scottish island...what is not to like about this book
The story builds slowly and the tension builds and this would make an amazing movie
I love ghost stories and the is certainly well-written and well-constructed, with an initial slow burn building up to an unforgettable ending.
Yes you can feel the evil spirits in the dark and several times the hairs on my arms stood up

I have Read the digital book and purchased the audio version and the narration is amazing

15 people found this helpful

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Hauntingly brilliant!

Rebecca Netleys writing is incredibly descriptive, which is perfect for a book of this nature. The descriptions allow you to feel like you're actually there and sets the atmosphere. I could almost feel the cold rain on my face and fierce wind blowing through my bones. Lois Chimimba also did an outstanding job with the narration.

Our main character Elspeth has has a traumatic time and needs to get away from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh. She takes a job to be a nanny in Skelthsea, a tiny island in Scotland. When the boat arrives at Skelthsea, Elspeth gets the first glimpse of what is to be her new home. Iskar is the largest house on the island and has been in the family for many years. It's old creaky floor boards, thread bare carpet and dimly lit rooms were not quite what Elspeth had expected. But she is eager to meet Mary, the little girl who she will be spending most of her time at Iskar taking care of. But it soon becomes clear that all is not well with Mary. After losing her twin brother the girl is understandably grieving but is that all that haunts her?!? They soon become close but can Mary be trusted. Or is there someone else that Elspeth should be worried about....

I listened to this in 2 sittings, wrapped up under a blanket, with just a candle for light. It really is the perfect read for this time of year, it has all you want in an autumn read, especially on the lead up to Halloween. I loved the dark, gothic vibes of the old house and the island itself. And the character building is fantastic, you really get to know them and become fond of (most) of them, even if you are unsure who is good and who is bad. It's hard to believe that this is Rebecca Netleys debut novel, I will be patiently anticipating her next release. I think we can expect more great things to come.

8 people found this helpful

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Really enjoyable book.

This is a perfect gothic ghost story, really well narrated. An absolute pleasure to listen to curled up on a winters night. Just the right level of suspense for me. Thank you.

6 people found this helpful

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Perfect gothic novel

Beautifully written and read. Classic gothic novel. Really enjoyable binge listen for dark autumn nights. Loved it.

5 people found this helpful

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So atmospheric!

Super spooky in the best way possible! Enthralling story with atmospheric narration, highly recommend to anyone who loves a good ghost story!

2 people found this helpful

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thrilling

I really enjoyed this book. The authors descriptions were excellently expressed. The narration was perfect, I loved the Scottish accent it worked well with this book. The twists in the story were great and kept you hanging on for what's going to happen next. I related to the characters and I couldn't stop listening untill it finished.

2 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable

Great for fans of the supernatural and lovers of isolated windswept coasts. Well worth a read.

1 person found this helpful

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New favourite

I know this would be an awesome story if i read it but the narration put it over the top for me making it knew of my favourite books to date. So well written and at times unnerving very well done all round!

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful narration

A beautifully written story with a great narrative, I enjoyed everything about this book and finished it in one day.

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A whistle worth listening to

Twists and turns throughout, this ghost story full of atmosphere is well worth the time to listen to. Narrated exceptionally well with the different characters, the story and narrator brings the Scottish Island to life. If you believe in Ghosts, listen and if you don't believe in ghosts, listen, because you might just change your mind.