The Whistling: Rebecca Netley
Reviewed By Gavin Kendall
Elspeth Swansome has taken up a new position as a nanny on the remote isle of Skelthsea. Having suffered her own personal tragedy moving away from the busy city life of Edinburgh seems to be the right thing to do.
Mary, her new charge has also sufferered loss. An event so tragic she hasn’t spoken since.
As Elspeth and Mary’s relationship develops so the islands secrets start to be revealed.
The Whistling is an enjoyable, if a little formulaic, gothic tale with the weather and rustic setting playing as big a part as the well written characters that frequent the storm battered island. I particularly enjoyed the pacing and slow reveals, with strange sounds being heard and possessions moving about the house with no obvious explanation.
I was fully invested in The Whistling but did find the beats of the story somewhat repetitve. Elspeth and Mary encounter something, they go to the beach, they come home, have dinner, encounter something and go to bed. It felt like this pattern occured too many times for me personally, especially as I loved it when Elspeth ventured out into the island on her own which sadly didn’t happen anywhere near enough.
The Whistling would be perfect for adaptation. I could see the newly resurrected Hammer Studios having a ball with this. It ticks all the boxes for an unnerving horror movie.. As much as I enjoyed The Whistling, I didn’t find it particularly scary. This may be due to the repetitive nature of the scares although there were a few scenes that certainly unnerved me. The ultimate reveal really wasn’t what I was hoping for either but I know others will absolutely love it. None of these issues are particularly book breaking and I’d heartily recommend this book to fans of gothic horror and especially fans of the movies from Amicus or Hammer.
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 troubled 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 Mary 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..?
I’m living in the South-East of England between London and Brighton. I’ve been married to Laura since 2000 and have two daughters. (Emily & Freya). I’ve always had a passion for horror and decided, as a hobby, that I’d like to create a blog to showcase this fascination with the darker genres.
I started Kendall Reviews in January 2017, initially to host my reviews of books and music that I had in my sizeable collections. This became a passion project pretty quickly and morphed into a blog that wanted to help PROMOTE HORROR.
I want to thank all the people who interact with the blog and the rest of the Kendall Reviews team.
Please find all my contact details here