Cover Image: Whistle in the Dark

Whistle in the Dark

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Member Reviews

Whistle in the Dark had such a great premise but sadly missed the mark. With each avenue explored as to where Lana could’ve disappeared to I was feeling less and less hopeful until we reach an unfulfilling conclusion. 

Perhaps I would’ve felt more connected and engaged if I had found the characters likeable.

Not a fan, unfortunately. 1/5
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Love a story where you can follow the mystery of the main character. The subject’s struggle to understand the situation was well described. I just found I had little empathy for her struggle or journey towards enlightenment. I was also disappointed with the plots resolution.
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There was much to enjoy here, but I found I couldn't connect with it. I'd read more from this author in the future though.
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I really wanted to like this book, I really did, but I found it difficult to get into the story or interested in the characters. The story revolves around the difficult relationship between a mother and a daughter and the mysterious disappearance for four days of the former. The story is dark, slow, and the characters are irritating and very complex. I had trouble getting to the end, but I really wanted to see how it ended. I have seen that many people did enjoy it, but I don’t think this story is for everyone.
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I loved Elizabeth is Missing so I couldn’t wait to dive into this. Full of mystery. You never quite know where it is going to lead but it is a beautiful journey to go on.
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Jen has just survived the worst week of any parents' life: her daughter, Lana, has just been found after going missing for four days. Lana refuses to say what happened, that she just wants to get back on with her life. Yet, Jen needs to know so she goes off to retrace Lana's steps. A journey that will lead her to a deeper of Lana, her family, and herself. 

Yes, this has been sat on my shelf for a long time. I have had the arc for two years and I've only just gotten around to it ... oops sorry about that!

I utterly adored Emma Healey's debut 'Elizabeth is Missing'. It gripped me from beginning to end. So I was incredibly excited about this. And the first fifty pages or so were just like her debut. They held my attention. However, as the rest of the book wore on I found myself losing interest. Lana was turning more and more into a brat and there didn't seem to be some big mystery behind the disappearance. 

Due to the fact that I was coming to dislike Lana so much, I found that I just didn't want to know what happened. Not to mention that Jen, herself, was becoming more annoying as the book wore on. It had a strong ending but it wasn't the big mystery/thriller than I expected. 

Three stars.
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This book sits somewhere in the middle for me. Although I did not dislike it, I cannot say that I liked it either and felt confused about what it wanted to be/achieve. I originally thought it would centre more around the mystery of Lana's dissapearance, however it spirals around the characters and their relationships. On the positive, at least there was enough tension there to make it worthwhile. On the flip side, Jen's over-analyzing is getting tiresome very very fast as it happens over and  over again. 

The dialogue doesn't do this book any favours either, giving it a heavy feeling by having the characters speak unlike any human that I know....

May be a great read for others, but not me, sadly.
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Oof, this one hurts me. I was certain I was going to love Whistle in the Dark because I’ve heard such amazing things about Emma Healey’s debut novel, Elizabeth is Missing. I didn’t actually realise I had this book on my NetGalley because I have it sitting on my bookshelf, so I thought this story was going to be swiftly moving from my ‘read then donate’ pile straight onto my shelf of favourites.


Unfortunately, the exact opposite ended up happening. I’m about to get spoilery, so if you haven’t read this book yet it’s probably time for you to jump down to my thoughts on Furiously Happy…

Whistle in the Dark doesn’t really tell a story. A girl goes missing during a vacation in the Peak District with her mother, and when she comes back she won’t tell anyone where she’s been. Her mother is worried that someone kidnapped her or took advantage of her, but Lana remains tight-lipped: is she protecting someone, or has she suppressed her memories of the traumatic event? Sounds like the makings of a perfect psychological thriller, right?

WRONG. This book has such a brilliant premise, but it doesn’t live up to it AT ALL. It starts to try to address so many different, interesting plot lines, then abandons them and jumps off on other tangents. There are a slew of almost thought-provoking inclusions – the struggles of parenting a child with depression, self-harm, sperm donation, religion – but in the grand scheme of things every single one of them falls short.

I’ve seen a lot of different reviews since I finished this book, and all of them have said that they were impressed by at least one section – either the beginning, the middle or the end – so they’ve felt justified in giving Whistle in the Dark three stars minimum. Meanwhile there’s me, the salty little sausage in the corner, who can’t think of a redeeming thing to say about the entire novel. The beginning was intriguing for all of five minutes, the middle perfectly showed the paranoid musings of an anxious mother (and then showed it perfectly over and over again, as Jen repeated her worries so regularly that I began to worry that I was pressing the back button on my Kindle rather than reading further into the book), while the ending was possibly the worst thing I’ve ever read.

Turns out, Lana went into a cave to OD, passed out, came around and got lost in the cave and managed to find her way out three days later. We learn this because Jen goes exploring and gets lost in the same cave… But gets out within a couple of hours. How long are we supposed to believe Lana was unconscious?! None of it added up, and it’s the least satisfying pay off I’ve ever gotten from a ‘thriller’. I’m still going to pick up Elizabeth is Missing, but I wish I’d trusted the Goodreads ratings on this one.
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I unfortunately didn't love this book and therefore didn't finish it. I enjoyed the premise but the plot started to fall flat for me.
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DNF @ 59% - after WEEKS of struggling through it, I realized I don't hate myself enough to continue.

This book is nothing but a self-indulgent mess of disjointed, boring and utterly pointless anecdotes. There is no plot. It's not even a book, let alone a thriller.
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This is one of those books where I expected it to be one thing and it actually was different to what I thought I was going to get, but this was absolutely not a bad thing. I very much appreciated this book and I got so much more out of it than I was expecting. Jen’s teenage daughter went missing, and was found alive but she refuses to talk about where she’s been or what happened to her. This is so much more about how it feels to be clamouring around in the dark trying to understand what is going on in your teenager’s head. Lana has depression and she isn’t able to communicate how she feels with her mum. I suffered a lot when I was in my teens so could see things from Lana’s point of view, but it was really emotional for me to see it from Jen’s perspective and to have more of an insight into how frightening and heartbreaking it must be to see your child suffering in this way. This book was such a brilliant read and one that will stay with me.
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I loved the book Elizabeth is Missing and so took on the next one. I loved the mother/daughter story and I could relate to Jen. This is a very authentic novel.
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I wouldn't necessarily describe this book as a crime story or a thriller as it is listed although this was a good story. Instead, it focuses more on the mother-daughter relationship which is extremely well portrayed. This also touches on a very serious subject of self harm. This book can seem extremely depressing in light of this but it's actually quite a fun read. The ending is a bit anti-climatic but it is still in keeping with the book so I found out that it worked regardless of this.
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I loved this taut tale of a family in turmoil.  Troubled teenager Lana disappeared for four days in the Derbyshire Peak District whilst on a painting holiday before being found injured, bleeding and claiming to have no memory of the past few days.  The story is told from the point of view of Lana's mother Jen, and their fractured relationship is described in pithy, sharp detail. Many of the confrontations will be familiar to parents of teenagers, but these are exacerbated by Lana's refusal to reveal anything about what happened to her.  You can feel the family's frustration and worry.  Jen is of course driven to investigate and follows several red herrings before the book's conclusion.  

I enjoyed this book immensely, aided by the fact that I am familiar with some of the locations, such as the Nine Ladies Stone Circle and the neighbouring 'charm' tree which is described accurately.  Characters are portrayed superbly and all dialogue feels very realistic.  I liked the ending - the last line was particularly poignant. Highly recommended.
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3/5 stars. This book had an interesting premise, diving into the complex relationships between mothers and daughters. I don't know what I was expecting, but this book didn't live up to the hype for me, it was just ok. I did appreciate the unlikable characters though and the complex character development.
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Thank you for providing a copy of this book for review however I was unable to open the file for this document unfortunately! Apologies.
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This book explores the relationship between a mother and her daughter.  They have a deeper connection than most relationships.  I wouldn't really think of this book as a psychological thriller, but it was still well written and recommended.
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Whistle in The Dark by Emma Healey is a beautifully written story of family and mental illness and the connections between mothers and daughters.
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I read ‘Whistle in the Dark’ more than a year ago, and I’m embarrassed I’m just getting around to reviewing it. It’s about a spikey teenager who disappears while she’s on a holiday with her mother in the Peak District. She reappears four days later, bleeding and dazed, refusing to give information about her ordeal. In several key ways, the book shares themes with Emma Healey’s previous novel, ‘Elizabeth is Missing.’ They’re both about missing people (obviously) and both deal with social issues. ‘Elizabeth’ focuses on dementia while Healey’s latest book touches heavily on teenage depression and self-harm. Jen, the mother, has some mental health problems, too, hallucinating and stalking her daughter online. 

I wanted to like this book but, alas, I got a little tired of both mopey Lana and shrill Jen. I also thought the ending was anti-climactic but I guess I was expecting a different kind of story.
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Very interesting topic and it has a very interesting point of view of a parent-child relationship. On the other hand, I felt it is a little bit too slow for me and repeated a lot of thing thorough the book.
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