Author – Jackson Kuhl
Format – eBook
Pages – 130
Thankyou to Jackson Kuhl and Storytellers on Tour for the review copy of this book.
“There is an indescribable sense of satisfaction, known only to a few, in committing a murder and escaping it’s punishment.”
A Season of Whispers was an enjoyable shorter read that kept my attention even though the thriller elements were scattered throughout and through various storytelling elements rather than the full-throttle action ride you perhaps might expect from a shorter book – and that’s to its credit.
Author Jackson Kuhl actually uses a variety of techniques to up the creepy factor and to maintain that sort of unnerving feel. The time period, the setting, the isolated stone house, psychological aspects, mysterious goings on, ambiguous intentions of the characters and a good old-fashioned creature feature means there’s plenty to unsettle which culminates in an effective thriller – I’d go with this description rather than pure horror. Maybe the same sort of vibes as M Night Shyamalan’s The Village, though the story is quite different.
The story takes place within a transcendentalist community at Bonaventure Farm, ran by the shifty David Grosvenor. To make another vague comparison, he strikes me as a John Hammond type figure – the brain behind a brave new movement who you can’t help but feel is in a little over his head, despite the modicum of control. And in this case, as you suspect from the outset, his intentions aren’t altogether wholesome.
Our main character Lyman is interesting enough though I’d say the experiences at Bonaventure through his eyes are what drives the story and keeps you turning the pages rather than the strength of his character; you could have substituted him and still had the enjoyable story – although his past does play a central role to the plot.
Kuhl’s writing is top notch and the style flows nicely, which also helps with the immersion and feeling involved in the story. It doesn’t look as if he’s published anything similar to this supernatural gothic tale before though you certainly get the impression the author is very comfortable and assured writing in the genre.
A Season of Whispers excels in keeping you turning each page with solid writing, suspense from different angles and the use of characters and setting to keep you invested before driving the story to a satisfying conclusion.
Read the Synopsis and find the giveaway below:
In the summer of 1844, Tom Lyman flees to Bonaventure, a transcendentalist farming cooperative tucked away in eastern Connecticut, to hide from his past. There Lyman must adjust to a new life among idealists, under the fatherly eye of the group’s founder, David Grosvenor. When he isn’t ducking work or the questions of the eccentric residents, Lyman occupies himself by courting Grosvenor’s daughter Minerva.
But Bonaventure isn’t as utopian as it seems. One by one, Lyman’s secrets begin to catch up with him, and Bonaventure has a few secrets of its own. Why did the farm have an ominous reputation long before Grosvenor bought it? What caused the previous tenants to vanish? And who is playing the violin in the basement? Time is running out, and Lyman must discover the truth before he’s driven mad by the whispering through the walls.
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About the Author
Jackson Kuhl is the author of the Revolutionary War biography SAMUEL SMEDLEY, CONNECTI-
CUT PRIVATEER, and the fiction collection THE DEAD RIDE FAST. Kuhl has written for Atlas
Obscura, Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, National Geographic News, Reason, and
other publications. He paddles the waters of coastal Connecticut. For more information, visit
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