Whispers from the Grave by Kim Murphy

Whispers from the Grave by Kim Murphy
Publisher: Coachlight Press
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (286 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

The Virginia Plantation Poplar Ridge is sprawling, secluded, and foreboding. Chris Olson is immediately swept into its somber history and an inexplicable, electrifying passion for Geoff Cameron, her best friend’s brother. Dreams of a Confederate soldier who strongly resembles Geoff and a haunting one-eyed scout cloud her mind further. Through the eyes of the long-dead Margaret, Chris witnesses mysterious events shrouded in the conflict of the Civil War, until little by little, she uncovers Margaret’s dark and terrible secret–and Geoff’s connection to the enchanting woman from the past.

Some pain doesn’t end at death. It can live on to haunt later generations. Margaret has a story to tell or could her motives purely be to haunt those that hurt her?

I found the excerpt from the book titled Whispers from the Grave to be one that I would enjoy since it was from a historical aspect. The author has a voice for expressing description of details. The landscape, the trees, the house all were painted with words into vivid pictures. I enjoyed the over all story but it took patience to get there. To me there was too much going on and it took away from a beautiful story.

The opening for the year 2004 Christine “Chris” Olson was in route from Boston to Virginia to visit her friend, unfortunately she has a flat tire. I would assume she didn’t have a car charger for her cell phone because when her cell phone went dead and she didn’t even attempt to charge it, nor did she try to change the flat tire. But all that is fine because her blond haired knight shows up just in time to change the flat for her. Geoff Cameron is the brother of her friend Judith. Chris is there to visit Judith but spends more time with her brother, Geoff. I found it odd that Chris and Judith didn’t have any girl time together to go shopping, staying up late catching up on old times, none of that type female reunion.

The book had many slow parts that watered down a beautiful story as I mentioned before. The character Chris wasn’t displayed as a strong character. She also seemed more focused on Geoff and then when he started having seizures the book went on and on about his seizures and Chris treating him like a child. She was quick to act on her attraction to Geoff and just as quick to hop in his bed. Like I said she spent more time with Geoff than she did with her friend Judith who she initially came to visit. Chris was quick to say she loved Geoff; I was left feeling puzzled because I missed them building a relationship and feelings for one another. The qualities of them growing fond of each other and getting to know each other were omitted. I would have liked to have felt some kind of growing connection between the two, besides the time spent in the bedroom.

I enjoyed the story of George and Margaret, though it was a sad one, I felt the connection and love between the two. Their story was a story of dedication, heartbreak and survival during a time of war and hardship. The author did a fabulous job in telling the story of George and Margaret in 1867. I was enthralled with the mystery of how a tragic event built into a crescendo of secrets, and pain that left the Cameron family torn.

During Chris’s visit she keeps having visions of people she did not know: George, Margaret and Catherine. I tried not to put too much reasoning and thought into understand how three people of that era could still haunt the people living in the home now. Maybe I could understand Margaret’s soul being unsettled but I didn’t understand why Catherine and George were still around.

The historical events are more real and relatable. Margaret’s story is one I am sure many women of that time can relate to. A woman committed to her man and determined to stay true. But the cruel world rapes her, literally robbing her of a future where she can only see a bleak existence. Torn but also wrapped in a filth she can’t seem to get away from when the desolate act of rape gives her daily reminders. Margaret was displayed as a woman that was strong and that could survive. I didn’t see those qualities in Chris or Beth. The twist to the story of Margaret and her baby was unexpected and kept me reading to see how the author played it out. Margaret couldn’t be judged for the acts that she committed or for the choices she made to not tell George all that happened while he was away.

This is a good pick for anyone looking for a historical mystery with a current day flair.

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