Blog Tour: The Murmurs, Michael J Malone

Book Review: The Murmurs, Michael J Malone

The Murmurs, Michael J Malone

Book Review: The Murmurs, Michael J Malone

Blog Tour September 18, 2023

 

We know, though we may not care to admit, that death is coming to everyone we see. Some people know the time of their death is near: serious illness, critical injury, advanced age, etc. Most of us carry blithely along, living as though we have forever although tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us.

 

Annie Jackson has terrible nightmares. In them, she is drowning. Someone is holding her underwater in a bathtub, not letting her breathe. The nightmares come and go, but quite inconveniently return the night before she starts her new job at a nursing home.

 

Upon arrival, she is greeted by two men, patients at the home. One of them, Steve, is kind and gracious. Yet, as soon as Annie sees him, his face transforms into a skull and voices tell her he is going to die from a stroke that night. She does not know how she knows, but she knows for a fact he is going to die. But, who would believe her? Steve certainly doesn’t. With fear and regret, Annie returns to her flat and tries to sleep.

 

That night, Steve dies of a stroke.

 

As Annie and her twin brother Lewis look into her premonitions, they realize that Annie has a gift/curse that has followed her family for generations, always affecting the women in the family. The Murmurs begin with the premonitions, the voices, the knowledge that death is upon someone. Often, they end in madness. Drugs, institutions, suicides. Desperate to find some kind of answers, the siblings question people who knew their family, trying to find connections and secrets that have been long buried.

 

Secrets that include long-hidden murders. Secrets that a long-hidden murderer wants to keep secret. Secrets that could get Annie herself killed.

 

The Murmurs is a taut paranormal mystery that ratchets up the tension throughout. It also explores themes of family, faith, and community. Things are not always what they seem to be, and Annie is not sure who or what she can trust. Even her own memories are questionable, as they are at best sketchy and partial. She suffers from a trauma-induced amnesia that has wiped out large portions of her childhood, meaning that she is not sure whether her nightmares are memories or fears, whether they reflect truth or a warped expression of an overwrought imagination.

 

I really liked this book. I especially liked the support Annie received from people who love her. The couple who raised her and Lewis after the deaths of their parents are there for her at all times, unable to understand what she is experiencing but believing her and supporting her and loving her. Lewis is a rock. He may not see what his sister sees, but he sees her. May all of us find supportive family (or “found family”) in our times of need. In some ways, Annie is traveling alone down a scary and uncertain road that no one can walk with her. But in many other ways, she is never alone.

 

Our thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things for our copy of The Murmurs, provided so we could give an honest review. The thoughts and opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives on this novel, check out the other bloggers on this tour.

 

The Murmurs, Michael J Malone

Book Review: The Murmurs, Michael J Malone

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