⇒RELEASE DAY REVIEW! “I’ve told you many times that there’s no such thing as monsters. I’m sorry that I lied.” -The Whisper Man ⇐
**Many thanks to NetGalley, Celadon Books, and the author for the opportunity to read a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Author: Alex North
(4.27 stars – Goodreads rating)
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: August 20, 2019, by Celadon Books
Pages: 368 (Hardcover version)
If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken.
A whisper. That couldn’t possibly feel threatening, right? I mean, a whisper is how first graders tell each other secrets. A whisper is how young lovers express overwhelming emotions. And with a whisper, grandparents sneak candy and money into little kids’ sticky hands.
So what could possibly be so sinister about a benign little whisper? As it turns out, so so much. Here’s the blurb:
After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank. But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night. Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man. And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…
If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home.
My cousin sent me a video on Instagram where a couple was walking along, minding their own business – just going along in life, not bothering anybody. All of a sudden, a tire rolls off of a truck from the road behind them and absolutely creams the guy. Lays him flat. It happens so fast that it seems almost cartoonish.
I mention that video because I remembered it again the moment I read one of the big reveals in this book. It comes out of freaking nowhere catching me completely off guard, just like that tire. I wasn’t expecting it, and that’s what made it great (for me, not the tire guy, of course) – Perfect Timing. If I thought the story had my attention before, I was inexorably hooked from that point on.
If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass.
This is a classic Boogeyman story, but that’s not all it is. It’s the scary stories of childhood, mixed with the horrifying reality that adults are aware of every day. North’s tragic characters’ attempts to champion themselves through life demands the reader’s support and protection; but all the while, we see them marching inevitably toward a sinister event that even they sense is unavoidable.
From the bitter past to the questionable present, The Whisper Man‘s uncertainties and interconnections will have your mind racing to figure out several whodunits all at the same time. And as you’re confronted with all the dark secrets of grisly crimes and ghosts of the past, you just may wonder if that was a whisper you just heard right outside your window…
If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.
This is a book that a true thriller/mystery book lover will be glad to read and own. It’s the type of book that, when someone on the readers forum asks, “Hey, can you recommend an excellent spooky read or crime thriller?” you can confidently type in: Yes, The Whisper Man. And you won’t be wrong.
Read an excerpt of The Whisper Man HERE.
Buy It Here:
Alex North was born in Leeds, England, where he now lives with his wife and son. The Whisper Man was inspired by North’s own little boy, who mentioned one day that he was playing with “the boy in the floor.” Alex North is a British crime writer who has previously published under another name.