Monday, September 23, 2019

The Whisper man by Alex North

This month has been a tough one for getting through books. I've struggled, when I usually zip through a few a week. I started reading The Whisper Man a few weeks ago, and kept putting it down, picking it up. I just couldn't get my head into a novel about a serial killer of little boys. But this weekend was rainy and gloomy, and I decided to buckle down and finish it. There was much more to it, and the deeper I got into the story, the more gripping it became. 

Tom Kennedy and his little boy Jake are moving to the small town of Featherbank to start over after Tom's wife and Jake's mother dies unexpectedly, leaving both in the depths of grief. Jake is a quiet boy; he loves to draw, and is always having conversations with his imaginary friend, a little girl who keeps him company. A new house, a new school; Tom hopes Jake will come out of his solitude and make friends. Tom, a published author, is stuck trying to begin a new novel, but he's suffering from writer's block. 

Their new house, unbeknownst to Tom, is known as the haunted house in Featherbank. He's uneasy living there, but just isn't sure why. Jake picked out the house, and it was the only house he was excited to move to, away from the only home he'd known. Tom and Jake are still navigating life alone, and they have some miscommunication that leaves Tom feeling like a horrible father, and Jake feeling pretty alone. 

A little boy has disappeared in Featherbank, eerily similar to a horrible case 20 years before, when Frank Carter, known as the Whispering Man, kidnapped and murdered four little boys. Local detective Pete Willis is haunted by his inability to get Frank to tell him where the last little boy's remains are...and Frank likes to dangle that over Pete's head. Frank is a pretty horrible man, and the stuff of nightmares. Locked away in prison, he rules the prison and has a deep hatred of his wife and son, who witnessed much of the horror, and finally turned him in to the police. 

Pete, a recovering alcoholic, and suffering all these years later with guilt for not finding the last little boy, is horrified to think that the Whispering Man is back, and that Frank had someone helping him all those years before. 

What connection does Tom's house have to the Whispering Man? Who is the little girl who talks to Jake? Is Jake the next victim of the Whispering Man?

At first, this started out a little slow for me, and I blame that on not reading enough of it before putting it down for awhile. Once I started again, I plowed through, and the tension and uneasiness grew with each page I turned. I had no idea what to expect, but there are definitely a few twists I didn't expect at all. I figured out who the Whispering Man was, but didn't quite connect the dots until the big reveal. And the end...oh gosh. Terribly sad on many fronts; but also a gut punch that haunts you. I keep thinking about certain phrases and what they mean--the kind that make me go "Oh! Now I see!" for hours after I've turned the last page. 

This was a really good thriller. There are no gruesome depictions of murder, but the subject matter is a bit tough to swallow. However, a story that will keep you up late at night, racing to the end. Definitely one to discuss! 

Rating: 4/6 for a police thriller, a family drama, and a chilly look at the mind of a serial killer. It picks up speed about halfway through, and then you can't put it down. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

1 comment :

  1. Just finished this last night and loved it! I was gripped from the beginning and didn't guess any of the twists and reveals really! The end was so sad!