Title: The Whisper Man
Author: Alex North
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Source: Book of the Month
Rating: 3.5 Stars!
In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.
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…
The premise of The Whisper Man is absolutely terrifying. A child kidnapper who whispers at children’s windows in the dark of the night, stealing them from their homes. However, for me the execution of this one was lacking and just didn’t hold up to what the synopsis promised.
Tom Kennedy has moved to Featherbank after the sudden death of his wife, and has no idea of the history of the town. 20 years ago, a serial killer preyed on young boys, whispering into their windows at night before kidnapping them and murdering them. While the Whisper Man has been caught, his last victim was never found nor lain to rest, and its this open end of the case that has stuck with the Pete Willis, the detective that arrested Frank Carter over the years. When a young boy is kidnapped from the town, and his mother talks about him hearing whispers in his window, Pete Willis has no choice but to reopen old wounds, and begin his hunt for this new Whisper Man.
As the investigation continues, Tom and his young son Jake find themselves becoming more and more embroiled in the investigation, and Jake soon confessions of hearing whispers at his own window in the night. While these scenes did leave goosebumps across my skin, by the half way point of the novel, I had the mystery of the book pretty much figured out. Considering the fact that I’m often rubbish at figuring out mysteries and thrillers, the fact that I saw the ending coming left me mildly disappointed. So while the creep factor on this one was high, the thriller element was lacking. I also had a really had time connecting to the characters, and thought that at times they came across as oddly disjointed and left me with feelings of boredom.
I’m honestly in the minority when it comes to The Whisper Man and Goodreads is ripe with five star reviews, so don’t let my thoughts keep you from reading this one. Just remember to lock your doors and windows, and don’t read this one at night!
Rating: 3.5 Stars
About the Author
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.