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…
Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance listening copy of The Whisper Man in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ALC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.
If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken.
If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home.
If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass.
If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.
The Whisper Man is a fantastic summer thriller; perfect for fans of C.J. Tudor (The Chalk Man) and Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient). An unsettling, character-driven story that will have you guessing until the very end. If you aren’t locking your doors and windows every night, you soon will be.
What I enjoyed most about North’s debut was the slow-burn technique that he uses to unfold the plot. Much like other bestselling thrillers over the course of the past few years, climaxes aren’t made halfway through the novel, giving you no reason to reach the end. Meticulous details are unraveled and revealed to the reader at precise moments, ramping up the suspense slowly rather than all at once.
There is a definite Silence of the Lambs vibe going on throughout the book with interrogatory scenes with the convicted Frank Carter, aka “The Whisper Man”, that will have fans of Thomas Harris clamoring to pick this one up.
I also thought that North did a fantastic job exploring the relationships between fathers and sons, especially the one between Tom and Jake. Without going into much detail because it would somewhat ruin the read for you, everything is linked like a detective’s “Crazy Wall” you might see in a police drama. There are a few “OOOOOH” and “AHHHH” moments that had me grinding out chapters to get to the end.
All in all, if you want a quick thriller to cozy up to to cap off your summer, look no further. I can see why so many people are talking about this book, and also why it has already been picked up for film. The hype is real.