What’s it about?
Tom and his son Jake need a fresh start after the death of Rebecca. Featherbank seems like the perfect little town for them. What they don’t know is that twenty years ago five little boys have disappeared and been killed by Frank Carter, the Whisper Man. And now it seems there is a new Whisper Man.
What I think about it
I first heard about this book from the publisher’s representative who kept on gushing about how good The Whisper Man was and she went ahead and sent me a proof copy 😀
The cover alone is amazing, the butterfly (which plays a major role in the book, too) and the bones and the contrast! Love the cover!
I’m not a fan of regular crime novels, with me there has to be an element of supernatural, something creepy that makes me want to hide under the covers and The Whisper Man certainly achieved that. Alex North writes in a way that has you on the edge of your seat almost the entire time and he manages to give even the most normal scenes a suspenseful undertone.
There are two plotlines that are obviously going to converge sooner or later. We have Jake and Tom who move into their new home, an odd looking house that has been dubbed ‘the scary house’ by local kids.
And then we have DI Pete Willis, who had been the officer in charge twenty years ago when Frank Carter had abducted five boys. Pete had been too late to save the boys and the case haunts him to this day. It doesn’t matter that he arrested Frank Carter – the boys were dead and the body of his last victim had never been found. It gets worse when Neil Spencer goes missing and Pete re-lives his worst nightmare. The Whisper Man is back and continues to whisper to children outside their windows. If you are a sensitive reader you might sit this one out. It never gets gory and there is no sexual factor to the killings but it’s still child abduction and murder – a parent’s worst nightmare.
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 is unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass.
If you’re lonely, sad and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.
While the plotline of the investigation was quite straight-forward, the plotline of Jake and his dad was more than creepy. Jake is a quiet child, likes to draw a lot and keep to himself. His father, Tom is still grieving the loss of his wife, Rebecca and is overwhelmed with caring for Jake on his own. While he tries to be a good father, he feels as though he can’t get through to Jake. The new house scares him in a way he can’t describe. He feels as though they were not alone in the house, hears the floor boards creak in rooms that are empty. Jake doesn’t help in dispersing this feeling by talking to his imaginary friend, a little girl in a blue and white dress.
I have never read a more susepenseful and tense description of someone going through boxes in their garage. I held my breath for almost the entire scene. It’s a mundane task and yet Alex North writes in a way that made me think there’d be happening something bad soon. The story had a lurking undertone to it, as though somthing was waiting to spring free. While the book had a perfectly reasonable and logical conclusion some scenes remained unexplained and it gives the book a touch of the supernatural which I love! There could have been even more of that and less of regular police work.
The entire story had an air to it that I only knew from American thrillers. The Whisper Man is set in the UK, though! I mean, the school uniforms should have given it away but I only realised this was not America when they mentioned ‘pounds’. I dunno, I think I just associate serial killers and small towns with scary houses with America …
Creepy, thrilling and utterly suspenseful. I couldn’t stop reading. The book has a good, solid plot with supernatural elements strewn in. There could have been more of that, more horror, more suspense but that’s just a personal opinion. Alex North writes in a way that has you at the edge of your seat in antcipation of something bad happening. There was a logical, realistic ending but I loved that some paranormal scenes were left unexplained, making me think if there wasn’t more to the story. Absolute recommendation!
- Author: Alex North
- Pages: 400
- Publisher: Penguin UK
- Release Date: June 13, 2019
- ISBN: 9780241367490