The Whisper Man
By: Alex North
Thriller, Crime Fiction
Published: August 20th, 2019
From the Cover:
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…
In keeping with my #Spooktober theme this month, I dove head first into this book. You’ve heard me on here before citing thrillers as my favorite genre, and The Whisper Man certainly affirmed this. The author starts with a chilling excerpt from the villain’s point of view, which I thought was unique and exciting. It helps set the tone of the rest of the book in a way that many thriller writers seem to shy away from. This isn’t the last time you hear from the killer’s point of view either. . .
This book builds slowly but keeps the reader engaged. There is a lot going on behind the scenes that is revealed to the reader in expertly planned timing. It’s not until the last 150 pages of the book that things really start to heat up and you will feel like you can’t put the book down.
One of my favorite parts of the book was reading about the complex and vulnerable young boy “Jake.” I enjoyed reading his own thoughts and reading about the thoughts others have of him. He seems to just know things that he shouldn’t. . . almost as if he has a telepathic gift. His character development is superb, and I found myself heavily invested in his well-being especially when his life becomes threatened.
My only complaint about this book is it felt too predictable. My most favorite thrillers are the ones where the twists are delivered with such a shock that it causes an intense visceral reaction–my heart starts to race, my palms get sweaty, I lean forward on the edge of my seat, I can’t read the words on the page fast enough. I didn’t quite get this kind of reaction from this book and that was disappointing, especially for a book that had an otherwise strong plot development. The search for the perfect thriller continues, but in the meantime you should treat yourself to this book as it will surely wet the appetite.
Thank you for a thorough review – I’m not a huge fan of a thriller with a predicatable plot development. And neither do I like spending much time in the villain’s head…
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Great review! I adore thrillers, and can’t seem to get enough of them this year especially. I was so close to getting a copy of The Whisper Man about a week ago, so, I think I will pick it up next time I’m out and about.
A great thriller that gets inside the killer’s head is Fear Itself by Jonathan Nasaw. I really enjoyed that POV, as well as the different fears explored. It was a fun read from memory!
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