If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken…
Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a fresh start.
But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys. Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’.
Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home. Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.
He says he hears a whispering at his window…
So many bloggers and a massive social media presence means that if you’ve not heard of this book, where have you been?
Am happy to report that in this case, this hype was wholly deserved and I tore through this in record speed – and not just because I wanted to get the review in on time – but because I simply could NOT put it down.
One of the things I loved about this book is that just when you think you know exactly where you are, Alex North provides his reader with the perfect blend of an intriguing mystery and supernatural undertones and I was definitely at his mercy as I zipped through this book. He’s a deft plotter and as readers, we are definitely given lots of opportunities to think in many different ways about the Whisper man story throughout this gripping and twisty read.
We know that the Whisper Man was caught – but we are left wondering how he connects with the modern-day abduction and how this will lead us to the denouement. I was so caught up in this intriguing rale and have been telling everyone about it – I also totally loved the wee earphone set that came with it and the eye-catching cover made me want to get stuck in right away.
It feels like a fantastic movie as it unfolds and I feel like it would be the perfect movie adaptation in the near future – I hope that my wishes do come true and I already can’t wait to see how its casting and setting matches up with my own ‘casting’ in my mind’s eye.
The dead get their own role in the book as we are presented with their voices coming through the fabric of time; it reminded me of ‘The Sixth SEnse’ and maintains the same level of suspense and intrigue as we try and navigate ourselves to its conclusion. I loved the characters of Tom and Jake and I think that it’s precisely because they do feel so real and convincing that the rest of the events in the novel feel so plausibly horrifying…
I really fell for their father/son dynamic and their relationship is not painted as ‘picture-perfect’ which added to the feeling of authenticity for me. Tom is a perfect protagonist as he’s got just enough of the ‘unknowable’ about him to keep us intrigued– All I wanted to do was reach through the pages and let him know he was doing a great jo at times when you can see his self-doubts start to creep in as he tries to be both father and mother to Jake amidst fairly challenging circumstances.
Alex North has created a fantastic, original and addictive read: I really did stay up way too late last night to finish it. I absolutely loved the fact that it was just as strong on character as it was on plot as there are so many thrillers out there with very two-dimensional characters that are hard to care about and that really detracts from the reading experience for me. I have a ‘no spoiler’ policy so you’re just going to have to read #TheWhisperMan for yourself to find out the answer to its mystery
This novel comes unhesitatingly recommended by me. It’s a pageturner in every sense of the word and it’s definitely one that I’m certain will be on lots of people’s ‘best of the year’ list at the end of 2019 – and it’s only June so that’ll tell you how much I was gripped by it…
Buy yourself a copy here and read it before everyone else does
“Terrifying and utterly heartbreaking” Mark Billingham
“A dark, creepy, thriller with a huge amount of heart” Stuart MacBride
“Beautifully written. Beautifully plotted. Shades of Thomas Harris and Stephen King but brilliant in its own right” C. J. Tudor
“A tremendous calling card for the brilliant Alex North” Mick Herron
Writer On The Shelf
Alex North was born in Leeds, where he now lives with his wife and son. He studied Philosophy at Leeds University, and prior to becoming a writer he worked there in their sociology department.