"POIGNANT AND TERRIFYING" —Entertainment Weekly
"SUPERB" —Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review
"BRILLIANT... will satisfy readers of Thomas Harris and Stephen King." —Booklist, Starred Review
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 Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’
Nursery rhymes by design can be extremely frightening. When you factor children in the mix of reciting old passages and rhymes of yesteryear, you gain a whole multitude of strange occurrences. Children had gone missing. A parents’ worse nightmare. It’s one thing to have one child go missing, but to have cold cases of children missing from over twenty years ago, and dare I say it, we’ve got a rather interesting story.
Tom Kennedy was a novelist struggling to write his next novel due to the grief he was suffering of his wife’s passing. It didn’t help matters that he was now charged with raising their son, Jake. Tom didn’t think he could do it alone because Rebecca always understood their son better than he ever did. How was he supposed to react to his son’s needs? What words was he to say when his son cried for his deceased mother? Would Jake listen to his father when he tried to give advice? These were all the troubles and woes Tom often thought about, so having his agent give him a deadline as to when his manuscript was due, was going to have to wait and be placed further on the back burner.
Tom and Jake needed a fresh start, so they began their search of new homes. Surprisingly, Jake found a house online that he loved right away. Tom wasn’t sure why his son picked this house because by all accounts, it looked extremely uninviting and a bit scary. As Tom learned after purchasing the home that the neighborhood kids said it was a scary house and no one wanted to go near it. Even though Tom wasn’t too excited about the new place, it was what his son wanted and he would stop at nothing to make sure his son had the best and was happy.
A new start was supposed to be fresh and old habits are hard to break. Jake began talking to himself, again. Tom was beside himself. He thought once they moved, Jake would stop speaking to his “imaginary” friend. But the ongoing conversations Jake was having with his “friend” appeared to get worse. And it certainly didn’t help when Jake went to his new school and the kids observed him “talking” to the air. Oh No, Tom thought. Not this again. If Tom thought that was nuts, he really was going to lose it when he discovered his son knew things that he shouldn’t be able to know. For instance, he mentioned to his father that he was talking to the “boy in the floor.” Say what now?
And this is where the story gets crazier. From what I’ve been reading online, this story is receiving rave reviews and called exciting and one of the best psychological thrillers to come around since Thomas Harris and Stephen King, and I have to respectfully disagree with that entirely. For me, this story was slow and extremely boring and I didn’t find it heating up until about 80% of the story. What I just described to you above comes near the end of the book, not at the beginning or the middle.
In fact, I found myself skipping over the unnecessary parts of the story of Tom’s father’s past dealings with the child murderer, Francis Carter, and his drinking problems. It appeared to have been repeated several times throughout the story. It would seem that once you’ve established the background of the character’s lives and how they relate and intersect with other characters, there wouldn’t be a need to continually bring those facts up? But here we are reading the same sections over and over, and I didn’t find anything exciting about that.
Actually, Nerds, I’m a bit on the fence with this. I struggled with whether to give this story three or four stars. Eventually, I settled on four because North is an exceptional writer. He demonstrated this well, but therein lie part of my problem. He was too good of a writer where he appeared to write things over and over and I didn’t feel it was needed. That’s a personal preference of mine, but other readers may not agree with me. Obviously so, since so many reviews I’ve read gave this story five stars. I don’t feel it warranted that in my opinion.
Was this a bad read? Absolutely not. In fact, it was a damn good one—I just felt there were too many things repeated for my tastes and that caused me to lose some interest. Again, that’s a personal thing with the way I like to read, but that may not be every reader’s view. Overall, I felt this story was pretty good and it really grabbed my attention near the end. The ending was shear brilliance.
The Sexy Nerd gives The Whisper Man four quiet stars. In my honest opinion, I didn’t feel this book was that exciting to the point it was the best psychological thriller I’ve ever read, but it was good enough to keep me tapping the Kindle pages. And at the end of the day, that’s all anyone can ask for. The Whisper Man goes on sale Tues., August 20, 2019. Make sure you pick up a copy. This would be a great summer vacation read! Until next time, Sexy Nerds, when you open your next book, keep it sexy, and get mind blown!