Updated: Mar 30, 2020
"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."
Are you creeped out yet?? If you happen to follow any bookstagram accounts, you are sure to have seen The Whisper Man by Alex North taking social media by storm. Book of the Month currently has it as one of the August options and this detective crime thriller hits stores on August 20. I was lucky enough to receive a digital ARC from Net Galley and Celadon Books, in exchange for an honest review.
The Whisper Man is a chilling story based around a serial killer who targets young children and "grooms" them by whispering outside their windows at night, developing a relationship before he abducts and murders them. The book begins with the infamous "Whisper Man" behind bars, but a young boy goes missing on his way home one evening. The mom later tells authorities that she recalled her son telling her a couple weeks prior that he had heard whispering outside his window. Detectives are on the hunt for a copy cat, while also trying to tie up loose ends of an over 20 year old murder that was never solved. Detective Pete Willis worked on the "Whisper Man's" case and it has haunted him ever since. He becomes involved in the recent missing person case with the lead detective, Amanda Beck, and is transported back in time with flashbacks from his early detective days. Meanwhile, Tom Kennedy and his son, Jake, move to a new town to start their lives over following the death of Tom's wife, Jake's mother, in hopes to start fresh. They eventually find themselves wrapped up into the investigation.
The Whisper Man is written from multiple perspectives of Tom Kennedy, Jake Kennedy, Pete Willis, Amanda Beck, and the killer. Each chapter is written from a different characters perspective, which makes this book different from your typical detective novel. I enjoyed the multiple narrators and North's writing made them each flow well. I love a good character driven novel, but one that is also a thriller tops the cake for me. North does a great job with character development and intermingling the storylines. Tom and Jake are mourning the loss of Rebecca. Jake discovered her dead in their house and Tom has been reeling ever since, not fully grieving his loss. Tom is a writer and is working on his next novel, but cannot seem to focus enough to put words on paper. Jake is an introverted, creative child who has a wild imagination. Shortly after Tom and Jake move into their new home, things start to get strange. Tom overhears Jake whispering to someone, presumably his imaginative friend, but then hears someone whisper back in response.
This story is spine tingling creepy and the concept of the "Whisper Man" is the stuff nightmares are made of. This modern day boogeyman is like a fable shared on the playground between children. North's storyline is spectacular and chilling. While I read this, I imagined to myself that this could easily be a movie concept. (And I hope that one day it is!) I gave The Whisper Man by Alex North a solid ★★★★★. It is a well written, character driven thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The Whisper Man will be published on August 20 and I highly recommend you pick it up or add it to your next Book of the Month. Until then, keep your ears open for whispers outside your window. Shhhhh…the Whisper Man will come for you...
***Thank you to Celadon Books and Net Galley for the ARC, in exchange for an honest review.***