Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review of The Whisper Man by Alex North. Huge thanks to Jenny Platt and publisher Michael Joseph for the tour invite and the absolutely stunning review copy!
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 much-needed 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 . . .
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.
The Whisper Man is such an excellent debut! Also, the absolutely stunning cover reflects the story inside perfectly so you might also want to double check your door is locked when reading. I can’t tell you what exactly is so unnerving about the story but I think it’s the combination of the many little things tied together. There’s an imaginary girl who’s Jake’s friend who he talks to quite a lot, and if that’s not worrying enough the little boy seems to have knowledge of things relating to a dead boy, and a small but brilliantly creepy trick in the novel is an unsettling rhyme repeated on and off again throughout the story: ‘If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken“. It was creepy but I felt I could handle it (baahaa!), until I reached one scene that gave me the total bejeebies. In my defense, it was already very late and dark (but I couldn’t stop reading), and then I read a scene where the postman wasn’t a postman but a very creepy character.. I saw it playing out as if it were a movie! I still can’t believe I was able to fall asleep that night, it’s the stuff that nightmares are made of.
The Whisper Man is quite a well-plotted story that had me invested from the start with the letter Tom writes to his son promising him to tell him the truth about everything that happened and let me tell you, his prologue made my mouth water in advance. He dangled some puzzling names before me and I was trappling to find out their meaning and the story linking them together.
I loved the mystery of the novel and how the story was built: a past and a present case are entwined with the same MO but with the man famously dubbed The Whisper Man locked up in jail, who could possibly be behind the present crime? As much as I loved reading the disturbing storyline, I loved the heart-rendering side of the story just as much and the author blended both sides so perfectly, it’s what really makes this story so phenomenal. There is grief and there’s hope and there’s a whole lot of feeling in this novel and I loved hearing the personal stories of detective Pete Willis and Tom and his son Jake. They are so much in my heart and I was quite devastated when I read about all that happened to the characters I grew so fond of.
The story made me fear the worst for Jake from the moment I met him.. he’s a young boy so it stood to chance that he might be in danger too, it’s not so farfetched and the author fed my fear really well with all that was going on around him. Well he certainly had more than one surprise for me, among other things he also deftly brought Pete and Tom and Jake together in an unexpected way.
If you’re looking for a page turner that will you goosebumps when reading then I can definitely recommend The Whisper Man. You’ll want to tear through this one as fast as possible.
You can follow the rest of the blog tour here: