Published: August 20, 2019
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 Whisper Man managed to be creepy, suspenseful, chilling, and stressful all at the same time, while keeping me guessing. (Something I’ve noticed with thrillers is that the narrators are generally unreliable, and then there are—usually—pretty predictable twists.) However, the main narrator of The Whisper Man, Tom (the father), is fairly reliable, and he’s just trying to do his best raising his son as a now-single, widowed father. It’s a credit to the author that I was suspicious of basically every character, and I still ended up incorrectly guessing the perpetrator.
The biggest theme of this book is father-son relationships, and I found it touching how North wrote about Tom’s son, Jake, who doesn’t quite fit in with his classmates, but also doesn’t seem to want to conform. Tom doesn’t want him to struggle socially, but also, as a credit to his late wife, wants his son to be himself. Ultimately, Tom’s unconditional love for his son is what brings the book to its satisfying conclusion.
Suffice it to say that this book is well worth your time if you don’t mind being slightly creeped out. Some thrillers can be a bit frustrating because the main characters often make dumb decisions, to their own detriment, but I found Tom’s motivations very believable.
Great read and I love the cover!