The Whisper Man

Alex North did a great job crafting this creepy and interesting thriller that was well-formed and mysterious. Some chills just in time for Halloween…remember to lock your windows and doors!

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.

— Alex North

Synopsis:

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy wants a new start for himself and his son, Jake. Upon moving into their new home – a creepy-looking old home in the neighboring town of Featherbank, strange things start happening… A boy’s recent disappearance is oddly reminiscent of the crimes of The Whisper Man (a jailed serial killer from 20 years ago). Tom makes some startling and disturbing discoveries about their new town and home. And Jake starts acting differently, and hears whispering at his window…

Review:

The hype was huge on this one, but fell short for me. Despite the inclusion of some realistic ghostly characters, it just wasn’t spooky. Don’t misunderstand, this was definitely a creepy story filled with serial killers, child abductions (how can you not feel creeped out at people preying on lonely children?), and bodies found. But it wasn’t spooky, nor did it keep me up at night (and I have a hard time sleeping on most days).

However, there were definitely sections where I wanted to hear one more chapter…and maybe just one more before I turn it off (I listened to the audiobook). On that note, the audiobook narrator was wonderful, and added some needed emotion and tension. I don’t think reading the physical book would increase my opinion.

This is not my preferred genre, so that has something to do with my underwhelm. Also, some of the storyline could have used more backstory to increase the understanding of the plot. I felt like some more in-depth information about these things would have made the story stronger:
1. Tom’s wife and their relationship (I felt his remorse, but not his love)
2. Jake’s bond and daily routine with his mother (who was Rebecca?!?!)
3. The Whisper Man’s crimes (I don’t really want to know, but as it was in the book, it felt weakly depicted)

Looking at the strengths of the book, there were many! The mystery was laid out in a pace slow enough to taunt you with wanting more, but not so slow as to bore you. I enjoyed the viewpoints of the three generations: Pete, the police officer who captured the original Whisper Man; Tom, the husband trying to piece his life back together and failing his son despite his best intentions; and Jake, the sweet 6 year old boy who feels unmoored after the loss of his mother. Their stories and perspectives are woven together elegantly and give the story some great added dimension.

Overall, a creepy and interesting thriller that was well-formed and mysterious. Alex North did a great job, but I don’t think this one was for me.

The butterflies didn’t have a choice, after all. That’s what things do. Even in the toughest of circumstances, they keep living.

— Alex North

The Whisper Man
by Alex North
Audio CD, Unabridged
Published August 20th 2019 by Macmillan Audio (first published June 13th 2019)

Summary

Alex North did a great job crafting this creepy and interesting thriller that was well-formed and mysterious. There were some really great aspects to this novel, but overall it wasn't for me.

— Cassie
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