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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 Featherba 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 Featherbank 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.


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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 Featherba 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 Featherbank 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.

30 review for The Whisper Man

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    I have read my way through 315 books to bring you my Top 10 Books of the Year (video) . Now you know that this one made the cut, check out my video review to see the others! It's not going to be easy, and I need to start with an apology. Because over the years I've told you many times that there's no such thing as monsters. I'm sorry that I lied. Tom arrives at Featherbank with seven-year-old Jake in tow to escape the memories of their recently deceased wife I have read my way through 315 books to bring you my Top 10 Books of the Year (video) . Now you know that this one made the cut, check out my video review to see the others! It's not going to be easy, and I need to start with an apology. Because over the years I've told you many times that there's no such thing as monsters. I'm sorry that I lied. Tom arrives at Featherbank with seven-year-old Jake in tow to escape the memories of their recently deceased wife and mother. And while their new house seems a bit sinister, Featherbank appears to be the idyllic town and the new start that they both craved. We were going to be safe here. We were going to be happy. And for the first week, we were. Twenty years ago, a string of murders rocked Featherbank. Little boys going missing in the dead of night only to show up dead themselves. The only clue was that they all heard a man whispering to them at night. The only trace of this man is a series of rhymes passed down from the older kids to the younger ones. 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. And while the killer was eventually caught, Detective Inspector Pete knows that there's more to it and has spent the last twenty years circling this dying case. But then, the unthinkable happens - a child was kidnapped just a few months ago in a method eerily similar... There is one thought on everyone's mind - the Whisper Man is back. 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. Overall - this one was riveting. I'm talking absolutely spine-tingling - and I do not use that lightly. The way Alex North conveyed the chilling interactions with the Whisper Man and his victims - oh man. Spine. Tingling. There were several times where I just had to put the book down for a moment to collect myself. I loved how realistic the characters were portrayed - Tom, Jake and Pete were wonderfully fleshed out and dynamic. Jake did lean (slightly) to being overly precocious but it did not ruin the experience for me. I also loved the way Alex North bent reality with the inclusion of the mysterious girl who only Jake could see - she kept me on my toes throughout the novel. Very rarely am I so completely engulfed in reading. This book truly had me hooked from cover to cover. If you are looking for your summer thriller - look no further. This is it! YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads I received a free ARC of The Whisper Man by Alex North from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Look at my photo and fake smile because there is nothing in this book makes you smile! My dog is scared so much and had nightmares because I read him some passages!!! Five- this book turned me into creepy paranoid who is afraid of her own shadow, leave the lights on before sleeping, scream as soon as hearing any approaching footsteps inside the house, wow actually I was doing all of these before, but it’s still good to point a finger to something as a reason of my awkward behaviors- stars!!!! As Look at my photo and fake smile because there is nothing in this book makes you smile! My dog is scared so much and had nightmares because I read him some passages!!! Five- this book turned me into creepy paranoid who is afraid of her own shadow, leave the lights on before sleeping, scream as soon as hearing any approaching footsteps inside the house, wow actually I was doing all of these before, but it’s still good to point a finger to something as a reason of my awkward behaviors- stars!!!! As soon as I got the printed copy of this book, I became so agitated because there was another gift with the copy! A FREAKING CARD! As soon as you open the card, a creepy young girl’s voice started to sing the ominous words: “If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken…” I threw away the card urgently like there was some burning object into my hands! But my vengeful husband saw my reaction! Oh the biggest mistake!!!(I always scare him off when he was watching a horror movie. I approach behind his back and at the most terrifying moment of the movie, I shake him and say BOOO! Ha ha you should see him cry like a baby!) So my husband; whose sign is Scorpio (relentless avenger), used this singing gift card for his revenge plan! When I was about to take a beautiful nap in front of the television playing “Secret Obsession` (The last worst Netflix fiasco), he put the card into my ear and open it. Yes, you should see me screaming like toddler! So I hesitated too many times to start this book. But I told myself, I’m living in LA, there are scariest thing at the streets (walking botoxed and bleached blondes everywhere). So I buckled up, put my earlaps (as a precaution for another prank attack from my husband) and start to read! I loved this book completely. The things most I liked: -DYSFUNCTIONAL FATHER-SON RELATIONSHIPS: From Frank and Francis( the freakiest father and son) to Pete and Tom and finally Tom and Jake. All of them have connection issues and all of them have inner demons to strangle. (First ones didn’t achieve to do that, Pete made his best and Tom is still trying.) STORYTELLING -Well-crafted story-telling, smartly organized twists and shocking surprises, unputdownablity, fast and furious pacing! CHARACTERS - All the characters have too many flaws and they don’t carry ideal heroic materials but I still loved every one of them. I loved to see how Pete is willing to pay his past dues and struggle but always win his fight with alcohol. I loved to see Tom’s efforts to connect with his son and show how much he cared for him even he was in deep pain of the recent loss of his beloved wife! And little, sweet but also a little bit scary Jake: This little one is combination of Sixth Sense’s Cole and Ring’s Aidan with amazing drawing skills and quiet flourished imagination. He’s the key element of the story. Because he’s always one step ahead from all the characters. (including the murderer) ENDING: Two parts of ending (Jake’s bedroom part and prison part) were fantastic and also spooky as hell! There was a “Friends’ episode” that Joe was hiding the “Shining`” book at the freezer because he was too afraid to finish it. I thought I should have done the same to this book, too many times. But I wanted to see the finish line and now I will probably suffer from nightmares! And that sweet singing card don’t help me!!! This book is definitely one of the best thrillers of this year! And maybe it’s my number one on my favorite thrillers list! (I know it’s early to decide, there are so many upcoming releases) But I highly recommend it to readers who are brave enough to face their nightmares (as Pete told little Jake, nightmares help us to get rid of our stuffed frustrations and overloaded anxiety), and real devoted fans of mystical, surprising, twisty thrillers.

  3. 5 out of 5

    chai ♡

    3½ stars The experience of reading this book is like falling asleep in the passenger seat of a car and startling awake with a shuddering jolt of fear, a cold window pressing hard against your cheek, a cool prickle at the base of your neck, an unfamiliar, impenetrable darkness outside—and the wrongness of it all hanging in the air like the sour clang of a bell. Where are you? Here, trapped in a book with unknowable terrors moving in subtly like dark air before a thunderstorm. And all of them are d 3½ stars The experience of reading this book is like falling asleep in the passenger seat of a car and startling awake with a shuddering jolt of fear, a cold window pressing hard against your cheek, a cool prickle at the base of your neck, an unfamiliar, impenetrable darkness outside—and the wrongness of it all hanging in the air like the sour clang of a bell. Where are you? Here, trapped in a book with unknowable terrors moving in subtly like dark air before a thunderstorm. And all of them are dogging Tom Kennedy’s heels. Tom’s life had bent to a wretched avenue when his wife died, and he sunk to the darkest depths of a scattered, aimless mourning. It was grief on top of deep weariness, and he feared he would snap like bowstrings. But his son’s—Jake’s—face would not let the threads unwound. Their relationship was like a flag, fragile on the wind, and they merely maneuvered around each other every day, as if the other were an awkward lamp or a misplaced vase. Clawing desperately at a fresh start, Tom moves with his son into the small town of Featherbank, but they’re soon lunged into a slow-mo nightmare. Featherbank’s past seems to have stored up violence like a battery, and when a boy goes missing, it comes surging back with vengeance. An ominous song that the townsfolk traded like coin spoke of The Whisper Man—Featherbank’s most notorious serial killer who lured his young victims away from their homes by whispering at their windows. But Frank Carter is locked away in prison—detective Peter Willis made sure of that—though rumors of him having had an accomplice were never put to bed. When Jake starts acting strangely, Tom can’t escape the feeling of having always been on a collision course with this place and this monster. That old rage rises in Tom, the one that swore it would burn down the world before he let any harm come to his son. “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.” North’s uncluttered, crisp prose helps push the narrative at a brisk pace, and though the mechanics of the plot sometimes seem to grind and stall and the final reveal does not pack as much rattling energy as one would hope, the emotional terrain of the book remains clear and compelling. I was fully invested and never bored. I became acutely aware, with every page-turn, of a quietly encroaching eventuality, and it made me want to scuttle under the covers like a frightened squid, a strange darkening slinking slowly forward like a cat across the lawn, as the novel marches with cool, classical inevitability toward its terrible conclusion. If you're paying attention, you may figure out who the monster is; the clues are there all along and the author puts them together in a clever way. The torn-open stomach of parenthood—and the anxieties that abound within it—have been fodder for fiction for years. And with The Whisper Man, North joins the conversation in a quietly powerful way. Tom’s undimmed love for his son is a lantern glow in the center of the story—a bright spot like a firefly guiding the way forward—and it gladdens my heart to think of it. When Tom had lost his wife, he’d thought he’d lost sight of any landmark that might have led his small family someplace happier. The thought of letting Jack down, of not being good enough of a parent, gave him such continual anguish. It came to him obtrusively, obsessively, always with a painful shock, and Tom felt the terrible truth of it in the seemingly unbridgeable distance between them—the impassable distance between a father and son even when they were within arm’s reach of each other. But when a threat to his son’s life bathed Tom in the furnace heat of a menace as unforgiving as a wildfire, the bedrock atrocity of his insecurities dwindled to ember and ash, driven out by a love so caustic it seared every nerve. His relationship with his son might be damaged and eroded, but it was not destroyed. They’ll jigsaw the jangled, broken thing it became, until it fit itself back together and begin, perhaps, to mend. All in all, a solid read. If you liked this review please consider leaving me a tip on ko-fi ! ☆ ko-fi ★ blog ☆ twitter ★ tumblr ☆

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is Alex North's crime debut and what a impressive debut it is. It drips with atmosphere, a disturbing story of The Whisper Man, who over 20 years ago kidnapped and murdered 5 local boys in the small town of Featherbank. Frank Carter is the Whisper Man, incarcerated in prison, reveling in his notoriety and reputation, playing mind games with 56 year old DI Pete Willis, the man who caught him. Despite the emotional cost, Pete has persevered through the years, visiting Carter in prison, in the This is Alex North's crime debut and what a impressive debut it is. It drips with atmosphere, a disturbing story of The Whisper Man, who over 20 years ago kidnapped and murdered 5 local boys in the small town of Featherbank. Frank Carter is the Whisper Man, incarcerated in prison, reveling in his notoriety and reputation, playing mind games with 56 year old DI Pete Willis, the man who caught him. Despite the emotional cost, Pete has persevered through the years, visiting Carter in prison, in the hope of a clue to where the body of victim, young Tony Smith, can be recovered so his grieving parents can at least achieve a small measure of peace. The monster that is Carter and his horrific acts, the creepy whispering outside his victim's bedrooms, have been immortalised in child lore and local nursery rhymes. Everyone thought that time of horror is over, but in the present, the troubled 6 year old youngster, Neil Spencer has gone missing. DI Amanda Beck is heading the desperate hunt to locate him, but there are eerie hints of the original Whisper Man. Did Frank Carter have a unknown accomplice or is this a copycat crime? A grief burdened author, Tom Kennedy, is fumbling through the wreckage of his life after the devastating sudden death of his beloved wife, Rebecca. It was Rebecca that was the closest to their sensitive 7 year old son, Jake. Tom has struggled to connect with his vulnerable and creative son, a boy with imaginary friends, with an outsider status, unable to fit in with his peers at school, leaving him open to being bullied. Tom, with Jake's agreement, relocates them to Featherbank, with every hope that new beginnings are what they both need to come to terms with the loss of Rebecca and forge a new path. However, it is not that easy, for Tom finds that 'grief is a stew with a thousand ingredients, and not all of them are palatable'. His fractious relationship with Jake, whom he loves absolutely, is a tightrope with Tom hanging on in there by comforting his son that whilst they might fight and argue, his love for Jake is true. In a disturbing narrative, Tom is to find that moving house is to immerse him and Jake in the most twisted of a horror of a nightmare, one that places Jake in the gravest of dangers, where the legend of The Whisper Man grows ever stronger. Alex North's writing is compulsive, hooking the reader immediately, with its themes of fathers and their challenging relationships with their sons, grief and loss, amidst a background of a child killer running rampant in the town. North's characterisation is stellar, as can be seen with Tom, trying so hard with Jake, making errors of judgement, slowly becoming aware of just how much Jake is like him, eventually beginning to make some inroads by getting some things right with his son. Then there is the odious Norman Collins, a collector of macabre serial killer murderabilia, obsessed with The Whisper Man, whilst there are traits that Tom finds that he shares with DI Pete Willis. A simply fantastic read, with some surprising twists, that will appeal to so many crime fiction fans. Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC.

  5. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **4.5-stars rounded up** This is EXACTLY how I like my Police Procedurals, with all the extra chills and thrills. Well done, Alex North. You've found a fan in me! After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes he and his young son, Jake, need a fresh start. A new place will provide a space where they both can heal. With that in mind, he purchases a home and moves them to the small town of Featherbank. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to Tom, the town has a sordid and frightening past that may n **4.5-stars rounded up** This is EXACTLY how I like my Police Procedurals, with all the extra chills and thrills. Well done, Alex North. You've found a fan in me! After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes he and his young son, Jake, need a fresh start. A new place will provide a space where they both can heal. With that in mind, he purchases a home and moves them to the small town of Featherbank. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to Tom, the town has a sordid and frightening past that may not be so past after all. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and killed five Featherbank residents. He was captured, tried for his crimes and imprisoned. The killer's name was Frank Carter, known to the world as The Whisper Man. He lured children out of their homes by whispering to them through their windows and doors. The Whisper Man has become a bit of a legend in the small town and even decades later, his crimes are fresh in the minds of many. When a boy in Jake's class gets abducted, the similarities to the Whisper Man crimes, cause many to wonder if he had an accomplice all those years ago, or if perhaps a clever copy cat has surfaced. This story follows the perspectives of Tom and Jake, as well as two detectives working the case, and even the killer himself. I loved the atmosphere of this one. It felt gritty and heavy. Any scene with Jake in it, your classic creepy kid, left me entirely unsettled. Creepy kids, y'all, they're real and I'm not having it! The action was high-intensity and I felt the investigatory portions were well constructed. I will admit, I was a little nervous going into this because I had heard mixed reviews. However, I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely read more books by this author. Thank you so much to the publisher, Celadon Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. My apologies for taking so long. It was definitely worth the wait!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    BOTM AUGUST PICK! The Whisper Man is one of those reads that I didn't even slow down to take notes or mark quotes for my review; I blew through at record speed, finishing this one within a single sitting. I couldn't put it down until I had every last detail of the case solved! I'll be honest, based on the synopsis I was bracing myself for a Silence of the Lambs wannabe: a devilishly charismatic serial killer sitting in prison who will only talk to a particular detective about a case involving ano BOTM AUGUST PICK! The Whisper Man is one of those reads that I didn't even slow down to take notes or mark quotes for my review; I blew through at record speed, finishing this one within a single sitting. I couldn't put it down until I had every last detail of the case solved! I'll be honest, based on the synopsis I was bracing myself for a Silence of the Lambs wannabe: a devilishly charismatic serial killer sitting in prison who will only talk to a particular detective about a case involving another serial killer sounds all too familiar, but please believe me when I tell you that this is where the similarities end and the unique aspects of the plot begin. Also, I know that this appears on the surface to be another run-of-the-mill police procedural, but it is so much more than that. Gather round, friends, and let's chat about this stunning debut for a moment. There are a lot of individual threads running loose throughout the course of the story, but the good news is that most of them converge towards the end of the novel, which makes for some satisfying twists and emotional reunions. I'm going to tiptoe around specifics, because there's a delicate balance of reeling you in and not giving anything away when it comes to this terrifying tale, and I'd hate to be the one to ruin your experience with The Whisper Man. This is a story about the abductions and murders of many children, for sure, but it's so much deeper than that. We also have an exposition on grief, from multiple characters on many levels, and how that grief can affect our daily actions, our thought process, and how we connect with those who need us most. It's also an alert to how our actions have a ripple affect to those around us, and can alter the course of our local history. I think I'll leave the summing up there, but I do feel it worth mentioning that, although I guessed the who was behind the second batch of murders, there were many twists I didn't see coming sprinkled throughout the book, and this was way more satisfying than one big twist at the end that ultimately ends up being a Hail Mary. I'm so pleased to see that the Russo brothers are adapting this for film, as I think they'll give this story the proper attention it deserves in making the film more than just a gory tale. Highly recommended to readers who don't mind graphic violence and are looking for that next thriller that they won't be able to put down. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    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. ======================================== …over the years I’ve told you many times that there’s no such thing as monsters. I’m sorry that I lied. Author - Your guess is as good as mine – Alex North is a nom de plume - image from D 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. ======================================== …over the years I’ve told you many times that there’s no such thing as monsters. I’m sorry that I lied. Author - Your guess is as good as mine – Alex North is a nom de plume - image from Dificonomist.com A child has disappeared. Snatched from the streets. His taking bears an uncanny resemblance to a series of child abductions that occurred twenty years ago. Which is a problem because the perpetrator of those crimes, one Frank Carter, has been nicely tucked away in prison ever since he was convicted of the crimes. Deputy Inspector Pete Willis should know. He is the copper who put Carter away. Willis is called in to assist a young DI on the case, because of his familiarity with Carter. That familiarity includes knowing that one of the missing boys was never found. It has included visits to the prison where the large--near 300 pound, 6’5”--Carter does his best Hannibal Lecter impression, teasing Willis with obscure clues, without giving him much, really, but letting it be known he knows more than he should. Did Carter have an undiscovered associate two decades ago? Does he have a partner now? Tom Kennedy, a writer, and his seven-year-old son, Jake, have just undergone a tragedy of their own. Rebecca was found dead in their home, Jake being the one who discovered his mother’s body. The memories too much, Tom has moved to Featherbank, a pleasant-seeming community, to an odd-looking house, hoping for a fresh start. Our house. We were here. I pulled into the driveway. The house still looked the same, of course, but the building seemed to have different ways of staring out at the world. The first time I’d seen it, it had seemed forbidding and frightening—almost dangerous—and then the second, I’d thought it had character. Now, just for a moment, the odd arrangement of windows reminded me of a beaten face, with an eye pushed up over a badly bruised cheek, the skull injured and lopsided. I shook my head and the image disappeared. But an ominous feeling remained. Uh oh. Makes one wonder if maybe, just maybe, there might be something special about the house, and/or its prior(?) residents and not in a happy way. One manifestation of Jake’s post-mom trauma is a special friend, which causes him no end of grief, at school in particular, but Jake is not the most social. He will take his friendships where he finds them, and the girl in the blue-and-white-checked dress is the only one who wants to play with him. Do you remember?” “I guess.” “Say it, then.” He sighed, put the pencil down, and looked at her. As always, she was wearing a blue-and-white-checked dress, and he could see the hash of a graze on her right knee that never seemed to heal. While the other girls here had neat hair, cut level at the shoulders or tied back in a tight ponytail, the little girl’s was spread out messily to one side and looked like she hadn’t brushed it in a long time. From the expression on her face now, it was obvious she wasn’t going to give up, so he repeated what she’d told him. “If you leave a door half open . . .” It should have been surprising that he did remember it all, really, because he hadn’t made any special effort to make the words stick. But for some reason, they had. One day, when Tom overhears Jake talking in two distinct voices, he becomes alarmed, as Jake’s imaginary friend has always been a silent partner, one whom Tom has come to accept. When Jake tells him that the other voice was “the boy in the floor” we are well into creepytown, and when Jake starts hearing whispering, the sort of whispering reported by abductees two decades back, it goes from weird to threatening. The idea for the story, or at least one element of it, originated in an experience the author had with his son: When we moved into our new house, there was a day when my son, who was about four at the time, talked about playing with “the boy in the floor.” That stuck with me, and I eventually decided that Jake in the book would have imaginary friends and some of them would be quite frightening. The story developed from there. - from the Celadon interviewAnother is the notion of male parenting Very specifically, I wanted to write about a widowed father struggling to connect with his grieving son. - from the Celadon interviewFather-son relationships permeate the story. Tom and Jake’s relationship is where our focus lies. Tom is a well-realized character, and I am sure there are many of us fathers who can appreciate the struggles Tom goes through trying to connect with and be the best father he can to his young son, even without sharing Tom and Jake’s particular trauma. Tom and Jake both recovering from the death of Rebeca Kennedy does not make it any easier. Not only does Tom struggle with his relationship with his son, his relationship with his own father ended the day he witnessed at least a part of a terrifying parental fight. Raging Dad left, never to return. DI Willis has demons of his own, among them his guilt at not being able to stop Frank Carter sooner all those years ago, and not being able to get Carter to give him the burial site for the last of the children he had murdered, despite Carter luring him in from time to time. And one must, of course, wonder what sort of parenting Carter had gotten. One creepy motif that pops up from time to time is that of a Corpse Moth. You can imagine where it might be found. It shows up in some other places as well. Another dark and wonderful element is a collector of the unspeakable, or is there more to him? The story is told from alternating perspectives. Primary among these is Tom Kennedy’s. We get his take in a first-person voice. We also see some things from Jake’s perspective. The emotional progress of the story flows through them. Pete’s chapters give us, in addition to the personal angst which defines his existence, the gumshoe progress of the investigation, the field visits, interrogations, analysis of evidence, appended by a handful of chapters from the perspective of DI Amanda Peck, the primary on the investigation. There is a smattering of other chapters from other perspectives, among about seventy chapters in the book. The short chapters help keep the pace fast. While you will be able to knock out a bunch at a dedicated reading session, you can also get through a few chapters on a bus or train ride, or in some short reading at bed time. I warn you, though, depending on what parts of the book you are on, you might find it difficult to fall asleep. It takes a fair bit for a book to get a rise of the scary sort out of me. There were several instances, while reading this book, in which the hair on my arms stood up at attention, and it had nothing to do with a breeze or a change in temperature. Seriously, seriously creepy, in the best possible way. Gripes? Not really, except the frustration of not knowing Alex North’s real name. I wouldn’t want to say this too softly. THE WHISPER MAN IS A FIRST-RATE, ENGAGING, SCARY THRILLER THAT WILL MAKE YOU CARE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS, MAKE YOU WANT TO FIGURE OUT THE MYSTERY ALONG WITH THEM, AND MAY VERY WELL SCARE THE BEJESUS OUT OF YOU. IT MIXES KIDS, COPS AND HORRORS FOR AN UNBEATABLE READING EXPERIENCE. CAN YOU HEAR ME IN THE BACK? My skin tingled as I remembered what had happened last night—the figure I’d imagined standing at the base of my bed, its hair splayed out like the little girl that Jake had drawn. The sensation of my foot being shaken. Wake up, Tom. Review Posted – August 9, 2019 Publication -----USA – Celadon Books – August 20, 2019 -----USA - Trade paperback - June 6, 2020 -----UK- Penguin Books UK – June 13, 2019 There are whispers that I received this e-book from NetGalley. Come closer, there is something else I need to tell you. Sorry, still too far, can you come just a bit nearer? Don’t worry, I won’t bite. Just a wee bit more, just one step. There you go, now, GOTCHYA! December 2019 - The Whisper Man is named one of Amazon 's Best Books of 2019 (Mysteries and Thrillers) - fuh sure! =============================EXTRA STUFF From Celadon Books - Alex North was born in Leeds, England, where he now lives with his wife and son. Links to the author’s Twitter and GR pages Interview -----Celadon Books - Author Alex North on His Suspenseful Thriller The Whisper Man - by Rebecca Wright -----Celadon - Discussion with Alex North - A facebook Q & A with the author, mostly focused on The Whisper Man, but with some Qs having to do with The Shadows as well Excerpts -----EW -----Dead Good Books -----The Reading List My review of North's 2020 release, The Shadows Items of Interest -----The Corpse Moth -----The Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones – a fantasy coming-of-age book Tom had loved as a child, and preserved to read to his own son. ----- The Whisper Man snapped up in Hollywood film deal - The Russo Brothers (Avengers: Endgame) have acquired rights to the novel, to adapt it into a motion picture. -----The author offers some insight into his inspirations in Kindle Notes and Highlights

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    The Whisper Man is Alex North’s debut thriller, and what an absolutely riveting read it is! It’s some twenty years since Frank Carter began a life sentence for the abduction and murder of five little boys. Carter had earned himself the nickname ‘The Whisper Man’ after his sinister method of whispering at the doors and windows of his victims in order to lure them outside. Now though, another little boy has gone missing in similar circumstances, and the peaceful village of Featherbank is once again The Whisper Man is Alex North’s debut thriller, and what an absolutely riveting read it is! It’s some twenty years since Frank Carter began a life sentence for the abduction and murder of five little boys. Carter had earned himself the nickname ‘The Whisper Man’ after his sinister method of whispering at the doors and windows of his victims in order to lure them outside. Now though, another little boy has gone missing in similar circumstances, and the peaceful village of Featherbank is once again fearful of what the outcome may be. Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake are still drowning in grief a year after the death of Tom’s beloved wife Rebecca, but Tom is hoping that a move to the sleepy little village of Featherbank will help them start a new chapter in life. The new house isn’t really what Tom would have chosen, it’s a creepy run down old house but when Jake saw it he wouldn’t look at anything else, he loved it on sight and Tom wanted so much for Jake to be happy. He was having a problem communicating with his son, (Rebecca was always the one that Jake turned to) and he hoped that this move would help bring them closer together. DI Amanda Beck heads the new investigation into the missing boy, but DI Pete Willis ( the investigator in the original Whisper Man case) is also brought in to help. It’s always been thought that Carter may have had an accomplice and Willis’s intimate knowledge of the original case could be crucial. Told from the POV of Tom, Jake, DI Amanda Beck, and DI Pete Willis, this is a deftly crafted and compelling thriller, where the author has grasped the importance of pace, (and that), combined with a narrative that wastes not a single word, each word being designed to hook you into the next, ensures that it’s a winner. ‘The Whisper Man’ is most certainly a best seller in waiting, and Alex North should be justifiably proud! *Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for my ARC. I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    Five Creepy Spooky Stars 'If you leave a door half open, you'll hear the whisper spoken. If you play outside alone soon you won 't be going home. If your Windows left unlatched, you'll hear him tapping at the glass. If your lonely, sad, and blue, the whisper man will come for you. Tom Kennedy has just lost his wife and he and his seven year old son, Jake move to Featherbank. Unfortunately there is a serial killer that is preying on this small town and an investigation is going on. Twenty years ago Five Creepy Spooky Stars 'If you leave a door half open, you'll hear the whisper spoken. If you play outside alone soon you won 't be going home. If your Windows left unlatched, you'll hear him tapping at the glass. If your lonely, sad, and blue, the whisper man will come for you. Tom Kennedy has just lost his wife and he and his seven year old son, Jake move to Featherbank. Unfortunately there is a serial killer that is preying on this small town and an investigation is going on. 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. Then twenty years later a boy in the town goes missing and it looks like what happened twenty years ago is starting all over again, but the whisper man from twenty years ago is in jail, so who is this Whisper Man. Amanda Beck and Pete Willis are on the hunt to find the boy before it is too late. This book grabbed me from the very beginning and did not let go until the end. I loved this book. It was so spooky and creepy and it had a supernatural sinister vibe to it. This is a fast paced read with very short chapters which I love. I wish every book was written with short chapters. This is a dark suspenseful thriller. It is so addicting. I love serial killer books and this one kept me guessing. Just the idea of a serial killer whispering at people's windows at night freaks me out. I really loved the premise of this book. You will want to read this one at night with the light on. This book is very creepy but the way that it is written, I do not think that it was scary. It was an intense read. My favorite character was Jake, and he was so real. His character was so well developed. He just came to life. I loved reading about him. This was a Traveling Friends group read. I want to thank Celadon Books for the free arc of the book in exchange for a honest review. Available Now!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    If this book had a Tinder profile it would read something like this: Cliché troubled detective haunted by previous case seeks unknown creepy boogeyman. Must have Daddy issues and enjoy torturing small children. ------------------------------ Although I enjoyed this quick read, there's really nothing novel going on here. It's pretty tame compared to similar books in this genre. I was left wanting more. More darkness, more tension, more backstory. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an h If this book had a Tinder profile it would read something like this: Cliché troubled detective haunted by previous case seeks unknown creepy boogeyman. Must have Daddy issues and enjoy torturing small children. ------------------------------ Although I enjoyed this quick read, there's really nothing novel going on here. It's pretty tame compared to similar books in this genre. I was left wanting more. More darkness, more tension, more backstory. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    4.5 stars Shh can you hear that? Tom Kennedy is looking to make a new start. His wife died and he and his son, Jack, have moved into a new home in a new town in hopes of doing just that. Tom is not aware that twenty years ago, in their new town, a serial killer nicknamed the "Whisper Man" lured young boys away from the safety of their homes by whispering into their windows at night. He just wants to start over and protect his son, who is a creative child who frequently talks to his imaginary frien 4.5 stars Shh can you hear that? Tom Kennedy is looking to make a new start. His wife died and he and his son, Jack, have moved into a new home in a new town in hopes of doing just that. Tom is not aware that twenty years ago, in their new town, a serial killer nicknamed the "Whisper Man" lured young boys away from the safety of their homes by whispering into their windows at night. He just wants to start over and protect his son, who is a creative child who frequently talks to his imaginary friend. An imaginary friend who knows a riddle, one that serves as a warning about the whisper man. Prior to their move, a local boy, Neil Spencer, went missing reigniting old fears and rumors as this boy's case resembled the missing boys’ cases from twenty years ago. Did the Whisper Man work alone all those years ago? Is there a copy cat killer out there? Are the crimes even related? DI Amanda Beck is the lead on the case but must rely on DI Pete Willis to help as he arrested the Whisper Man twenty years ago. His knowledge may prove crucial if these cases are related. Police detective Pete Willis visits the Whisper Man (Frank Carter) in prison in hopes of finding out some information. Frank Carter enjoys his notoriety almost as much as he enjoys taunting DI Willis. The body of one of his victims has never been found and that case has always haunted DI Willis. Is he too close to this or does he have what it takes to solve the case? I seriously loved this book. It was creepy and captivating at the same time. It sucked me in, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Alex North has himself a winner here. This one lures the reader in right away. He has also created interesting and likable characters. Pete is dealing with his own personal issues while trying his best to be a good detective. Tom and Jack are likable characters who recently experienced a loss. This pulls on the readers heartstrings right away and helps create tension when strange things begin to happen. This book evokes emotion! Yes, this book is creepy and eerie, but it is also a book about relationships. Relationships between fathers and sons. The relationship between a Detective and the serial killer he helped put behind bars. There is an incredible human element here. When you have characters you care about, you don't want anything bad to happen to them, then when it looks as if they may be in danger... your heart begins pounding, and you begin to wonder what is going to happen next! Phew! Another plus is that this book is not gory or graphic. Losing a child is every parent’s worst fear and we are told it happens, but we are not shown anything graphic. North was able to create chilling tension without having any horrific scenes. This book is told in various POV's which really worked move the plot along. Another nice addition were the twists and turns along the way. Little reveals leading up to the end. This made the book move at just the right pace for this reader. Nothing felt rushed. The pace along with the plot kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more. Captivating book that focuses on the people and the crime. Although there is an investigation to find the kidnapper/killer, I would not call this a police procedural book. Again, the focus is on the characters. This was a thoroughly engrossing and chilling book which was inspired by the author’s own son who told him he was playing with “the boy in the floor”. Thank you to Celadon Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    A little bit of Silence of the Lambs A little bit of The Shining A very good thriller. I will say that for me it was not mind-blowing or anything like that, but I still enjoyed it. For those who enjoy suspense/mystery novels, I don't think you can go wrong giving this one a shot. I have seen a few people indicate they are nervous to start this one because they feel it will be too scary. I personally didn't find it to be all that scary. There were certainly a few chilling events within the plot, but A little bit of Silence of the Lambs A little bit of The Shining A very good thriller. I will say that for me it was not mind-blowing or anything like that, but I still enjoyed it. For those who enjoy suspense/mystery novels, I don't think you can go wrong giving this one a shot. I have seen a few people indicate they are nervous to start this one because they feel it will be too scary. I personally didn't find it to be all that scary. There were certainly a few chilling events within the plot, but nothing that will keep me up at night. Others may disagree on this point, but I think it is pretty tame on the scary front. One of the most interesting things to me are the relationships in this novel. I cannot get into it too much without the danger of spoilers. But, I will say that it felt like all of the relationships were at least slightly unconventional. Because of this, I was constantly a little off balance and nervous when the characters were interacting. I think there is a good chance that this is what the author was going for, so I applaud them for that! I have no problem recommending this book to anyone who enjoys the mystery/thriller genre. It is not all that long and it was easy to read so it should make for a quick and satisfying suspense fix.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Stalking Alex North’s debut, The Whisper Man is an outstanding thriller and one of the best crime novels I’ve read this year. In tones similar to Stephen King, he ramps up compelling suspense with tantalising supernatural possibilities. Alex North structured his novel in a way that is extremely appealing to me, where one character narrates in the first person and the other threads are provided in the third person. This tends to create an opportunity for great story-telling with a personal view to Stalking Alex North’s debut, The Whisper Man is an outstanding thriller and one of the best crime novels I’ve read this year. In tones similar to Stephen King, he ramps up compelling suspense with tantalising supernatural possibilities. Alex North structured his novel in a way that is extremely appealing to me, where one character narrates in the first person and the other threads are provided in the third person. This tends to create an opportunity for great story-telling with a personal view to draw you into a particular character. Tom Kennedy is an author and is finding life difficult as he is still reeling from the death of his wife. His young son, Jake, is worryingly detached from other people, every conversation he tries to have with Jake, every attempt to understand his son’s feelings, or express his own pain and loneliness, just get inadvertently twisted to compound the problem. The jarring recognition that the harder you try, the more frustrated you get, and the further away from normality you slip. In an attempt to make a fresh start away from the sad, heart-breaking and irrepressible memories, Tom and Jake move home to the town of Featherbank. Jake, however, remains in his own bubble, an outsider, and is often seen talking openly to his imaginary friend, even while at school. The imaginary friend has uncanny premonitions when danger and confrontation loom. These are the characteristics that align with the quest of a serial killer known as The Whisper Man. “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.” Featherbank has a dark sinister past were twenty years ago, the Whisper Man abducted and killed five young boys. All the bodies except young Tony Smith's were found and the killer, Frank Carter, was caught by DI Pete Willis and is still serving time in prison. Pete battles a screaming desire for alcohol and confronts psychological problems regarding the investigation into the Whisper Man. He has always felt that with the unrecovered body of Tony, and events that didn’t align in the case, that there was an accomplice. Now 20 years later DI Amanda Beck is leading an investigation into a missing boy, that has all the hallmarks of The Whisper Man. Pete is brought back into the investigation and they must consider if it's an accomplice resurfacing or a copy-cat killer, and why does Frank Carter appear to have an awareness of what is happening? All these uneasy questions and multiple surprises churn throughout this fascinating plot. The horror is just about to get real for Tom and Jake as a devilish figure seems to be conversing in whispers with Jake to open the front door. This thriller is tense and edgy with an evil phantom that lurks in dark corners and just outside windows and doors. The Whisper Man is a totally captivating and engrossing thriller, with marvellous characterisations and deep psychological interplay. The ghost-like threat from a killer is wonderfully developed and played at a pace that maintained an impressive plot momentum. I would highly recommend this book and I’d like to thank Celadon Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC copy in return for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    The Whisper Man by Alex North is a 2019 Celadon Books publication. Unsettling, spine-tingling, and emotionally charged thriller! After the untimely death of his wife, Tom Kennedy feels like a fresh start in a new location, might help him and his young son, Jake, move forward from their grief and begin the healing process. But almost immediately after moving to Featherbank, a new set of problems presents themselves. Jake has trouble adjusting to his new school, just as another boy Jake’s age goes The Whisper Man by Alex North is a 2019 Celadon Books publication. Unsettling, spine-tingling, and emotionally charged thriller! After the untimely death of his wife, Tom Kennedy feels like a fresh start in a new location, might help him and his young son, Jake, move forward from their grief and begin the healing process. But almost immediately after moving to Featherbank, a new set of problems presents themselves. Jake has trouble adjusting to his new school, just as another boy Jake’s age goes missing. The child’s disappearance prompts concerns that another serial killer is on the loose in Featherbank- one with the same MO as the dreaded ‘Whisper Man’ who murdered five people twenty years ago. The case becomes personal for Tom and Jake when Jake begins having nightmares, claiming he can hear someone whispering to him at his window…. Meanwhile, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis are working overtime to find this missing boy before another child disappears… I’ve been avoiding hyped up thrillers, books that everyone is reading, and mostly gushing over, because my experience with these situations has taught me a few hard lessons- mainly, don’t buy into the hype, because I’m only setting myself up for a big disappointment. But, earlier this year, another book by this same publisher became a huge sleeper hit, and although I was highly skeptical, I caved and checked the book out the library. Well, much to my surprise, the book was very good. So, when ‘The Whisper Man’ started to generate a little buzz, I decided to jump on board the already crowded train, just see if lightning might strike twice… And lo and behold, it did!! But, to be honest, when one gets right down to the nitty and the gritty, this book is basically another thriller with a serial killer trope. However, what sets it apart from so many other cookie-cutter novels in this category, is the characterizations, and the author’s ability to explore the real psychology behind the character’s actions, without compromising the intensity of the real terror one feels while reading this book. The story is packed with strange, creepy, atmospheric vibes, promising Tom and Jake are being threatened by true evil. While the mystery is compelling, and the atmosphere is thick and heavy, the author takes a story of horror and dread, and adds in a deeper, more complex angle- a topic that isn’t explored often enough in general fiction, much less in a thriller- the dynamics of the father-son relationship. The story is very masculine, with the few female characters being suspect, bland, or not very nice-like Jake’s teacher, for example. I never bristled though, because the male leads are portrayed as flawed, burdened, troubled, and vulnerable, and the book never once veered off into an alpha male, testosterone driven story. From start to finish this is a well written, intense, highly suspenseful thriller- but it is also smart and profound, ending not only with extreme, exhilarating relief, as I released a breath I didn't realize I was holding- 😉, but also on a note of redemptive satisfaction. Overall, this is another winner for Celadon Books, but as a reader, I’m super excited about Alex North! If this is his debut novel, I wonder how much his talent will develop over time. 5 stars

  15. 4 out of 5

    David Putnam

    I know a lot of folks love this book but unfortunately, I’ll have to be a dissenting vote. The books I like/love drop me into the fictive dream and hold me there. I live the book through the character’s eyes. I think about the book when I’m away from it. The characters come alive. In the Whisper Man this didn’t happen for me. I know I’m a harsher critic probably because I also write so please don’t take this critique to heart. For me there are three issues with this book. First, I think the book c I know a lot of folks love this book but unfortunately, I’ll have to be a dissenting vote. The books I like/love drop me into the fictive dream and hold me there. I live the book through the character’s eyes. I think about the book when I’m away from it. The characters come alive. In the Whisper Man this didn’t happen for me. I know I’m a harsher critic probably because I also write so please don’t take this critique to heart. For me there are three issues with this book. First, I think the book can’t make up its mind whether it’s a thriller or a mystery and this creates some confusion. There are several definitions of both. I have been told at writer’s conferences that you cannot have a thriller without the book being in third person. This is because of jeopardy. In first person, you can’t as a reader say, “Oh, no Bruno, don’t open that door.” If Bruno can’t know there is a bad guy lurking behind the door there becomes a great missed opportunity for tension. In third person (with a pov shift) the reader can know there’s a lurker. The other definition of a thriller vs mystery is that in a thriller the reader knows what’s at stake and in a mystery the reader is reading to find out who dunit. And as far as formatting, in a mystery format (rule of thumb) there are 25 to 35 chapters with an odd number of scenes in each chapter. With a thriller format, there are 60 to 80 chapters with one scene in each chapter. The Whisper Man has the thriller format, and yet it’s a mystery structure because we don’t know the bad guy and we are reading to find out. Back to the fictive dream. To maintain the fictive dream, you avoid speed bumps at all costs. For me, one speed bump is too many points of view. Each time there is a shift in point of view the author risks dumping the reader out of the story. In this case the first-person point of view is skillfully done (with the exception of the reminiscent voice). There are far too many additional third person points of view which makes the story jumbled and almost episodic. An example of the reminiscent voice is in the Crisis part of the book when the father is standing at the door talking to the kidnapper. This scene should have sharp language and syntax instead here’s a quote: “But I also noted Saunders use of present tense and began doubting myself even more.” Why stop the action, the tension by using this form? The active form is: “Did Saunders just use present tense? Am I hearing things? Here’s another one in the reminiscent voice: “I got up the step just in time to wedge my leg in. The door slammed agonizingly on the sides of my knee, but I ignored the pain and pushed against it, bracing one hand inside the jamb, and then my back against the wood heaving as hard as I could.” Here’s the active form. I leapt up two steps. Stuck my leg in the closing door. He slammed it on my knee. Bright lights of pain flashed before my eyes. All of the above ruined the story for me and dispelled the fictive dream. Anyway on to the next book in search of that ever elusive fictive dream. David Putnam author of the Bruno Johnson series.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)

    If you're lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you." 4.25 stars 20 years ago, a serial killer known as “The Whisper Man” abducted and killed several young children in a small English town called Featherbank. In the present moment, a little boy has been abducted and it seems that “The Whisper Man” is back at play-- EXCEPT he is in jail. Is there a copycat on the loose or is something more sinister going on in Featherbank? In order to make a fresh start, Tom Kennedy and his so If you're lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you." 4.25 stars 20 years ago, a serial killer known as “The Whisper Man” abducted and killed several young children in a small English town called Featherbank. In the present moment, a little boy has been abducted and it seems that “The Whisper Man” is back at play-- EXCEPT he is in jail. Is there a copycat on the loose or is something more sinister going on in Featherbank? In order to make a fresh start, Tom Kennedy and his son Jake move to Featherbank into a house that is described as being monsterlike and ugly. Once they move in, weird things begin to happen. Jake hears voices and his imaginary friend tells him details about The Whisper Man that he shouldn’t be able to know. Tom is struggling to keep things together for his son, but at the same time worries that something isn’t quite right with his little boy. At the same time, DI Pete Willis, the chief investigator on the original Whisper Man case, is being dragged into the new case. Still haunted by the original killer, his connection to the case goes much deeper than anyone knows. The POV shifts from Tom, Jake, Pete, and Amanda Beck--the DI on the new case. All of their chapters are interesting and equally unreliable. Each had me constantly questioning the identity of the killer. I found Jake’s character to be the most interesting; he is one is a peculiar child and it was quite fascinating to be inside his head. The Whisper Man is riveting from the start. The menacing tone drew me in and had me scared sh*tless (but I am a wimp) and found that I couldn’t read this late at night. There is a high level of tension--I never knew what to expect or what was going to come around the corner. There are also some good twists that I didn’t see coming. This is a highly entertaining, well-crafted psychological thriller with many layers that all tie together, down to the chilling final sentence. I highly recommend and look forward to seeing more from Alex North in the future. I received an ARC of The Whisper Man from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    **ONE OF MY TOP MYSTERIES OF 2019, THE AUTHOR HAS A NEW BOOK PUBLISHING IN JULY 2020 CALLED "THE SHADOWS" :) ** Tom Kennedy is looking for a fresh start for himself and his son Jake. His wife died the past year and they have been having a tough time adjusting to her being gone and grieving, both together and each on their own. He finds a house that is affordable in a small town that looks as though it would be safe, with a country feel and a well respected school. As soon as they move in, however **ONE OF MY TOP MYSTERIES OF 2019, THE AUTHOR HAS A NEW BOOK PUBLISHING IN JULY 2020 CALLED "THE SHADOWS" :) ** Tom Kennedy is looking for a fresh start for himself and his son Jake. His wife died the past year and they have been having a tough time adjusting to her being gone and grieving, both together and each on their own. He finds a house that is affordable in a small town that looks as though it would be safe, with a country feel and a well respected school. As soon as they move in, however, Tom begins to have second feelings about his decision. His son starts talking to his “imaginary” friend even more and at one time he speaks in a man’s voice. Because there is a missing child, the police department including detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis are working tirelessly to find the child. The abduction has an “unnerving resemblance” to serial killings 20 years ago by Frank Carter, who is now in prison. Tom finds a strange man creeping around his garage but then the man comes to the door and introduces himself as someone who used to live there. Tom doesn’t believe it and starts to investigate the garage, what he finds will begin to entangle him in the current investigation into the missing boy. I did enjoy this read although for some reason it really creeped me out right from the beginning, it's probably because it had to do with children and I sometimes have problems with that. However, this novel did not resort to continuous gruesome images, most of the details of what Frank had done to the little boys had been left to our imagination. which is a good way to keep up the suspense, I think. The readers can probably conjure up worse imagines than the author could write. I also liked that he had very short chapters, and different POV, I think this added to the tension. Just when you were getting to something important, switch, it was back to the other thread of the story. The book flowed well, kept my interest and I finished it in two sittings. I thought the character development was great, Jake and Tom, Pete and Amanda, all of these characters were well developed and I found them interesting. Frank Carter was one of the scariest, most vile characters that I have come across in literature! Towards the end we find out that though he has admitted to the killings he still has a secret that no one knows and he loves to gloat about it. Francis, whom you will meet later in the book, is almost a split personality, not clinically but he did a good job at hiding behind his false face. He is able to disguise his true self so completely that no one thought about him. I will leave you to discover who he is and what he knows. This is a good thriller, well written with great characters and lots of human emotion with particular attention to father-son relationships. This was a Traveling Friends read and I was provided with a free ARC from the publisher.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Holly B

    Creepy vibes with a bit of local folklore. This book was much more than I expected (in a good way). Stellar writing and plotting with a darkness that slowly creeps its way into the heart of the tale. Tom is a doting father and after the untimely death of his wife, he wants a new start with his son, Jake. Couldn't a new town bring a new beginning? They both need to heal. He chooses the town of Featherbank. It sounds so comforting and warm. How could he have known? The house is old. It has a Creepy vibes with a bit of local folklore. This book was much more than I expected (in a good way). Stellar writing and plotting with a darkness that slowly creeps its way into the heart of the tale. Tom is a doting father and after the untimely death of his wife, he wants a new start with his son, Jake. Couldn't a new town bring a new beginning? They both need to heal. He chooses the town of Featherbank. It sounds so comforting and warm. How could he have known? The house is old. It has a history. Something unnerving...but Jake was entranced. This was a captivating and creepy tale. There is a mystery, a past crime and investigation, a loving father/son relationship and a bit of a sixth sense feel. Can you hear the whispers? Thanks to Celedon/ NG for my review copy. This one is out on 8/20/2019    

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beata

    Now, this was quite a ride! I listened to the audiobook late at night and finished this morning, and I must say the reader did a grand job! I was scared! And I'm not that easily scared by a thriller. There are so many thrillers with the theme of child abduction or murder, but Mr North added his own original voice to the genre. What did I like? Different points of view, and very well constructed character of Jake. His vulnerabilty made me want to jump into the novel and help and protect him. The at Now, this was quite a ride! I listened to the audiobook late at night and finished this morning, and I must say the reader did a grand job! I was scared! And I'm not that easily scared by a thriller. There are so many thrillers with the theme of child abduction or murder, but Mr North added his own original voice to the genre. What did I like? Different points of view, and very well constructed character of Jake. His vulnerabilty made me want to jump into the novel and help and protect him. The atmosphere of eeriness throughout the novel is what not all thrillers offer. This one does. There is one little thing that disagreed with me, however, I know it is justified by the plot. I think Mr North set the bar for himself high regarding his future novels. I hope he continues writing at this level as this is what I, as a reader, expect him to do.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    This was SO eerie and creepy. The ending was a little anticlimactic, but as a whole I still really enjoyed this and was mega squigged out the entire time.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kaceey

    You might want to keep the lights on and the doors locked while reading this one!😳 Tom and his son Jake are looking to make a fresh start after the death of Toms’ wife. And hopefully, Jake can finally find a place where he’ll fit in. After all, Jake he is not your typical, everyday boy. He has imaginary friends. One that he can be heard talking to at times. But will a new town and a new school be enough to heal both of them? Only, this town has a dark history of a serial killer targeting young boys You might want to keep the lights on and the doors locked while reading this one!😳 Tom and his son Jake are looking to make a fresh start after the death of Toms’ wife. And hopefully, Jake can finally find a place where he’ll fit in. After all, Jake he is not your typical, everyday boy. He has imaginary friends. One that he can be heard talking to at times. But will a new town and a new school be enough to heal both of them? Only, this town has a dark history of a serial killer targeting young boys. Is it happening again? Are any of the boys here safe? This book was so deliciously spooky! I just loved the feel of it....curled up on my sofa shaking like a leaf stifling a scream! The writing was clever and unpredictable. Midway the story-line took a slow turn but was quickly back on track to wrap things up. This is a debut thriller for Alex North and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next! A fun and chilling buddy read with Susanne!👻 Thank you to NetGalley, Celadon Books and Alex North for an ARC to read and review

  22. 4 out of 5

    Farrah

    I absolutely LOVE the way Alex North thinks outside the box and mixes multiple genres into one book! He has a very original style and I dig it. 5 ⭐!! for - the creepy horror elements - the slowly unraveling mystery - the heartful characters - the genuine writing - the suspense I felt over what fresh hell I would find on the next page 2⭐ for the sloppy police procedural elements. How can a convicted murderer refuse to allow the police to question him for two months? Then when the prisoner finally agree I absolutely LOVE the way Alex North thinks outside the box and mixes multiple genres into one book! He has a very original style and I dig it. 5 ⭐!! for - the creepy horror elements - the slowly unraveling mystery - the heartful characters - the genuine writing - the suspense I felt over what fresh hell I would find on the next page 2⭐ for the sloppy police procedural elements. How can a convicted murderer refuse to allow the police to question him for two months? Then when the prisoner finally agrees, the police send one emotionally unstable officer, who come to the realization that the prisoner actually does have the needed information but never finds out exactly what that information is. I would think that 𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙠𝙞𝙙𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙗𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙩𝙚𝙙 the police would send more officers to question him. Maybe involve the FBI or other, better trained authorities. Nope. When all is revealed at the the end of the book it's clear that 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 could have been avoided if the police had been half ways competent. Oh also 5⭐ for the amazing cover art!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Five big Stars! If you like your psychological thrillers with a big creep factor, this one’s for you! Told from multiple POVs, including two DIs, we witness the manhunt for a child abductor and killer. But we also have a father and son that have recently moved into what might be a haunted house. And then there’s the son, who reminds me of the boy in The Sixth Sense. Despite the back and forth between all the characters’ POVs, I never found this confusing. Kudos to North for some wonderful writing Five big Stars! If you like your psychological thrillers with a big creep factor, this one’s for you! Told from multiple POVs, including two DIs, we witness the manhunt for a child abductor and killer. But we also have a father and son that have recently moved into what might be a haunted house. And then there’s the son, who reminds me of the boy in The Sixth Sense. Despite the back and forth between all the characters’ POVs, I never found this confusing. Kudos to North for some wonderful writing and character development. His insights into the individuals grabbed me. “He’d suspected she was ambitious, too - that she'd imagined a case like this might help her career without fully understanding what else it might do.” This one moves at a fast pace and it kept me on the edge of my seat.its a book where you keep turning pages as fast as you can while at the same time not wanting it to end. This is a debut but it certainly doesn’t read like one. There are some amazing insights here. I will definitely be following Alex North to see what he comes up with next. I received a free ARC of The Whisper Man from Macmillan in an exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    emma

    I expected to be SPOOKED. I was ready to be SCARED. I prepared myself for the FRIGHT of a LIFETIME. And instead I got...this. I was handed hundreds of pages’ worth of filler and some seriously mixed messages about the cycle of abuse and sent on my merry way. It’s never a good sign when you start a thriller and you’re like “huh I wonder when this will get interesting,” and then you hit the halfway point and you’re still like pondering the idea of if the plot will get started anytime soon, and then I expected to be SPOOKED. I was ready to be SCARED. I prepared myself for the FRIGHT of a LIFETIME. And instead I got...this. I was handed hundreds of pages’ worth of filler and some seriously mixed messages about the cycle of abuse and sent on my merry way. It’s never a good sign when you start a thriller and you’re like “huh I wonder when this will get interesting,” and then you hit the halfway point and you’re still like pondering the idea of if the plot will get started anytime soon, and then you’re almost done and you can tell the book hit its very belated climax and you are still not surprised or scared or any exciting adjective beginning with S. Not a good sign at all. This was so boring that I had to force myself through it from page one. There were just SO. MANY. SUBPLOTS. I DID NOT CARE ABOUT. A widower falling in love again. A weird kid starting over at a new school. A series of neighborhood weirdos minding their business. A cop who was not the main character cop but pops up many times like she is. This felt so discombobulated and plotless that I don’t even know how to explain it in a way that makes sense. It is so noncohesive that I can’t even gather it up into something cohesive enough to allow you to understand how noncohesive it is, because that would require grouping and summarizing and generally treating this blob like the narrative it is not. Things just...happen. Unrelatedly. And without any sense of building towards something or any stakes at all. But back to those mixed messages about abuse I teased earlier. (view spoiler)[Within the span of ten pages at the end of this book, one cycle of abuse is ended and another is perpetuated and these are treated, without a drop of self awareness, like a happy ending. Our main character is a dad who struggles to have a relationship with his son because his father was an alcoholic who left his family. At the end of the book, this main character (can you tell I don’t remember his name?) reconciles with his son and forgives his dad and everything is happy-happy-joy-joy. There is also a serial killer who murdered little boys and horrifically abused his son. This son then becomes a killer who follows literally in his father’s footsteps, and the end of the book sees the son in jail with his father. The happily-ever-after of this story is, in addition to the end of the cycle above, the perpetuation of this one, with the son screaming in fear because his father is going to abuse him again. (hide spoiler)] To put it simply: WHAT THE F*CK. Oh and also I guess this qualifies as magical realism because ghosts are real. To add to the clusterf*ck. Bottom line: I don’t know what the hell was going on here, but I know I did NOT care for it. ---------- things that sound scarier to me than this book: - when you see a spider and you go to catch it but then it disappears and you feel phantom creepy crawlies on you as if the spider and all its friends are having a web-building party all over you - ??? - that's it

  25. 5 out of 5

    MarilynW

    What an enjoyable book for me. This book is about fathers and sons and what the love a father, or lack of love of a father, can do to a son. It's about fathers who never forget their failings even long after they've done all they can to change, to become the best person they can be, long after they are no longer the person they used to be. And it's about fathers who are so very good and love so very much but think they are failures and not good enough to be fathers. I came to the book thinking t What an enjoyable book for me. This book is about fathers and sons and what the love a father, or lack of love of a father, can do to a son. It's about fathers who never forget their failings even long after they've done all they can to change, to become the best person they can be, long after they are no longer the person they used to be. And it's about fathers who are so very good and love so very much but think they are failures and not good enough to be fathers. I came to the book thinking there was horror here and there was but it's real life horror, the kind of horror that is worse than supernatural, scary, going ons. Twenty years ago, little boys went missing and were found brutally murdered in the town of Featherbank. DI Pete, found the boys but feels like a failure because he wasn't able to find the last one that was taken. That boy's body was never found and he's haunted by the crimes and by the man who commited the crimes. In the present, Tom and his son Jake move to Featherbank to start over again. A year ago, Tom's wife, Jake's mom, died suddenly, leaving two heartbroken souls, two people so much alike, father and son, that they can't even communicate with each other, try as they might. Seven year old Jake is quiet, precocious, sensitive, smart, and thinks his dad may not love him. Tom is hurting and sometimes angry, at the loss of his wife and at being left along to raise a boy that he thinks he can't do justice. Tom didn't know that when they had moved to this quiet town, that another little boy had been kidnapped in the same manner as the boys of twenty years ago. The kidnapper of old was called the Whisper Man and the police realize that the boy recently kidnapped had heard whispers also. Now Jake is hearing whispers and hearing voices that tell him things that seem linked to the crimes. And Pete is being drawn back into the world of the Whisper Man since he knows so much about the earlier crimes. I loved the way we had the story told to us from the viewpoint of multiple people and especially loved the viewpoints of Tom, Pete, and Jake. Little Jake is so serious, so grown up, so solemn, a little man in a little boy's body. This book is about people and feelings and relationships, with a very real supernatural feel that stays grounded in reality. Thank you to Celadon Books and NetGalley for this ARC.

  26. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    my new flat doesnt have A/C (everything in rome is ancient), so i leave the window open at night. but after reading this, that is going to change. i dont care if i roast to death in my sleep, because no way am i leaving it open anymore. this story is beyond unsettling and eerie and i loved every page of it - even if it did spook me. what i found to be most impressive about this story, where many other mystery/thriller stories tend to fail, is the pacing. there is a nice ebb and flow between info my new flat doesnt have A/C (everything in rome is ancient), so i leave the window open at night. but after reading this, that is going to change. i dont care if i roast to death in my sleep, because no way am i leaving it open anymore. this story is beyond unsettling and eerie and i loved every page of it - even if it did spook me. what i found to be most impressive about this story, where many other mystery/thriller stories tend to fail, is the pacing. there is a nice ebb and flow between information the reader is given, as well as keeping the mystery alive. it doesnt drag, neither does it overwhelm. the balance is very well done and leads to a really engaging story. i also really enjoyed the bond between tom and jake. i dont have kids of my own, but seeing the love tom has for jake made me really crave that kind of unconditional love and affection. their relationship is vital to the story and, knowing it was inspired by alex norths own son, i thought it was very genuinely portrayed. so this is a quick and engrossing read that i would highly recommend to any mystery/thriller lovers! ↠ 4 stars

  27. 5 out of 5

    karen

    it turns out i did NOT have to read this book before reading The Shadows, but i’m not displeased that i tricked myself into finally reading an ARC i’ve had for nearly a year, because i was definitely in the mood for a good thriller. this is a serial killer storyline that splits its focus between police procedural and family drama, with some overlap between the two. the procedural side is helmed by pete willis, an alcoholic detective who’s sober for now, but he tests this resolve every day, haunt it turns out i did NOT have to read this book before reading The Shadows, but i’m not displeased that i tricked myself into finally reading an ARC i’ve had for nearly a year, because i was definitely in the mood for a good thriller. this is a serial killer storyline that splits its focus between police procedural and family drama, with some overlap between the two. the procedural side is helmed by pete willis, an alcoholic detective who’s sober for now, but he tests this resolve every day, haunted by his personal and professional past. twenty years ago, he put killer frank carter—a.k.a. the whisper man—behind bars, but not before he had killed at least five young boys, the body of one still unrecovered. on the family drama side, grieving widower tom kennedy and his imaginative seven-year-old son jake move to a new town where tom hopes the change of scenery will serve to bridge the emotional distance between them. but in that new town, things only get worse—a six-year-old boy is abducted, the investigation uncovers details similar to the serial murders two decades before, jake’s imaginary friends get creepier and more insistent, and ALL WORLDS COLLIDE in a tangled n’ twisty mass of crime fiction and psychological suspense with a drizzling of the supernatural on top. there's a The Silence of the Lambs vibe to it, and it hit all the right notes for me at this time— fast-paced but not superficial, unpredictable despite my figuring out the who before i was supposed to, with frequent POV-shifts ensuring that the story was rippling out in several directions at once, escalating tension and dripping creepy sauce everywhere. not too bad for an "accidental" read!! and now i can go read The Shadows. *************************************** this situation is The Forever Ship all over again: i entered to win a book that was part of a series i hadn't read the first book of and now i gotta read this one before i can read The Shadows, and it's by no means a hardship or a complaint but a moment of "you're such a dummy, karen." and now i remember that i read The Fire Sermon AND The Map of Bones in order to read The Forever Ship, and then i never got around to it. i am the worst at everything. good day. come to my blog!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill

    Well wow! I can tell you I am not alone with my love for this book! This book has gotten a ton of hype and it deserves it all. This year there have been so many fantastic thrillers out there that it is hard to pick which are my favorites. Just know this one is definitely making my best of 2019 for sure! LOCK YOUR DOORS, LOCK YOUR CAR, TUCK YOUR KIDS IN..... Then go check on them multiple times during the night. Heck you might just want to sleep on the couch and position yourself near the front d Well wow! I can tell you I am not alone with my love for this book! This book has gotten a ton of hype and it deserves it all. This year there have been so many fantastic thrillers out there that it is hard to pick which are my favorites. Just know this one is definitely making my best of 2019 for sure! LOCK YOUR DOORS, LOCK YOUR CAR, TUCK YOUR KIDS IN..... Then go check on them multiple times during the night. Heck you might just want to sleep on the couch and position yourself near the front door...just in case. The Whisper Man is no longer a "thing" right? I mean he is rotting in jail where he belongs. Yet 20 years later he seems to be making a comeback. Or someone that wants you to think he is. Is the Whisper Man pulling strings from his cell or was he never really caught?! Wow this book has creepy written all over it. I loved this book from the front cover until the very last page. So many creepy fine details woven throughout kept me on my toes for the entire read. The super natural vibe is just perfect. Not too far out there but just enough to make you wonder what is real and what is not. I absolutely loved Jake and found it fascinating that he appeared to have some deep connection with the case, that nobody seemed to understand except for Jake. This kid just knew stuff, creepy stuff at that. This book has so many layers to it. First and foremost it is a creepy crime story that is sure to give you goosebumps as you read it. Then there are the well woven twists that I never saw coming. These twists are played out so well and smooth that it completely took me aback. Then there is the son and father relationships, dealing with loss and grief and coping. I don't know how the author did it but he included all these important details and yet the story was not weighted down with sadness and grief. It was just one hell of a creepy story that I will remember for a long time.......now go check your doors! I read this with my fellow book group members The Traveling Sisters and I must say it was a hit. Thank you so much to Celadon books and the Traveling Sisters for my advance copy!

  29. 4 out of 5

    BernLuvsBooks

    I enjoyed this one BUT not in the way I thought I would. Having seen so many reviews of people saying they couldn't read this alone at night, I expected some gore and to be truly frightened. I never felt scared. Maybe as someone who reads thrillers on a regular basis I have a higher threshold for it all. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I had my suspicions about who was the bad guy was as soon as he was introduced. I was right which usually ruins a book for me but I enjoyed the ride along the way with this one. What I rea I enjoyed this one BUT not in the way I thought I would. Having seen so many reviews of people saying they couldn't read this alone at night, I expected some gore and to be truly frightened. I never felt scared. Maybe as someone who reads thrillers on a regular basis I have a higher threshold for it all. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I had my suspicions about who was the bad guy was as soon as he was introduced. I was right which usually ruins a book for me but I enjoyed the ride along the way with this one. What I really ended up loving was the father-son relationships at play here. For a thriller, North took the time to really craft his characters' relationships. Beyond the serial killing, this was a book about relationships that were imperfect, emotional and real. This element played so well within the story - I found that I really cared about Tom and Jake and was invested in them. “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.” Another element I really enjoyed was the supernatural aspect that was sprinkled in throughout the book. That is something that always intrigues me and I found it well done here. You find yourself wondering - was it real or all in Jake's head? Jake reminded me quite a bit of the boy in The Sixth Sense. He was sensitive, smart, emotional and very in tune with everyone around him. I loved his character! So although not the scary, creep fest I anticipated - I enjoyed this well written, debut thriller. Thank you Alex North, Celadon Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read & review an arc of this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    4.25 Stars* (rounded down). Creeptastic! You know that feeling when the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end? When the air feels dark and ominous and your breath catches in your throat and it feels tight and you can’t breathe? Imagine hearing about The Whisper Man.. If you leave a window open, soon you'll hear the whispers spoken. If you play outside alone, soon you won't be going home... If you're lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you. It’s just a little tale that all of the 4.25 Stars* (rounded down). Creeptastic! You know that feeling when the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end? When the air feels dark and ominous and your breath catches in your throat and it feels tight and you can’t breathe? Imagine hearing about The Whisper Man.. If you leave a window open, soon you'll hear the whispers spoken. If you play outside alone, soon you won't be going home... If you're lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you. It’s just a little tale that all of the children in the town of Featherbank have heard, one passed down from generation to generation. One that keeps them up at night. For good reason: The Whisper Man is real. Twenty Years ago Frank Carter kidnapped and killed four children. A fifth went missing never to be found. Carter was apprehended by DI Pete Willis and got life in prison. The problem? The Whisper Man is back and now another child has gone missing. Tom Kennedy and his six year old son Jake move to Featherbank looking for a fresh start. Neither know of Featherbank’s history until Jake hears whispers spoken. “The Whisper Man” was a buddy read with Kaceey. Neither of us had any real idea what we were getting into. If I had one word to describe this suspenseful novel it would be “spooky.” While it slowed down in the second half, the novel picked up at the end and had a fabulous ending. Thank you to NetGalley, Celadon Books and Alex North for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 7.14.19. Will be published on Amazon on 8.20.19.

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