Review of The Whisper Man
Blurb: After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.
But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed "The Whisper Man," for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.
Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter's crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.
And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window...
Review: Tom Kennedy recently lost his wife to cancer, and he can't pull himself out of his grief. His young son Jake is a kind yet quirky child, and Tom struggles to connect with him. Thinking a move to a new home will help, Tom moves them to the small town of Featherbank unaware of its dark past. A serial killer nicknamed The Whisper Man abducted and murdered five boys twenty years ago, and now there's someone whispering outside of Jake's window.
This is a marvelous chilling crime thriller that I randomly picked up from the library. I had not heard of Alex North before. I only wanted a crime thriller, and the cover is cool. After searching the author up online, I found he is greatly respected and revered, and for good reason. He's an excellent author if you're interested in dark mysteries. Again, like last week's book, this is told from multiple points of view, and travels between the past and present.
I was blown away by the detail and the characterization. Some reviews have said the plot is slow, but I love the little bits that attach the readers to the characters and tangle us further in the story. There are parts that remind me a lot of Stephen King's writing with certain settings and the in-depth characterization. The story is told from multiple points of view, but only Tom's is in the first person. I wasn't certain how that would go at first, but it was smooth and didn't interrupt the story's flow. This is a successful example of breaking the mainstream rules of writing.
Tom is grieving over the death of his wife and can't manage to bond with his son. Jake is sensitive and emotional, and a spiritual medium, though adults just think he talks to his "imaginary friends." The father-son relationship is incredibly well done. I loved seeing from the police detectives' points of view as well. This is Amanda Beck's first big case, and she's helped by aging detective Pete Willis who still has nightmares about the killings twenty years ago. The crimes are disturbing, so be prepared, and the serial killer even more so. It's a dark story that hits hard on the heart.