The Whisper Man

The Whisper Man

Book - 2019
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In his debut psychological thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of suspense, as a father and son are caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town. After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank. But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed "The Whisper Man, " for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night. Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter's crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man. And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window.
Publisher: New York : Celadon Books, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250317995
1250317991
Branch Call Number: F NORTH
Characteristics: 355 pages ; 25 cm

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carolwu96
May 11, 2020

Two decades ago, The Whisper Man abducted and murdered five boys. Only four bodies were found, haunting police officer Pete ever since. Two decades later, Tom and Jake Kennedy move to the area. But soon a little boy goes missing, and Jake begins to hear whispers outside his own window.⁣⁣
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Although I did not find the book creepy, I did appreciate its commentaries on familial trauma and personal redemption as well as dissection of father-son relationships.⁣
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(❗️spoiler alert❗️) The Kennedy sons have been traumatized for at least three generations. Pete had an abusive father, leading to problems in his own family relationships. He has successfully combated his own abusiveness by the beginning of the book, but still frequently relapses into bouts of self-worthlessness.⁣
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Tom, luckily, grew up mostly under his mother’s influence, but the lack of father figures in his life means that he does not know how to interact with his own son.⁣
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Little Jake represents the future. Although he is traumatized by his mother’s death, he knows that Tom loves him and has the greatest chance of breaking this vicious cycle. But then he gets kidnapped by Francis.⁣
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Francis (not a Kennedy) ought to be the most extreme of our four narrators. He never outgrows the natural but childish admiration for his abusive father, and consequently becomes torn between this admiration and a conflicting disillusionment. Through taking other children and “caring” for them, he hopes to vicariously fix his own childhood trauma.⁣
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However, while he is consciously guided by redemption, he subconsciously seeks to legitimize his father’s abusiveness. Through terrorizing his victims and venting his anger on them, he simply becomes another copy of his father.⁣
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Rather than trying to escape from trauma (as Pete does), bury it (Tom) and fix it (Francis), the best way to recover from trauma seems to be to admit past mistakes and work through the consequences together. Healing is a often multigenerational effort, and unfortunately, in becoming obsessed with the past, some are also deprived of the present and the future.

For more book reviews, visit me at https://www.instagram.com/randomstuffiread/

j
jrhulsey
May 07, 2020

This psychological thriller/horror started off very promising... then it settled into a somewhat suspenseful story with mostly drab characters.
The technique is interesting and I think there is a nice sort of symmetry between these characters—they are all connected and they are all struggling emotionally in a similar fashion.
The issue is that they are all one-note and flat. It has a spooky concept and it’s definitely a page-turner with good pacing. Other than that, it’s full of bad cop show dialogue, there is no real character arc or differentiation between the characters, and the twists land softly and are predictable...but still interesting?
It’s nothing remarkable, but still recommendable.

d
dsw3914
Feb 18, 2020

I thought it was very good. The only downside to me was that there was a little to much supernatural going on i.e, talking to people who were not there. I read it a good bit quicker than I usually get one read. Thankfully, not much navel-gazing which is a real pet peeve of mine.

c
Chuy88
Feb 13, 2020

I'll admit, it was difficult to get into at first. As I got through Part 2 of the book into Part 3 I was hooked.
There were definitely a few parts that ran a shiver down my spine and made me un-easy. So Mission accomplished on what the author was trying to do.

My real only complaint about it, was how some repetitive some parts got, and the fact that I was able to predict the ending about halfway through.

Other then that, good read. Definitely recommend.

c
chriss_g
Feb 10, 2020

I read it in one day and I cannot tell if that's due to its creativity or lack thereof.

I had a very good idea what was happening about midway through. The 'scary parts' did not translate well in written word but I suspect this would do very well as a movie.

Meh.

i
Inner_Typewriter
Feb 06, 2020

This heart stopping suspense novel is absolutely first rate. I couldn't put it down.

JCLHeatherC Feb 02, 2020

Eerie and suspenseful.

s
StrangelyExuberant
Jan 07, 2020

This was a deliciously creepy book. It brings to mind the idea of how many of the "monsters" in our world are imaginary and human. It captures parenting, death, and life very well.

k
KAREN S HARRIS
Dec 30, 2019

Didn't make it thru first chapter. I found it boring.

b
Bluebell608
Dec 08, 2019

I thought it was okay but I will not read any more of this author's books. Trite in many places and too many places that he tries to scare you like so many other books but not much innovative.

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lissa_adamson
Aug 13, 2019

lissa_adamson thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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