- Library Binding: 594 pages
- Publisher: Wheeler Publishing Large Print (25 December 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1432872184
- ISBN-13: 978-1432872182
- Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 3 x 21.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 685 g
- Customer Reviews: 1,197 customer ratings
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Whisper Man Library Binding – 25 December 2019
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SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM AGBO FILMS, produced by the Russo Brothers (The Avengers: Endgame, Captain America)
"Alex North weaves a stunningly captivating narrative that's a nuanced and grounded exploration of father-son relationships...a master class in genre exploration. An incredible read."
--Joe and Anthony Russo
Early Praise for The Whisper Man:
"The Whisper Man is the most unsettling thriller I have read since Jo Nesbø's The Snowman. Much more than the sum of its parts, it is nightmarish and disturbing and, at the same time, a moving and life-affirming novel about fathers and sons, and grief, loss, and recovery.
--Alex Michaelides, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Silent Patient
"Brilliant...an affirmation of the power of the father-son relationship...will satisfy readers of Thomas Harris and Stephen King."
--Booklist, Starred Review
"A terrifying page-turner with the complexities of fatherhood at its core."
"A powerful and scary story that will haunt readers long after the final page is turned."
"First it's spooky. Then it's scary. Then it's terrifying. And then... well, dear reader, proceed at your own risk. An ambitious, deeply satisfying thriller--a seamless blend of Harlan Coben, Stephen King, and Thomas Harris. My flesh is still crawling."
--A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
"Get ready to be unnerved. This novel is thrilling."
--Brad Meltzer, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Beautifully written. Beautifully plotted."
--C.J. Tudor, bestselling author of The Chalk Man
"Beautifully crafted, heart-rending and spine-tinglingly chilling, The Whisper Man is a thrilling tour de force."
--Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes
"The best crime novel of the decade."
--Steve Cavanagh, bestselling author of The Defense
About the Author
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Top international reviews
Soon after Tom and Jake move into Featherbank, another boy goes missing and the whispers start again.
I loved this plot, it had me hooked with the tension and the twists and turns, I couldn't put it down until I knew everything.
It is written in the third person point of view, except for Tom who tells the story from first person. I guess because he drives the story forward and it works this way.
Little Jake, however, stole the show for me. This is a brilliant piece of writing from a child's perspective.
I also loved DI Pete Willis who caught the original killer at a huge emotional cost to himself.
This book is not just a scary, creepy story, it also explores the themes of father-son relationships, grief, and loss.
A great compelling plot with plenty of cliff hangers and twists and turns.
A great read and will make a brilliant film.
In truth it moves at a cracking pace, and the split narrative works better than in some other novels I've read of late.
Sadly, there's a 'but'. There really is no cliche left unturned, the identity of the killer isn't the revelation the author thinks it is and, as is the case in so many crime novels, there are some truly ludicrous coincidences that simply don't hang together.
All in all a curate's egg.
None compare to Sharon Bolton’s craftsman !
Whatever happened to originality ?
Widower, Tom Kennedy and his young son, Jake, move to the village of Featherbank after the loss of Tom's wife, Rebecca. Although Tom tries his best as a dad and loves his son to bits, the two argue and he worries he is not the best dad he could be. Fifteen years ago, Featherbank was the place five young boys of around Jake's age were abducted and murdered, but the killer, named by the press at the time as The Whisper Man, was caught and imprisoned. It is once again a safe place to live and a place where Tom and Jake can build their future and comes to terms with Rebecca's death. That is until a young boy goes missing, followed by Jake starting to act strangely.
Jakes begins reciting a poem about The Whisper Man and talks about the boy in the floor. Tom can hear his son whispering to seemingly no one.
This book genuinely makes your heart pound. The relationship between Jake and Tom is so well written and Tom's struggle to be both parents, and by his own admission, failing is well observed, as is Jake's grief. We get to see the efforts of the police to track down the killer and hear the history of the previous crimes.
Probable the most gripping read so far this year.
It made my skin crawl, it’s sometimes heartbreaking, it’s dark and twisty and just mind-blowingly fabulous! I’m not all surprised to learn that movie rights have already been sold. It could quite possibly indeed be the crime thriller of the year. It undoubtedly deserves to be.
The characters are totally unbelievable, and the main relationship between father and son reads more like two acquaintances than a family, and the child reads like a man in his 50s.
I also listened to this on audio book read by Christopher Ecclestone, a fine actor maybe but an awful reader. No attempt to breathe life into any of the people, nothing to determine one from the other, everybody is read on a monotone, and at the same pace.
The only reason to leave the lights on for this is so you can find your copy of Silence of the Lambs, re-read that, and give this a miss
I must admit that I've been quite haunted by the main theme and the murders, and I would usually avoid any books about kids like this, but the reviews comparing Alex to Stephen King made me feel like he would handle the subject matter delicately. I would say that he did on the whole achieve that, and there is no gratuitous violence.
However I feel let down by the meeting of two characters near the end. Trying not to spoil it by giving too much away but the author allowing the original perpetrator to win over his final victim was too hard to take and I wish it'd been the other way around.
On the while though, a good page turner with definite remnants of Stephen King.
Then there is the serial killer who killed a load of kids, but he is a hero in prison because he didn't interfer with them? sexually (I mean, WTF).
It might have been a good story without all the usual piffle about ..
Did I enjoy it?
Essentially, yes. The opening 25% (Yes, I read ebooks) was genuinely chilling, to the point that I wondered if I’d be better reading it at day rather than last thing at night.
The last 15% or so is also an incredibly quick read as everything comes to a head.
But the middle section felt flat. Maybe it was because the opening and ending were so good, but the story seemed to lose its way. There were too many points-of-view and one co-incidence too many. All of a sudden there were a host of characters and revelations. The big reveals about the parents (and grandparent) I found a little hard to accept e.g. who they are and where they lived. The identity of the son’s imaginary friend was a nice touch and his supernatural abilities were explained at the end. But, initially, I couldn’t work out if this book was a creepy crime thriller or whether there was something more unreal to it.
That said, the author gets a lot into a relatively short space and does it well. (Bear in mind I’m not a regular reader of this genre so am not aware of the tropes and cliches.) There are copycat killings, complex family relationships that have a myriad of consequences (both good and evil), regret and hopes, and some implied moments of horror that happen ‘off-screen’ that are gruesome to imagine. All in all – worth it.
Just make sure you lock your doors and windows at night while you read it. Especially if you have kids.
Not long afterwards, unaware of the historic crimes attributed to The Whisper Man, Tom and his young son Jake, move into the area. It’s meant to be a fresh start and a move away from the house they’d previously called home where Jake’s mother had died. But some problems aren’t that easy to escape from and soon Tom finds himself wondering if they will ever be a normal family.
The different elements of this story are cleverly interwoven, as are the relationships between the different characters, which gives rise to a sense of foreboding that seems to intensify with every turn of the page. The writing lures you in and soon you are rooting for the detectives as they race against time to find the missing boy. The slow emergence of Tom and Jake’s story brings with it a separate set of puzzles that would appear to be the result of some supernatural interference. But is that really the case? As I read, I suspected the supernatural elements would all disappear, having been the product of an ingenious imagination. In keeping with the atmosphere of the book, it isn’t that simple, but suffice to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
There are plenty of twists and turns and the drip-drip-drip of information keeps you guessing but it is the characters who stand out for me as making this such a great read. I loved this book.
The Whisper Man (Frank Carter) had been caught many years ago by DI Pete Willis and he was the local boogie man with a rhyme. The village of Featherbank was shocked when 6 year old Neil Spencer went missing twenty years later and from then on it’s a story with every element a thriller/police procedural should have. It’s told from several perspectives including Pete and DI Amanda Beck who was in charge of the case, Tom and Jake Kennedy who were pivotal characters in the story and the Killer. There were some really lovely characters and even the evil ones were well described. I was shocked at times with the powerful writing and the creepy and incredibly scary storyline. I’ll finish by saying this was one the best books I’ve read this year and it’s a must read.