Saturday 22 June 2019

The Whisper Man by Alex North @writer_north BLOG TOUR @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 #TheWhisperMan

If you leave a door half-open, soon you'll hear the whispers spoken . . .
Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a much-needed fresh start.
But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago, a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys.
Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as 'The Whisper Man'.
Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home.
Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.

He says he hears a whispering at his window . . .

The Whisper Man by Alex North was published in hardback by Michael Joseph on 13 June 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and who invited me to take part in this blog tour.

It's almost thirty years ago since I read the book that I've always said is the best crime fiction novel ever written; the only book that gave me nightmares. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris has always been my serial killer benchmark.

It's taken a very long time, but here's a book that has finally hit that benchmark, in fact I think it's probably overtaken the mark. I read The Whisper Man in two sittings; finishing it in the very early hours of the morning I was due to fly out to Corfu.

I have had nightmares .... I hear that whispered rhyme everywhere. It frightens the life out of me.

Widower Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake are moving to the small village of Featherbank after the tragic death of Jake's mother.  Tom is a little unsure about the house, but young Jake knew instantly that he wanted to live there.

The village of Featherbank has something of a gruesome history. All of the children know the 'Whisper Man' rhyme .... created after the abduction and murder of five young boys many years ago. It seems, however, that history is repeating itself as a local lad has disappeared; vanished as he walked home, and young Jake has heard the whispering.

As the story unfolds, the links between the historical cases and the most recent disappearance are investigated; this is cleverly and intricately done, leaving the reader in no doubt about the skill of the author.

Although this is at its heart, a crime novel, it is also a sensitive and delicate exploration of the father/son relationship. There's some beautifully written, heart wrenching dialogue between Tom and Jake, and the father/son theme continues as the reader learns more about each character within the story.

Brilliantly paced, with a plot that is both compelling and intriguing; The Whisper Man has quite rightly been raved about by critics and fellow authors. It is chillingly creepy and so very very tense.

Probably the best serial killer novel that I'll read for the next thirty years!  Bravo Alex North.

Alex North was born in Leeds, where he now lives with his wife and son. 
He studied Philosophy at Leeds University, and prior to becoming a writer he worked there in their sociology department.

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