** Publication Date 20 August 2019 **
Whispers outside a child’s bedroom window. What could be more frightening? Rhymes that remind you to lock your doors so the Whisper Man doesn’t get you. This is the stuff of children’s nightmares. This isn’t just a nightmare though, this is real for the residents of Featherbank. 15 years ago a serial killer terrorized the families in Featherbank, abducting children. Now it’s happening again, but the serial killer is behind bars.
Neil Spencer is 6 years old and on a journey from his father’s house to his mother’s. A six year old shouldn’t have to make this journey alone. At six, a little boy should have a hand to hold. But Neil doesn’t. Neil is easy prey. And prey he becomes. It can’t be the Whisper Man, even though his mother recalls Neil telling her he was hearing whispers at night from a monster outside his bedroom window. No, the real Whisper Man is locked away forever. Yet Neil heard the whispers and now Neil is missing. Who is responsible?
This story strikes fear in parent’s hearts. When you have a child, one of your worst fears is child abduction. Even though Neil’s parents were less than perfect, they shouldn’t have to go through losing a child this way. So when Tom Kennedy and his son Jake move to Featherbank to escape the memories from the death of mother and wife Rebecca, they believe they are starting over. Starting over clear across the country in a charming little town and a strange little house. They don’t know the story of the Whisper Man.
The characters have their flaws. Tom tends to stay distant from Jake, feeling he isn’t the father he should be. Jake is worried that his father doesn’t want him now that his mother is gone. Detectives Beck and Willis each have their own issues. Beck is trying to climb the ladder, and Willis still harbors demons from the original Whisper Man case. These are real people who simply want to find their way.
The Whisper Man was frightening. The kind of story that sent chills down my spine and kept me up half the night to find out how it was going to end. A mystery is well-written when the guilty party is unexpected. A mystery strikes a chord when it is something that you fear yourself. This mystery has all those elements. It also has a few surprises along the way. It also wasn’t just about the mystery of the Whisper Man, it was a book about real people trying to make the best of bad situations. It was a very well rounded story that I enjoyed immensely (while chewing on my fingernails!)
Review originally posted to NetGalley and Goodreads