The Whisper Man by Alex North ( Twitter )
Setting: Featherbank (fictional, England)
I read it as a(n): hardback
Source: my own collection
Length: 355 pp
Published by: Celadon (2019)
Her Grace’s rating: out of 5 stars
The Whisper Man by Alex North is a fast-paced, engaging novel about a widower and his young son. Deciding they need a fresh start after his wife’s sudden death, Tom Kennedy and his son Jake move to the countryside village of Featherbank. Or send an ideal setting, but it has a dark past that is coming back to life. 20 years ago, a serial killer murdered give young boys. Detective Pete Willis thought the like was caught and put away, but now another boy was murdered in the same manner. The killer has his sights set on Jake next.
As not only a single parent but my child’s sole parent, this book gave me anxiety. I cannot imagine anything worse than for your child to go missing. It would even be worse than if they died because then at least you would know it instead of wondering where they were or what was happening to them. If they just disappeared you couldn’t even kill yourself because what if they turn up the next day?
Also, no. I totally don’t have anxiety. /sarcasm
I think the thing I liked most about this book is how it captured a lot of parental guilt, feelings of inadequacy, and helpless uncertainty. Mothers are very often depicted with these feelings but I haven’t come across many books that assign these emotions to fathers. I think that’s a good thing to discuss. Normalize men feeling uncertain and insecure in their parenting choices as well as women. It’s ok for fathers to think they’re completely fucking up their kids just as bad as mothers think they are.
Parental feelings of utter failure aside, this plot was fun (side from the crippling anxiety it instilled in me and the fact that it was centered around killing children) and well written. I’m not really sure why I like murder mysteries, to be honest…
Favorite lines (potential spoilers!):
Courage is not the absence of fear, Pete knew. Courage requires fear (63).