book and movie reviews

The Whisper Man (Alex North, 2019)

Imagine moving to a new town for a fresh start, only to find out that your child has become the target of kidnapping.

It begins when 7-year-old Jake Kennedy hears whispers outside his bedroom window. Tom and Jake Kennedy have moved to Featherbank after Jake’s mother dies, thinking they will start over and eventually forget the awful events of the past year. What they don’t know is that Tom and Jake have moved into a town that is battling demons from its own past, the “Whisper Man.”

Let me start by saying there isn’t much I don’t like about this book, but the elements I don’t like about it sincerely bug me. Overall, this book is written well. There’s no doubt about that. The issue I have is with the point of view and pacing. The pacing is a little slow for my taste, but the use of several different points of view really bothers me. I don’t mind a change in point of view in a novel. It gives the story depth. However, in this book, we get a minimum of four different points of view throughout its 300 plus pages, and it ruins the suspense of the story. The change in point of view always happens at a logical point and at the beginning of a chapter so the reader doesn’t get confused, but it slams the breaks on any suspense the story had built up thus far. By the time the reader finishes the very long chapter(s) and gets back to the previous point of view, any sense of foreboding or suspense is gone. This continues until the very end of the book. I find it frustrating.

Now for what I absolutely love about this novel. I love the characters, especially the seasoned police detective Pete Willis. All the characters are well rounded and are likeable, even when some have moments of serious un-likeability (I know this isn’t a word, just go with it). Although I wouldn’t classify this novel as horror or thriller, there are some genuinely creepy moments throughout the story, mostly involving Jake and his imaginary friend (the creepiness of the imaginary friend is shot down by the end of the story, but I don’t want to put spoilers here so give it a read to see what I mean) or the whispers he hears outside his bedroom window. It is definitely worth the read for the police procedural subplot alone, though.

Spook-O-Meter

👻👻👻👻

I’m giving this book four out of five spooks. This is a fantastic read with interesting characters. It’s more on the family drama end of the genre spectrum, but there are some chills to be had throughout the story. If you’re not a fan of frequent change in points of view, though, I’d leave this book alone.

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