I don’t generally read crime fiction but I took a chance on The Whisper Man because it came highly recommended. Without giving away too much, it combines elements of The Sixth Sense and The Silence of the Lambs, throws in a young boy and his father, and then puts them dead centre of every parent’s worst nightmare.
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.
It’s a stunning cover, especially when you look at it close up.