Book Review: The Whisper Man by Alex North

***I received a free copy from Netgalley to voluntarily give an honest review***

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

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I loved this murder mystery. It reminded me of a Law & Order: SVU episode arc. Jake’s father was raising him alone. They were practically strangers before his wife had committed suicide. I felt bad for the both of them. In order to try and rebuild life, they moved to Featherbank where strange things started happening.

Meanwhile, detectives were searching for a missing child named Neil, around Jake’s age. The opening sentence gave me chills: The abduction of a child by a stranger is every parent’s worst nightmare.

I would have given this book 5-stars but, in some parts of the book, paragraphs weren’t indented and sometimes quotation marks weren’t used with dialogue when characters were reminiscing about past events. The wonky formatting in some places made me deduct a star.

I loved that readers got a chance to see some characters have first person point of view narration while others had third person point of view. I also really enjoyed all of the red herrings. I guessed correctly who the kidnapper/serial killer was. I loved the interactions with all the characters. A moment with Jake’s father and the detective Pete really touched me. I won’t spoil how they know each other. You’ll have to read the book to figure out all the mysteries involved. The plot played out really well, especially the ending.

My favorite lines: 1) It stemmed from a desire to be seen. To be noticed. To be loved. 2) The whole world seemed to be sleeping peacefully in exactly the way I wasn’t. 3) It felt like our home had started dying when Rebecca did. But then, she had always been the heart of it.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Trigger Finger by Jackson Spencer Bell

***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

When two intruders break into his house one night bent on attacking his family, Kevin Swanson fights back–with deadly consequences. In the aftermath, he rockets from obscure lawyer to local hero overnight–a hero to everyone, that is, except for a strange man who calls in to a local talk radio show when Kevin appears as a guest. The caller, who won’t reveal his name, has a message: Kevin is no hero. And his story about what happened isn’t even close to accurate. Suddenly, Kevin finds himself thrust into the center of one violent crime after another, rising to the occasion and exceeding his wildest expectations each time. Strangely, though, none of his attackers carry any identification. And as his doubts drive him through his own investigation of what really happened that night, his crumbling reality sends him hurtling towards a face-to-face confrontation with the nameless caller-and the horrifying truth that won’t let him hide.

I loved this book! My favorite lines: 1) “He wants to show that I’m a pussy,” I said. “He wants to make me into a bitch.” 2) “No wonder Brandon persisted in delusional thinking. These people spent all day surrounded by absolute bullshit.” 3) “That’s no man, replied a voice in my head. This one didn’t belong to Bobby or Kate or Allie; I recognized this as my own. I think you know that.” 4) “Her voice had lowered to a whisper raspy and dry, like newspaper left in the desert sun.” 5) “…but I had woken up on the couch in the basement with my fully-loaded AK-47 clutched against my chest like some kind of fucked-up teddy bear.”

The author did a brilliant job with the main character’s voice. Kevin sounded like a local hero being harassed by a stalker. When readers get a glimpse into his therapy sessions, they realize there’s definitely something more to Kevin, whether he’s in denial or guilty of something. You’ll have to read the book to find out.

It was interesting that Kevin described his stalker as the Bald Man. Not only that, but he was also convinced that the Bald Man used golems (objects made of clay who come to life) to attack him.

I don’t want to give too much away; however, make sure to pay attention to what the palm reader, Rudy, says about Kevin and his brother Bobby. From the first page, I sat on the edge of my seat, captivated by the suspense and mystery surrounding Kevin’s family. Like him, I started to wonder if his wife and daughter lied about being attacked upstairs, so Kevin wouldn’t lose his sanity from the guilt of not reaching his family in time. 

The story ended with a great twist, and the scene of Kevin confronting Ruby gave me chills.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby