The Whisper Man: A Novel

Image of The Whisper Man: A Novel
Release Date: 
August 20, 2019
Celadon Books
Reviewed by: 

“Imagine Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock penning a tome of nightmarish menace and dread. This would be it. The Whisper Man is a powerful psychological suspense thriller . . .”

From the very first page of The Whisper Man, horrors await. The horrors are not yet revealed, but there is little doubt they will be coming very soon, as widower Tom Kennedy communicates his young son, Jake:

“Mister Night. The boy in the floor. The butterflies. The little girl with the strange dress.

"And the Whisper man, of course.

"It’s not going to be easy, and I need to start with an apology. Because over the years I’ve told you many times there’s no such thing as Monsters.

"I’m sorry that I lied . . .”

After the sudden death of his wife Rebecca, author Tom believes a fresh start will help him and Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank. An almost postcard-perfect little town.

However, unbeknown to Tom, Featherbank has a past, a very dark and sinister past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught by detective Pete Willis, 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, six-year-old Neil Spence vanishes.

“The man’s heart, beating more quickly now . . . He stepped silently out from the bushes behind the boy, and then whispered his name . . .”

Neil’s disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he hunted down his victims with an accomplice—an accomplice never apprehended by police.

Detective Amanda Beck is assigned the almost impossible task of finding Neil before it is too late. She brings in Pete Willis to assist, specifically because he’s the only person Carter will talk to, even if that means Willis has to revisit his deadly foe in prison, something the detective is dreading. Willis was the chief investigator on the original Whisper Man and has kept contact with the mass-murderer in the hope of gleaning some clues about one of the young victims, Tony Smith. But is Willis hiding secrets he hasn’t shared?

The sensitive Jake talks to an imaginary friend, a little girl who isn’t there and fears “the boy under the floor” in their odd new house. But is she really imaginary? And how is Jake able to obtain disturbing information about The Whisper Man that is not public knowledge, or indeed, police knowledge?

A strange man snooping at the Kennedy house and an attempt to lure Jake away during the night become connected to Beck’s investigation as she and Willis struggle to make a connection to Carter.

Is the Whisper Man really the monster young Jake fears, or is it the house itself?

            “Creak. A noise from above me, the sound of a single footstep. I looked up. It was Jake’s room directly overhead, but I’d left him in the front room playing while I did the assembling and unpacking. I moved to the doorway and looked up the stairs. There was nobody on the landing. In fact, the whole house suddenly felt still and quiet, as though there was no movement at all. The silence rang in my ears.

            “Jake?” I shouted upstairs.




            I almost jumped. His voice had come from the front room, directly beside me. Keeping one eye on the landing, I took a step towards the front room and peered in. My son was crouched on the floor with his back to me, drawing something.

            “Are you all right?” I said.

            “Yes. Why?”

            “I was just checking.”

            I stepped back, then stared up at the landing again for a few seconds. It was still quiet up there, but the space had a strange sense of potential to it now, once again as though there was somebody standing just out of sight. Which was ridiculous, of course, because nobody could have come in through the front door without me knowing. Houses creaked. It took a while to get used to their noises, that was all.”

But was it just the noises of a new house? Or something more sinister?

Imagine Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock penning a tome of nightmarish menace and dread. This would be it. The Whisper Man is a powerful psychological suspense thriller, disturbingly creepy with genuine frights that make you glance over your shoulder, especially at night.