Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Whisper Man” as Want to Read:
The Whisper Man
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Whisper Man

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  125,980 ratings  ·  14,951 reviews
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 Featherba
Hardcover, 389 pages
Published June 13th 2019 by Penguin Books UK
More Details... Edit Details
Featured Notes & Highlights

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Whisper Man, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
MarmottanReads There's an underlying supernatural plot strand that completes very nicely in this. I don't normally like books with the supernatural in, but this is c…moreThere's an underlying supernatural plot strand that completes very nicely in this. I don't normally like books with the supernatural in, but this is cleverly done as part of a complex multi stranded plot. (less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  125,980 ratings  ·  14,951 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Whisper Man
Nilufer Ozmekik
Look at my photo and fake smile because there is nothing in this book makes you smile! My dog is scared so much and had nightmares because I read him some passages!!!

Five- this book turned me into creepy paranoid who is afraid of her own shadow, leave the lights on before sleeping, scream as soon as hearing any approaching footsteps inside the house, wow actually I was doing all of these before, but it’s still good to point a finger to something as a reason of my awkward behaviors- stars!!!!

Miranda Reads
I have read my way through 315 books to bring you my Top 10 Books of the Year (video) .

Now you know that this one made the cut, check out my video review to see the others!

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 that there's no such thing as monsters.
I'm sorry that I lied.
Tom arrives at Featherbank with seven-year-old Jake in tow to escape the memories of their recently deceased wife
megs_bookrack ((is on vacation))
**4.5-stars rounded up**

This is EXACTLY how I like my Police Procedurals, very gritty with all the extra chills and thrills.

Well done, Alex North. You have found a fan in me!

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes he and his young son, Jake, need a fresh start. A new place will provide a space where they both can heal.

With that in mind, he purchases a home and moves them to the small town of Featherbank. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to Tom, the town has a sordid and frightening p
chai ♡
3½ stars

The experience of reading this book is like falling asleep in the passenger seat of a car and startling awake with a shuddering jolt of fear, a cold window pressing hard against your cheek, a cool prickle at the base of your neck, an unfamiliar, impenetrable darkness outside—and the wrongness of it all hanging in the air like the sour clang of a bell. Where are you? Here, trapped in a book with unknowable terrors moving in subtly like dark air before a thunderstorm.

And all of them are d
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise of The Whisper Man is soo good. A serial killer whispers to kids to gain their trust, then abducts them in the dead of the night. The police thought they had caught The Whisper Man, but 20 years later, signs indicate someone using his modus operandi is back. And father and son duo Tom and Jack could be the next target.

The thing my brain can't wrap itself around is this: how can a thriller be so slow? Plodding doesn't even begin to describe the majority of it. The book crawls along, s
This is Alex North's crime debut and what a impressive debut it is. It drips with atmosphere, a disturbing story of The Whisper Man, who over 20 years ago kidnapped and murdered 5 local boys in the small town of Featherbank. Frank Carter is the Whisper Man, incarcerated in prison, reveling in his notoriety and reputation, playing mind games with 56 year old DI Pete Willis, the man who caught him. Despite the emotional cost, Pete has persevered through the years, visiting Carter in prison, in the ...more
Will Byrnes
If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken.
If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home.
If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass.
If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.
…over the years I’ve told you many times that there’s no such thing as monsters.
I’m sorry that I lied.

Author - Your guess is as good as mine – Alex North is a nom de plume - image from Di
Chelsea Humphrey

The Whisper Man is one of those reads that I didn't even slow down to take notes or mark quotes for my review; I blew through at record speed, finishing this one within a single sitting. I couldn't put it down until I had every last detail of the case solved! I'll be honest, based on the synopsis I was bracing myself for a Silence of the Lambs wannabe: a devilishly charismatic serial killer sitting in prison who will only talk to a particular detective about a case involving ano
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Whisper Man is Alex North’s debut thriller, and what an absolutely riveting read it is!

It’s some twenty years since Frank Carter began a life sentence for the abduction and murder of five little boys. Carter had earned himself the nickname ‘The Whisper Man’ after his sinister method of whispering at the doors and windows of his victims in order to lure them outside. Now though, another little boy has gone missing in similar circumstances, and the peaceful village of Featherbank is once again
Mary Beth
Sep 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Five Creepy Spooky Stars

'If you leave a door half open, you'll hear the whisper spoken.
If you play outside alone soon you won 't be going home.
If your Windows left unlatched, you'll hear him tapping at the glass.
If your lonely, sad, and blue, the whisper man will come for you.

Tom Kennedy has just lost his wife and he and his seven year old son, Jake move to Featherbank.

Unfortunately there is a serial killer that is preying on this small town and an investigation is going on.

Twenty years ago
If this book had a Tinder profile it would read something like this:

Cliché troubled detective haunted by previous case seeks unknown creepy boogeyman. Must have Daddy issues and enjoy torturing small children.


Although I enjoyed this quick read, there's really nothing novel going on here. It's pretty tame compared to similar books in this genre. I was left wanting more. More darkness, more tension, more backstory.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an h
A little bit of Silence of the Lambs

A little bit of The Shining

A very good thriller.

I will say that for me it was not mind-blowing or anything like that, but I still enjoyed it. For those who enjoy suspense/mystery novels, I don't think you can go wrong giving this one a shot.

I have seen a few people indicate they are nervous to start this one because they feel it will be too scary. I personally didn't find it to be all that scary. There were certainly a few chilling events within the plot, but
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars

Shh can you hear that?

Tom Kennedy is looking to make a new start. His wife died and he and his son, Jack, have moved into a new home in a new town in hopes of doing just that. Tom is not aware that twenty years ago, in their new town, a serial killer nicknamed the "Whisper Man" lured young boys away from the safety of their homes by whispering into their windows at night. He just wants to start over and protect his son, who is a creative child who frequently talks to his imaginary frien
Peter (on hiatus)
Alex North’s debut, The Whisper Man is an outstanding thriller and one of the best crime novels I’ve read this year. In tones similar to Stephen King, he ramps up compelling suspense with tantalising supernatural possibilities.

Alex North structured his novel in a way that is extremely appealing to me, where one character narrates in the first person and the other threads are provided in the third person. This tends to create an opportunity for great story-telling with a personal view to
David Putnam
I know a lot of folks love this book but unfortunately, I’ll have to be a dissenting vote. The books I like/love drop me into the fictive dream and hold me there. I live the book through the character’s eyes. I think about the book when I’m away from it. The characters come alive.
In the Whisper Man this didn’t happen for me. I know I’m a harsher critic probably because I also write so please don’t take this critique to heart.
For me there are three issues with this book. First, I think the book c
The Whisper Man by Alex North is a 2019 Celadon Books publication.

Unsettling, spine-tingling, and emotionally charged thriller!

After the untimely death of his wife, Tom Kennedy feels like a fresh start in a new location, might help him and his young son, Jake, move forward from their grief and begin the healing process. But almost immediately after moving to Featherbank, a new set of problems presents themselves. Jake has trouble adjusting to his new school, just as another boy Jake’s age goes
Meredith (Slowly Catching Up)
If you're lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you."

4.25 stars

20 years ago, a serial killer known as “The Whisper Man” abducted and killed several young children in a small English town called Featherbank. In the present moment, a little boy has been abducted and it seems that “The Whisper Man” is back at play-- EXCEPT he is in jail. Is there a copycat on the loose or is something more sinister going on in Featherbank?

In order to make a fresh start, Tom Kennedy and his so
Dorie  - Cats&Books :) (on hiatus until Oct 10)

Tom Kennedy is looking for a fresh start for himself and his son Jake. His wife died the past year and they have been having a tough time adjusting to her being gone and grieving, both together and each on their own.

He finds a house that is affordable in a small town that looks as though it would be safe, with a country feel and a well respected school. As soon as they move in, however
Holly  B
Creepy vibes with a bit of local folklore.

This book was much more than I expected (in a good way). Stellar writing and plotting with a darkness that slowly creeps its way into the heart of the tale.

Tom is a doting father and after the untimely death of his wife, he wants a new start with his son, Jake. Couldn't a new town bring a new beginning? They both need to heal. He chooses the town of Featherbank. It sounds so comforting and warm. How could he have known?

The house is old. It has a
I expected to be SPOOKED. I was ready to be SCARED. I prepared myself for the FRIGHT of a LIFETIME.

And instead I got...this. I was handed hundreds of pages’ worth of filler and some seriously mixed messages about the cycle of abuse and sent on my merry way.

It’s never a good sign when you start a thriller and you’re like “huh I wonder when this will get interesting,” and then you hit the halfway point and you’re still like pondering the idea of if the plot will get started anytime soon, and then
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now, this was quite a ride! I listened to the audiobook late at night and finished this morning, and I must say the reader did a grand job! I was scared! And I'm not that easily scared by a thriller.
There are so many thrillers with the theme of child abduction or murder, but Mr North added his own original voice to the genre.
What did I like? Different points of view, and very well constructed character of Jake. His vulnerabilty made me want to jump into the novel and help and protect him. The at
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, buddy-read
You might want to keep the lights on and the doors locked while reading this one!😳

Tom and his son Jake are looking to make a fresh start after the death of Toms’ wife.
And hopefully, Jake can finally find a place where he’ll fit in. After all, Jake he is not your typical, everyday boy. He has imaginary friends. One that he can be heard talking to at times.

But will a new town and a new school be enough to heal both of them?
Only, this town has a dark history of a serial killer targeting young boys
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was SO eerie and creepy. The ending was a little anticlimactic, but as a whole I still really enjoyed this and was mega squigged out the entire time.
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVE the way Alex North thinks outside the box and mixes multiple genres into one book! He has a very original style and I dig it.

5 ⭐!! for
- the creepy horror elements
- the slowly unraveling mystery
- the heartful characters
- the genuine writing
- the suspense I felt over what fresh hell I would find on the next page

2⭐ for the sloppy police procedural elements.
How can a convicted murderer refuse to allow the police to question him for two months? Then when the prisoner finally agree
What an enjoyable book for me. This book is about fathers and sons and what the love a father, or lack of love of a father, can do to a son. It's about fathers who never forget their failings even long after they've done all they can to change, to become the best person they can be, long after they are no longer the person they used to be. And it's about fathers who are so very good and love so very much but think they are failures and not good enough to be fathers.

I came to the book thinking t
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Five big Stars!

If you like your psychological thrillers with a big creep factor, this one’s for you! Told from multiple POVs, including two DIs, we witness the manhunt for a child abductor and killer. But we also have a father and son that have recently moved into what might be a haunted house. And then there’s the son, who reminds me of the boy in The Sixth Sense. Despite the back and forth between all the characters’ POVs, I never found this confusing.

Kudos to North for some wonderful writing
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
my new flat doesnt have A/C (everything in rome is ancient), so i leave the window open at night. but after reading this, that is going to change. i dont care if i roast to death in my sleep, because no way am i leaving it open anymore. this story is beyond unsettling and eerie and i loved every page of it - even if it did spook me.

what i found to be most impressive about this story, where many other mystery/thriller stories tend to fail, is the pacing. there is a nice ebb and flow between info
it turns out i did NOT have to read this book before reading The Shadows, but i’m not displeased that i tricked myself into finally reading an ARC i’ve had for nearly a year, because i was definitely in the mood for a good thriller. this is a serial killer storyline that splits its focus between police procedural and family drama, with some overlap between the two. the procedural side is helmed by pete willis, an alcoholic detective who’s sober for now, but he tests this resolve every day, haunt ...more
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Well wow! I can tell you I am not alone with my love for this book! This book has gotten a ton of hype and it deserves it all. This year there have been so many fantastic thrillers out there that it is hard to pick which are my favorites. Just know this one is definitely making my best of 2019 for sure!

LOCK YOUR DOORS, LOCK YOUR CAR, TUCK YOUR KIDS IN..... Then go check on them multiple times during the night. Heck you might just want to sleep on the couch and position yourself near the front d
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, adult-reads
I enjoyed this one BUT not in the way I thought I would. Having seen so many reviews of people saying they couldn't read this alone at night, I expected some gore and to be truly frightened. I never felt scared. Maybe as someone who reads thrillers on a regular basis I have a higher threshold for it all. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I had my suspicions about who was the bad guy was as soon as he was introduced. I was right which usually ruins a book for me but I enjoyed the ride along the way with this one. What I rea
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Home Before Dark
  • Lock Every Door
  • Hidden Pictures
  • A Flicker in the Dark
  • Rock Paper Scissors
  • The Last Time I Lied
  • Final Girls
  • The Sun Down Motel
  • No Exit
  • Red at the Bone
  • Jar of Hearts
  • Mother Knows Best
  • Survive the Night
  • The Unhoneymooners
  • The Book of Cold Cases
  • Lost You
  • Fate of the Fallen (The Shroud of Prophecy, #1)
  • Summer of '69
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Alex North was born in Leeds, England, where he now lives with his wife and son. The Whisper Man was inspired by North's own little boy, who mentioned one day that he was playing with "the boy in the floor." Alex North is a British crime writer who has previously published under another name. ...more

Articles featuring this book

  “All my books come to me, first of all, as a character in my mind and as a story that I want to tell. But how you tell that story, there are...
280 likes · 82 comments
“If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken.
If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home.
If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass.
If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.”
“Courage is not the absence of fear, Pete knew. Courage requires fear.” 40 likes
More quotes…