Author: Alex North
Published: August 20, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 5-14, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
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…
Did I just read the same book as all the others who have reviewed this one so far? The Whisper Man has been listed as “The Most Anticipated Read of Fall 2019”. Well, not so much for me as I am in the minority in my opinion of this novel.
I was expecting something along the lines of the movie The Mothman Prophecies. We have so many ideas of the boogey man (IE Slender Man) and then you add a serial killer of children who may or may not be ‘back’ 20 years later it sounds like a book that I would not want to put down, yet it was the total opposite. I was not attached to the characters and honestly did not really care what happened. I kept hoping there was going to be something that would click and pull me in. There were a couple of instances where that almost happened but the book just did not work for me. The only time where I was a little ‘freaked out’ was when the whisper man jingle was said and I heard it in the voice of the card that came along with my arc copy of the book.
The idea of this serial killer is frightening: a killer whispering in kids windows. The boogey man really does exist! It was just predictable as you knew what was going to happen with the main character. There is also a twist involving one of the police detectives and his past that was so extreme that it did not work for me. And if this had been ‘real life’ he would have had to recuse himself from the case. But did he???? No, and look at what happened.
Though The Whisper Man was not for me, if you like serial killer novels and/ or thrillers it may be for you as most reviews are glowing.
Many thanks to the publisher Celadon Press for sending me an arc copy to review. I wish my review had been a positive one.
Author: Martha Hall Kelly
Published: April 9, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.
It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov’s. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.
From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre’s who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history.
I do love historical fiction, especially the sweeping sagas that span characters and years. Kelly also wrote the Lilac Girls and I was so caught up in the story that I had to grab her new book when I saw it. I wasn’t disappointed. I’m also a huge fan of Imperial Russian history, specifically the end. And appropriately, today, while I write this review, it is the 101st anniversary of the deaths of the Romanovs. I liked how she included glimpses of Olga and Tatiana Romanov throughout the book. She kept with good historical accuracy, delving into the dangers of mob rule and the glitter of early 20th century New England.
My one real issue with the story was the subtle virtue signaling that kept popping up. Rich people have no right to be rich and poor people can take what they want. Thankfully, the circumstances of the story itself contradicted that attitude at almost every turn so it didn’t bother me too much. Luba was easily my favorite character of the whole book. Young, but mature, innocent but shrewd, and probably a genius! She saved pretty much everyone in the book at least once and she was barely 14. I would love to be best friends with her! Sofya showed a strength that I didn’t really expect. And Eliza was ok, not my favorite but she played her part well.
This is a great book for those who love historical fiction, especially early 20th century history. I really liked this book and would absolutely recommend it.
Standalone Sunday (#SAS) was started by Megan over at Bookslayer Reads.
What is Standalone Sunday?
Each Sunday bloggers feature a standalone book (one that is not part of a series) that they loved or would recommend. The standalone can also be one you want to read. There is so much focus on books that are part of a series that standalone books seem to be forgotten. They can be just as great as book series!
It has been a while since we did #SAS. This week’s #SAS is a contemporary YA novel. This one deals with coming to terms with yourself and learning who you really are.
This week’s #SAS is by I.W. Gregorio:
None of the Above
A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex… and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.
What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?
When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.
But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”
Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?
Standalone Sunday was started by Megan over at Bookslayer Reads. She sadly passed away last year and was the heart of the book blogger community. She was always so welcoming and helpful towards others and she is missed.
Megan’s presence on social media is gone, but I will remember her! It’s sad that a life so young ended.