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.
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Published: May 8, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 15 – August 7, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.
Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.
The High Tide Club features Brooke Trappnell who is introduced in Save the Date. You do not need to have read Save the Date first, but I would recommend it as you will know Brooke’s backstory. Save the Date was the first Mary Kay Andrews’ (MKA) book I read and she has since become an author who I will read anything she writes! The High Tide Club has become my favorite of MKA’s that I have read!
The High Tide Club has a little bit of everything that keeps you reading: A little romance, a murder mystery that spans decades, a group of girlfriends, secrets and lies, making amends, and family: the biological one and the ones you choose.
There are two timelines that connect: One starts in the 1940s, and the other is in present day. I never lost interest in both timeline stories and I never figured the twists out. Everything fits and flows together well. Though it is a fun and intriguing read, there are also some serious situations that occur in the novel including rape and abandoned babies. MKA may be starting to turn a little ‘dark’ in her novels, but they are still enjoyable and definitely easy beach reads.
The High Tide Club is a longer novel, coming in at 470 pages, but I couldn’t really see any of it being discarded. I do have the book, but listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Kathleen McInerney. I have listened to most of MKA’s books on audiobook and McInerney narrates them all. Both of those ladies just go together like peas and carrots!
If you have not given MKA a try you really need to!