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.
Today Kim and I bring you a double review of The Perfect Son by Lauren North. One of us enjoyed it, the other not so much. This is what is great about reviews, we all have different experiences and opinions and even though we read the same book, we can have varying opinions of it.
The Perfect Son
Author: Lauren North
To Be Published: August 13, 2019
A disturbing and shocking debut novel of psychological suspense about a recently widowed mother, her young son, and the lengths she’ll go to in order to keep him safe.
When Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital the day after her son Jamie’s eighth birthday, she’s sure of these things: She’s been stabbed, her son is missing, her brother-in-law and her grief counselor are involved. But no one is listening to her.
After her husband, Mark, died suddenly in a terrible accident a few months earlier, the only thing keeping Tess together is Jamie. As they struggle to make sense of their new life without Mark, they find joy in brief moments of normalcy like walking to school and watching television together. Life is hard without Mark, but Tess has Jamie, and that’s what matters.
But there in the hospital, confused and surrounded by people who won’t listen, Tess’s world falls apart. To save her son, she must piece together what happened between Mark’s death and Jamie’s birthday, but the truth might just be too much for her to bear.
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway and the cover really intrigued me, so I read it. What surprised me most was how easy to read it was. I finished it in less than 48 hours and I read huge chunks at once. Before I knew it, I was almost finished and I felt like I couldn’t put it down. The emotions were also very overwhelming. I know that many people will react to Tess they way they did with Rachel in The Girl on the Train; that she’s too weak and she’s a set back to women’s independence, and so on. For the record, I also really enjoyed The Girl on the Train.
Tess’s reaction to losing her husband sounds pretty reasonable to me. In fact, I experienced some pretty crazy anxiety while reading the first half of this book. All I could think about was how horrible my life would be if I lost Ivan. I will admit that I didn’t guess the ending of this book. I should have and I feel a little dumb that I didn’t, but in my defense, I had a million theories scrolling in my head through the whole book. I’d get one little detail and then I’d run with it and expand it into the most unlikely scenarios that weren’t even close to reality. Overall, I was happy with the ending.
Obviously, I can’t get into any details, but considering how predictable it actually was, I did enjoy it and was satisfied. I would recommend it to those who enjoy psychological thrillers, just be prepared for that predictability. Thankfully, there were other good things I got from the story other than just solving the mystery. A very good book!
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
With an intriguing premise and a “pull you in from the first few lines” introduction, The Perfect Son had promise, but sadly it fell victim to “I read too many thrillers” as I had the big twist figured out from the first few chapters. It was also very slow moving and I was not attached to Tess. I felt for her with the grief she is experiencing, but is she just grieving, is she crazy, or is someone ‘after’ her and her son Jamie?
Tess is yet another unreliable narrator, and by now you know those are mainly a miss for me. Occasionally, the unreliable narrator works for me (see my review for The Woman in Cabin 10 here), but for the most part they miss the mark.
Even the ending had no conclusion; It was as if nothing was learned from the situation. This is North’s debut novel and even though it was not for me, I would give her writing another try.
Kim won two arc copies via Goodreads and she sent me one so we could do a double review.
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Published: April 9, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 30- May 7, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Twenty years ago, in an upscale suburb of Philadelphia, four teenagers spent a summer as closest friends: drinking, sharing secrets, testing boundaries. When a new boy looked to join them, they decided to pull a prank on him, convincing him to play Russian roulette as an initiation into their group. They secretly planned to leave the gun unloaded—but what happened next would change each of them forever.
Now three of the four reunite for the first time since that horrible summer. The guilt—and the lingering question about who loaded the gun—drove them apart. But after one of the group apparently commits suicide with a gun, their old secrets come roaring back. One of them is going to figure out if the new suicide is what it seems, and if it connects to the events of that long-ago summer. Someone knows exactly what happened—but who? And how far will they go to keep their secrets buried?
I adore Lisa Scottoline and she is one of my ‘go to’ authors. I will want to read her upcoming book without even knowing what it is about. That being said, Someone Knows had an intriguing description that failed miserably for me. It was like she went solely for the ‘shock factor’ with this one, with a lot being unnecessary. For me all of the characters except for Allie are 100% unlikeable. They all are dysfunctional in some way, some worse than others. With their issues combined you also see their immaturity.
Scottoline doesn’t usually write teen characters, and this novel shows she may need to stay away from teens and stick with adults. The backstory to all the characters was not needed for me as I was not invested in these characters. I wanted to get to the night in question and back to present day.
The last quarter of the book involved the climax, but I just wanted to get to the end. When I got to the final twist it was so unbelievable I just rolled my eyes. Everything was ‘to the extreme’ on this one, especially with one particular character, and I am still not sure why this character did what they did. The story also comes around full circle and tied in a bow for the ending, but that bow was not pretty.
I hate to say this, but stay away from Someone Knows and read Scottoline’s other novels.[Top]