The Whisper Man by Alex North is a police procedural with supernatural overtones, and here – unusually – it is boys rather than girls who have gone missing. The search is on for six-year-old Neil Spencer, whose disappearance from the village of Featherbank has eerie echoes of a series of child abductions and murders that took place 20 years earlier. The killer, known as the Whisper Man, is now in prison, but DI Pete Willis, who worked on the case, has started to wonder about the existence of an accomplice. Meanwhile, recently widowed Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to Featherbank in search of a fresh start, but their new house seems to be attracting attention from some strange quarters. Jake’s imaginary friends, hitherto a source of comfort, have become downright sinister. A gripping exploration of father-son relationships with a propulsive plot, The Whisper Man is a true skin-crawler.
"One Booker shortlist later, Galley Beggar were proved correct. Ellmann’s novel isn’t perfect, and it may not take the prize, but in a world where Ian McEwan is still at large, something introspective and richly painted is a tonic for us all...."
— The Daily Telegraph
4.25 out of 5