August 2020 Reading Recap


Summer is coming to an end, I guess. The autumn equinox doesn’t hit until September 22nd, but we can already get pumpkin spice lattes, so I’m saying summer is over. A few more books read this month. No interviews, but I have so much excitement coming in September. Continue reading

Review: THE SHADOWS by Alex North (2020)

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult Thriller
Year Release: 2020
Source: Book of the Month Club

Trigger warnings: Child murder, suicide, blood, dementia

I had really enjoyed Alex North’s The Whisper Man. So, when I saw that another book was out by him, I had to jump on it. In this thriller, a man named Paul Adams returns home 25 years after a tragedy involving the death of a classmate, lucid dreaming, and a disappearance. A copy cat murder takes place and detective Amanda Beck returns to tie the connections linking the two crimes.

North has such a knack for write dual timelines and multi-POV. The details and the clever drops of certain details lead to excellent pacing and characterization. The twist in this book had my jaw on the floor, and scrambling to figure out how I had missed the clues. The realization is heartbreaking, but provides the proper impetus to race through the end, where secrets and truths are revealed, and the mystery is solved.

The use of lucid dreaming and a scary folkloric figure like Red Hands reminded me of the 2014 Wisconsin Slenderman stabbing, but there are enough differences that this book is definitely not a retelling.

Unsettling with an awesome twist, this thriller hits all the notes with a creepy mystery and a satisfying resolution.

January 2020 Reading Recap


Happy 2020! Welcome to the first addition of what I learned by reading. This month felt like it was a million years long, which is fine in terms of reading because I read 12 books so far, well ahead of my 100 book goal for 2020.

Continue reading

Review: THE WHISPER MAN by Alex North (2019)

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Adult Thriller
Year Release: 2019
Source: Library audiobook

Listened to the audiobook

Trigger warnings: Child murder, blood, child abduction, alcoholism

Listening to this book on audio was certainly a choice. When I finish a long reading project like Kushiel’s Dart, I need a bit of a breather from long science fiction and fantasy. A contemporary thriller was such a great idea. And Christopher Eccleston did the audio? A bonus!

What a surprise of a novel this was. Equal parts police procedural and family drama, The Whisper Man is a spine-tingling time. In the village of Featherbank, Tom and his six-year-old son, Jake, seek a fresh start after tragedy strikes their family, only to find out that a copycat has been following the format of grizzly child murders which took place prior.

Where this book shines is its exploration of grief and family. So much time was spent going through the things lost to “smaller” tragedies and the ways that kids and adults deal with their problems. Jake has his imaginary friends, DI Pete turns to alcohol, and Tom has anxiety over trying his absolute best to be both parents. The way this novel handles its antagonist also fascinated me. Revealing the scoundrel at the very end could be tracked from start to finish, but this book is definitely more about the journey than the reveal.

Terrifying in times that left me suppressing screams, The Whisper Man is more about family than anything else, so definitely give this thriller a read.