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The Whisper Man Summary & Study Guide

Alex North
This Study Guide consists of approximately 77 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Whisper Man.
This section contains 794 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Whisper Man Summary & Study Guide Description

The Whisper Man Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Whisper Man by Alex North.

The following version of the novel was used to create this study guide: North, Alex. The Whisper Man. Celadon Books, August 20, 2019. Kindle.

In The Whisper Man by Alex North, while it is natural for a child to want to earn his father’s pride, North takes this idea to the extreme when a man becomes a child abductor and killer in hopes of making his father proud. Frank Carter, given the moniker The Whisper Man, abducted and killed multiple children from the Featherbank area. Twenty years later, Detective Inspector Pete Willis still looked for the body of Tony Smith, the last boy kidnapped by Carter. At about this same time, Tom Kennedy and his son, Jake, move to Featherbank. They came to the area hoping for a clean start after Tom’s wife, Jake’s mother, died. This father and son had no idea at the time that they were not leaving their past, but instead moving closer to it.

Tom had allowed Jake to pick out the house into which they would live in Featherbank. Jake was adamant that they live in that house even though Tom thought the house looked spooky and lopsided. After two disturbing events — Tom encountered a man trying to break into the garage, and then a person tried to abduct Jake — Tom decided to investigate the history of his house. He discovered that the man who had lived in the house before Tom bought it had been murdered. He also found out that the man who had tried to break into the garage had put in an offer to buy the house, but his offer was refused even though it was more than the list price. Tom searched the garage, hoping to find what the man wanted so badly. He discovered the bones of a child hidden beneath the floor in the garage.

At about the same time that Tom discovered the body, the police came to follow up with Tom about the abduction attempt. Another child had been abducted several months earlier. His body was found in the same area from which he had been taken. The child’s shirt was pulled up over his face, something that the Whisper Man did to his victims, leading the police to believe the cases were connected. Tom was shocked when one of the police officers working the case, Pete, turned out to be his father, a man that Tom remembered as a violent drunk. As Tom began to get to know his father as an adult, he realized his father had changed. He trusted him to the point that he allowed him to babysit Jake while Tom went out for a drink one evening.

Both Jake and Tom sensed that something bad was going to happen on the night that Tom left Jake alone with Pete. Their fears were confirmed when the abductor walked into the house and wounded Pete so severely with a knife that Pete was unable to stop him from kidnapping Jake. Later, Carter’s son, who thinks of himself as Francis Carter, the name he was given by his parents, but is known at the school where he works as George Saunders, thinks that his father would be proud of him for hurting Pete the way he did.

Hoping to feel closer to his missing son, Tom looks through Jake’s Packet of Special Things, a zippered folio in which Jake keeps mementos. He finds a picture he believes was drawn by a teacher at school for Jake to copy. Because that teacher is not at school, Tom and his friend, Karen, visit George at his home. George pretended not to recognize the picture and almost had Tom convinced that Jake was not there when Tom heard Jake hollering from upstairs. George stabs Tom with a knife but Karen had called the police so George was soon apprehended by officers. Jake was saved. In the final scenes, an injured Tom visited the hospital bed where his father was dying. Tom hugged his father, an embrace that Pete recognized meant that Tom had forgiven him.

Meanwhile, George was incarcerated in the same jail in which his father was being held. George believed incorrectly that his father would be proud of him and that he would be protected by the same group of inmates that protected his father. Instead, Carter got the keys to George’s jail cell one night. George could tell by the look of hate on his father’s face that he was not proud of him. George wanted to cry out for help but knew no one would help him. Instead, George pulled his shirt up over his face, showing that he knew his father intended to kill him.

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