Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week.
This week’s featured book is actually an audio book, The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi.
- Listening Length: 13 hours and 43 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio
- Source: Publisher
In a clearing in the woods, a brutal burial ground is found. Within it are six arms belonging to young girls. Their identities unknown, the rest of the remains missing.
Leading the investigation are profiler Mila Vasquez and criminologist Goran Gavila. Eventually the bodies start to be revealed, found near the sites of horrendous crimes yet discovered by the authorities. Five of them are the bodies of girls previously reported as missing, the sixth is a mystery. The team quickly has in their custody a suspect, although he doesn’t seem to have ties to any of the victims other than the first. It’s not long before they discover that their original suspect is just a pawn in the case and that another truly evil individual is running free. He always seems to be ahead of them, playing a sick game of cat and mouse with the team. They are running out of time, the sixth girl could potentially still be alive.
Mila and Goran come to this case with their own baggage. Mila, well known for her ability to find lost and abducted children, has a dark past quite similar to the victims. She isn’t part of the original investigative team, she comes in on loan from another county. She’s an outside, finding it hard to fit in with the other members of the team. She’s not your usual individual and tries very hard to hide her femininity, wanting to remain invisible in a crowd. Goran is a single father, raising his young son on his own after his wife abandoned them.
Interspersed throughout the novel is correspondence from a prison director about an inmate, only known by his inmate number. The prison is unable to determined his identity, for this inmate cleans up after himself quite well, leaving no trace of fingerprints or DNA in his cell. They are certain he has committed a crime so serious that he will stop at nothing to prevent his identity from being revealed. Unfortunately, the crime that put him in the prison isn’t severe enough to keep him for an extended period of time and his release is imminent. The reader can’t help but wonder what, if anything, ties this individual to the case at hand.
Carrisi has created a truly chilling psychological thriller in The Whisperer, a serial killer that others have compared to the character of Hannibal Lecter. I would have to agree. But what really sets this book apart from the others is that it really makes you think, taking you on a dizzying ride of unexpected twists and turns. The characters, themselves immersed in darkness, really add to the overall feeling of depravity and desperation that flows throughout the book.
I listened to the audio book production of this novel. The voice of the narrator, Carol Monda, adds to the chilling tone of the book. She is, without a doubt, the perfect narrator for a book of this style of book. Her vocal talent has impressed me so much that I find myself looking for books she has narrated.
The Whisperer is an international bestseller, likened to the work of Stieg Larsson. I’ll dare to take that a step further and state that Carrisi’s work exceeds that of Larsson. Highly, highly recommended.