The Whispers By Heidi Perks
Book/Novel Author: Heidi Perks
Book/Novel Title: The Whispers
The internationally bestselling author of Her One Mistake, hailed by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell as “slick, gripping, and compelling,” explores toxic relationships, dark secrets, and a twisted web of lies in an explosive new novel about a woman searching for her missing best friend. Anna loves Girls’ Night with her friends. With the kids safely in bed, it’s a chance for the women to let loose, enjoy some wine, and just laugh. But after one lively evening, Anna doesn’t arrive for school drop-off the next morning—or the next, or the next. Everyone, especially her husband and young son, are frantic with worry but none more so than Grace, her childhood best friend. Grace is certain that someone is hiding the truth about Anna’s unexplained disappearance. As rumors fly and accusations are whispered among neighbors, Grace decides to take matters into her own hands and find out what happened to Anna…or die trying.
The story of Grace and Anna’s friendship and Anna’s disappearance is told from three perspectives — the “whispers,” which are a handful of italicized chapters of the third-person chatter of other parents in the schoolyard; Grace’s perspective in the third person; and Anna’s perspective in the first person. Some of the chapters are numbered, some of them are dated, and some of them are numbered and dated. There were chapters that went back to when Grace and Anna were children. Honestly, the back and forth of the timeline was ridiculously distracting for me.This book started out with a Big Little Lies meets Broadchurch vibe for me, both series that I enjoyed. This one was so complicated, though, that I couldn’t enjoy it. It felt like the author added elements to the story just to throw off the reader, and it just became too confusing.All of the characters were shady. None of the characters were likeable except maybe Grace’s husband Graham, who I didn’t even think was necessary to the storyline. There were so many references to some big secret thing that had happened when Grace and Anna were teenagers, but by the time I got to the end of the book, I really didn’t care anymore.And the whispers were pretty much irrelevant. They added a schoolyard gossip element to the storyline, with everyone trying to figure out what was going on with the five women. But it’s the title of the book. I expected that perspective to be prevalent throughout. It was literally a handful of chapters. The main focus was Grace’s and Anna’s chapters, and I still don’t think I really know everything that happened.I think the author tried too hard to make this one suspenseful and fell far short. It was a miss for me.I received an advance copy of this title from NetGalley and Gallery Books.
Grace Goodwin has recently moved to Clearwater in England from Sydney Australia. She grew up in Clearwater and moved away when she was 17. She is mother to Matilda, age 8. Her husband, Graham, works in Singapore for a large pharmaceutical company.Grace was very good friends with Anna Robinson when she lived in Clearwater and is looking forward to seeing her again. She is now married and mother to Ethan, age 8. However, Grace has been rather disappointed that Anna seems to be some distant to her. In an effort to renew their friendship, Grace joins Anna and her friends, Nancy, Rachel, and Caitlyn at a pub one evening. However, she feels somewhat shunned by the group. At midnight, Grace heads home to relieve her babysitter while the group of drunken women remain at the pub.The next morning, Grace learns that Anna didn’t leave the pub with the other women but said she would get home on her own. However, she did not make it home. Anna’s husband, Ben, seems to think that one cannot notify the police before someone is missing for 24 hours. So, Anna takes it upon herself to do so.This book shows the reader in bits and pieces about the relationship between Grace and Anna when they were younger. It’s an obsessive type relationship with lots of secrets and questions of events from the past. I found it to be rather tedious at times and wanted the author to just get on with it. There is some angst mixed in with immature friendship rivalry. Not a favorite by this author.I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.
Synopsis: Anna is excited for a fun night out with friends, except the next morning she doesn’t show up for school drop off. She’s apparently disappeared.So many twists and turns. So many secrets. I did not know who to trust. I always enjoy books about friendships- even broken ones, so this was right up my alley. There were some details/subplots that were not completely necessary but I didn’t mind them. Overall I thought this was a well written book. It was suspenseful and entertaining. It was an easy read that had my full attention. I would definitely read more from this author in the future. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book. The overall preface is about a toxic friendship, but which friendship is the toxic one? It is told from two different perspectives and just when you are convinced of who and what to believe, another perspective comes into view. Heidi Perks has a way of writing that captures the reader’s attention from the start. I enjoyed this book and look forward to more of her books.
The Whispers by Heidi Perks is a novel that falls in the thriller category but I’d almost just call this one a suspenseful drama. The story in The Whispers is one that is told by changing the point of view between the characters and a slight bit of flashing back to past events.As children Anna and Grace were the best of friends being completely inseparable until Grace’s family had to move away to another country. Now almost twenty years later Grace has returned to the town she grew up in and hopes to resume her friendship with Anna.Of course with so much time having past from the days of Grace and Anna’s friendship Anna now has a life of her own. Grace does her best to fit in with Anna’s group of friends even tagging along on a night at the pub but she leaves the party earlier than Anna. The next morning Grace learns Anna never made it home.The Whispers by Heidi Perks was a very slow building novel which isn’t always my favorite type of read. The story focuses a lot on building the relationship between the women then tosses in a bit of suspense to move it along. There are some twists to the plot along the way but for me the overall novel didn’t engage me enough to finish thinking this one was more than just an average alright read.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.