The Whispers by Heidi Perks is an intriguing read. It’s one of those books featuring a narrator who may – or may not – be reliable. On one hand they appear entirely normal and only worried about a missing friend, but on the other their behaviour seems excessive. Bordering on obsessive and increasingly worrying.
But then it seems that others are keeping secrets so we’re not entirely sure who to trust.
by Heidi Perks
Published by Century
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Anna Robinson hasn't been seen since she went on a night out with her four closest friends.
She has a loving husband and a son she adores. Surely she wouldn't abandon them and her perfect life. . .
But what has happened to her?
At the school gates, it's not long before the rumours start. Anna's oldest friend Grace is beside herself with worry - desperately searching for answers, and certain that someone is hiding the truth.
With each day that passes, Anna's life is under increasing threat. And a the pressure mounts, it won't be long before something cracks. . .
The Whispers is the third book I’ve read by Perks and I’ve enjoyed them all. They’re all twisty and here Perks paces the unfolding of past secrets well so we’re kept guessing for some time.
Even though Grace’s behaviour is obviously increasingly odd and obsessive, we’re in her mind so we know (or believe) she’s not necessarily a bad or evil person. We do know however there’s something wrong. But she’s equally suspicious of Anna’s other friends and there’s also something a bit ‘off’ about their behaviour. Of course the question for readers is, How much of our perception of the others is tainted by Grace’s?
Happily Perks doesn’t take a well-worn path here when it comes to Anna’s fate – or perhaps I just read too many books that involve dastardly things happening to unsuspecting women? Instead readers (and Grace and Anna) are forced to revisit the past; in which we learn more about the girls’ friendship and about their relationships with their parents.
I also appreciated that – even though it’s hinted at one point – Perks also doesn’t go down another obvious and easy route. It’s tempting to paint characters in black and white but she includes a lot of murky grey here.
Although childhood friendships and the ties that bind people together when their lives are intertwined in their formative years (such as the case with siblings) are front and centre, there’s also some contemplation here about past decisions and mistakes, about families and relationships.
The Whispers by Heidi Perks was published by Random House UK (Century) and is now available.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.