The Whispers by Heidi Perks

My enormous thanks to Rachel Kennedy at Penguin Random House for inviting me to be part of the hardback launch for The Whispers by Heidi Perks. I’m delighted to share my review today.

It’s been too long since Heidi Perks featured here on Linda’s Book Bag. Last time was in 2019 when I reviewed Come Back To Me here. Prior to that I shared my review of Now You See Her here and Heidi was kind enough to provide a brilliant guest post here about becoming a writer when Beneath the Surface was published.

Published by Penguin Random House imprint, Century, The Whispers is available for purchase through the links here.

The Whispers

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A missing wife. Four friends. Who is telling the truth?

Anna Robinson hasn’t been seen since she went on a night out with her four closest friends.

She has a loving husband, a son she adores, a perfect life… surely she wouldn’t abandon them. And if not, then something terrible must have happened.

It’s not long before the rumours start at the school gates where this group of friends all met. What exactly happened on that mum’s night out?

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 as the pressure mounts, it won’t be long before something cracks…

A scintillating thriller exploring female friendships and the secrets we keep from those who think they know us best.

My Review of The Whispers

Anna Robinson is missing.

If you’re looking for a fast paced all action thriller then The Whispers is probably not for you. If, however, you want a scarily insightful narrative that delves into the minds of the characters and builds and builds in atmosphere until the reader simply has to know how the story will resolve itself, then Heidi Perks provides it magnificently. Initially I was unsure if I was going to enjoy The Whispers and yet finished the book completely satisfied and entertained, appreciating the skill with which the author had built her tale.

The characterisation is brilliant. Anna’s disappearance is a catalyst for the present scenarios, but it is the gradual unfolding of the past, the way friendships work, the insidious school gate politics and the manipulative control of relationship dynamics that makes The Whispers so compelling.

I didn’t like any of the characters at all. They are flawed, frequently shallow in behaviour and self-centred so that I was glad they weren’t part of my life. But they are also vivid, realistic, loyal and fascinating so that I loved trying to work out their real thoughts and personalities. I thought Heidi Perks was incredibly skilful in manipulating me as a reader, drawing me in to petty jealousies until I felt as if I were like Grace, watching from a tangential distance in the playground. The Whispers is fascinating in delving into the human psyche.

I think what works so well in The Whispers is that Heidi Perks forces the reader to confront their own personality and loyalties; to consider what friendship really means and to question aspects of others that they simply take for granted. I found this aspect of The Whispers brilliantly constructed and somewhat unnerving. 

From what felt like a slightly unpromising beginning for me, The Whispers ended with me understanding exactly why it had been constructed as it had and realising I had just read a cleverly manipulative story.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.   

About Heidi Perks

Heidi

Heidi Perks is a Sunday Times bestselling author of Now You See Her, Come Back For Me and Three Perfect LiarsElements of The Whispers are drawn from Heidi’s own personal experience of making friends at the school gates and the intrigues and dramas of motherly friendships. Heidi Perks’ debut novel Now You See Her twice reached the Sunday Times bestseller list, first in hardback in July 2018 at No.9 and again at No.6 in paperback in March 2019 where it was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick for Spring 2019.

Now You See Her has sold over 300,000 copies across formats to date and has received over a staggering 1000 five start reviews on Amazon from readers, with more than 400,000 copies of Heidi’s books sold in the UK alone. Now You See Her has also been optioned for TV from the production company behind BBC One’s ‘The Miniaturist’ and Channel 4’s ‘National Treasure’. Heidi Perks lives with her family in Bournemouth, and sets all over books on the South Coast of England.

She is a graduate of the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative Online Novel Writing Course (the only creative writing school run by a literary agency). 

Follow Heidi on Twitter @HeidiPerksBooks and join in the conversation with #THEWHISPERS. You’ll also find Heidi on Facebook and Instagram

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