by Alex North
Narrator: Hannah Arterton, John Heffernan
Length: 9 hours and 5 minutes
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 cups Speed: 1.3x
The haunting new thriller from Alex North, author of the New York Times best seller The Whisper Man.
You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile - always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it's attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet - and inspired more than one copycat.
Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree - and his victim - were Paul's friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.
It's not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there's something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day 25 years ago.
It wasn't just the murder.
It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again....
Narrated by Hannah Arterton and John Heffernan, The Shadows by Alex North, Paul returns to the scene of a bizarre murder-mystery that will keep you listening into the wee hours.
I have North’s Whisper Man on my audio wishlist and listened. The author and narrators slowly pulled me into the story.
Paul Adams returns to his childhood home when his mother has a fall. He left when he graduated and never looked back. Events surrounding Charlie Crabtree made Paul want to forget. But coming home stirs up memories and questions.
The second narrative is that of Detective Amanda from Featherbank, whose investigating a ritualistic murder performed by two teens. Her investigation leads her to Charlie Crabtree and eventually Paul.
While the story dragged in places, or perhaps I was impatient and frustrated by the audio player, the flashbacks were atmospheric with supernatural-like elements. I found myself asking if Charlie was dead. Childhood Paul and adult Paul aren’t much different, and he struggles with seeking answers and trying to forget. What he finds in his attic and the questions from Amanda raise questions. Combined with eerie threats and disturbances, North raised the hair on the back of neck.
The storyline was suspenseful as the past met the present. North brought it all together and made events feel plausible. Something is definitely wrong with the water in Gritten, and I for one won’t be visiting. If Paul is smart, he’ll take the next train headed north.
“Red hands, red hands, red hands everywhere.”
John Heffernan did a stellar job as the voice of Paul. He had to perform them both as adults and young teens. His voice was believable and enhanced the overall tale. John’s narration was perfect for me at 1.3x
Hannah Arterton was the voice of Amanda and she captured the young tenacious detective. Hannah naturally talks fast and each time her narration began I had to adjust the speed. I listened to her at 1x, something I never do.
A refreshing and bizarre tale that I couldn’t set down. Grab your earbuds and check it out.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I have not tried audio books, but your review intrigued me. Just finished reading the book and one question won’t go away: Why in the end (p. 261-262) when Carl Dawson shows up standing by Paul’s car, Paul states a figure was standing by his car, “their” features occluded, “they” were staring back, recognized “them” – not “its” features, etc. Was he feeling so guilty he was also “seeing” James alongside his stepfather?
I am going to give it a go then.
I’ve been worried about the creep level in Alex North’s books. I might give this one a go. Nice review Kimberlly.
I think if you like suspenseful mysteries you’ll enjoy this.
I’m looking forward to reading this, so glad to hear it’s creepy!
Sweet. I would look forward to your thoughts on it.
Tyler H. Jolley
This thriller is right up my alley. Great review, Kimba!
I hope you get a chance to listen Tyler!
Aj @ Read All The Things!
I didn’t read Whisper Man because I wasn’t super interested in it, but I want to read this one! It sounds creepy. I’m waiting impatiently for it to show up at my library.
I hope you get it soon!
A fabulous review! I don’t generally read horror, but this review actually tempted me…
While it has elements of horror, it is more of a thriller.
Oh yes I saw this one around and I confess that I was quite curious about it
I hope you try him Melliane.
his name is familiar and i do love that cover. that alone makes me want to read it
He has two books under this name.
I’m so happy to read your review of this one! I agree that the audio player was the cause for much frustration with this one. It forced me to stop listening several times. I hope they are able to fix the interface when it comes to speeding up the audio a bit. I know few of us seasoned listeners listen at 1x.
I did enjoy the story and creepiness of this one, but it was lacking something for me. The Whisper Man was far superior IMHO.
Oh, man…that was insane. They have improved the app somewhat…
I plan to listen to the Whisper Man in October.
I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this one overall. I have this AND The Whisper Man to read. I think I’m going to try and aim for them in the next few months, with Halloween and all that.
They would be perfect for the Fraterfest Readathon!
I have been wanting to listen to this one, but I was turned off by Netgalley’s audio app. I guess I will have to read instead
They fixed a few things, but it’s far from perfect.
Debbie S Haupt
OOh Kim this sounds like my kind of read thanks for the super review
I have his other book on my wishlist (actually borrowed it and waiting for the copy).
This sounds really good and it sounds like North has done a really good job in making it a page turner. I like that despite the supernatural elements, it works out and seems plausible in the end!
I hope you enjoy it!