The opening chapter of Donato Carrisi’s novel The Whisperer describes a hideous scene where the severed arms of young girls are found in a clearing. Enter Dr. Goran Gavila and his team of special agents: Klaus Boris, Sarah Rosa, and Stern. As they attempt to find five missing girls, the discovery of their arms does not leave the agents with much hope. Plus, the fact that they found the arm of a sixth unidentified girl sends this team into a whirlwind, as they attempt to predict what this monster will reveal next.
Officer Mila Vasquez specializes in finding missing children. Having a sixth sense about the men and women who abduct the young individuals, she successfully rescues hundreds of children, yet shies away from the limelight. While harboring a secret of her own, she is called in to help Dr. Gavila and his team solve the missing girl case. Named Albert by the team, the abductor begins to leave the little girls’ bodies in places that reveal a previous horrendous crime not discovered by officials. Battling time, Mila rushes to discover the identity of the sixth girl while uncovering horrible secrets including murder and rape.
Donato Carrisi studied law and criminology and it certainly shows when reading this gripping novel. The beginning is a bit disjointed since I didn’t realize how he was going to connect the two storylines, but once the connection was made, the novel took unexpected turns.
I felt as if the novel was detailing a real police case and enjoyed the scientific and logical explanations given by Gavila, which never seemed farfetched. He carefully explained the thought process of Albert, the serial killer, and motives behind his actions. I also instantly bonded with Mila who through her personal pain and insecurities put the case in the foreground. While the rest of the team caught my attention, she seemed to view the case in a different light, allowing the reader to compare her viewpoint to the rest of the team.
Also, when I thought I had everything figured out, Carrisi throws another curveball, disrupting my sense of calm and accomplishment at outsmarting the perpetrator. You feel as if you are alongside Mila and Gavila, attempting to solve this mystery before the sixth girl is killed.
Carrisi also infused the novel with grotesque horror scenes, leaving the reader wondering if such crimes were even possible for a human being to commit. Combining mystery, intrigue, horror, and hope, The Whisperer is certainly one of best novels that I have read this year. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves a thrilling story and wants to get lost in a disturbingly realistic plot.
**I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher to review. This novel will be released in the US in January 2012.