From theNew York Timesbestselling author ofThe Guest Roomcomes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss and buried desire--the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night. When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee's disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee's husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs' Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee's disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee only leave her bed when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where is the body? Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers."
Audiobook, 10 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Penguin Random House Audio
Three and a half stars: A quiet thriller that will sneak up on you.
Lianna feels like she is stuck in limbo. The hot, dry summer is winding down with still no sign of her mother. Lianna won't be returning to college in the Fall to finish her senior year until she finds closure. Lianna's whole world came apart when her mother, Annalee, disappeared in the night, leaving only a scrap of her nightshirt tangled in a bush. Everyone fears the worst since Annalee had a dangerous habit of sleepwalking, and once, Lianna pulled her naked and asleep from the top of the bridge. As time drags on, Lianna begins to uncover her mother's secrets. What happened to her mother that night?
What I Liked:
- The Sleepwalker is a quiet thriller that draws you in and soothes you with a quiet, coming of age type story, and then it bites you with a stunning finale. Even though this wasn't a jaw dropping story with crazy twists and turns, it is one that kept me in suspense and entertained until the end. If you want a simpler thriller without outlandish and unrealistic reveals, this is one to try.
- I thought of this one as a coming of age type story as it follows twenty one year old Lianna who ends up back home after her mother disappears. After Lianna's mother disappearance, Lianna bears a big burden of responsibility as she assumes the role of caretaker for her younger sister and her dad. Lianna is a typical young adult, one who is caught up in her own life, and then she isn't when she is forced to examine her mother's life and her parent's marriage. I appreciated that she was a realistic character, one who made mistakes. She tells little lies, smokes weed and all of that, but then she grows up. I liked seeing her mature and change.
- The overall mystery is compelling. It becomes even more so because of the interesting tidbits sprinkled in between the chapters that are narrated by Annalee. These snippets include some frightening and intriguing facts on sleepwalking. Some of the sleepwalking stories are terrifying. After reading this, I had a whole new take on sleepwalking. I am glad that I outgrew sleepwalking as I used to do it when I was a young child.
- This is what I consider a slow burn type mystery. It moves along at a nice, pedantic pace, throwing some interesting breadcrumb clues and red herrings along the way. Then the truth came out, shocking me. I have to admit, I didn't figure out the twist. It was startling, but realistic.
- I listened to the audiobook version. I liked the main narration and I thought the narrator did a good job with the voices.
And The Not So Much:
- Even though I liked that this was a slower type thriller, I have to admit, it got boring. Not much happens for most of the book after Annalee disappears. Yes, there are some interesting tidbits on sleepwalking, but other than that, it reads more like a coming of age story as Lianna tries to find her way after her mom disappears. This one required some patience.
- I wasn't a fan of the romance. Lianna starts dating one of the detectives who is twelve years her senior. There just wasn't much chemistry between them, and I was never convinced of the relationship. I also didn't like that the fact that Lianna sneaked around with him and didn't come clean with her family when it came to her relationship.
- I appreciated that this one wasn't gory or disturbing. However, for those of you who don't like gristly details, there is a lengthy discussion on a decaying corpse, which was a little gross.
- I liked the audiobook, but I was not a fan of the narration done for Annalee's portion. It sounded like a different narrator. I found her voice jarring, and I didn't like her parts at all.
The Sleepwalker was an interesting and compelling story that kept me entertained. This is what I would consider a quiet thriller, it isn't one that is filled with shocking twists and surprises. Instead it snags you in with the terrifying truths of sleepwalking, and keeps your attention until the final stunning reveal. If you want a simpler thriller this is one to try.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.