Sleep by C.L. Taylor
Publishing Date: 4th April 2019
Source: Received from the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 368
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)
All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…
To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.
Each of the guests have a secret but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.
Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.
Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…
After a car accident, which claimed lives of Anna’s two colleagues and severly injured another one, she decides for a complete change in her life and takes up a position of a receptionist and general dogsbody in a small hotel on the Scottish Island of Rum, hoping to get rid of the guilt she has after being a driver of the car. She needs a time out and sleep and overcome the night terrors that keep plaguing her, and what better place to start if not on a remote island with only 36 residents? Soon after she starts working there, seven guests arrive at the hotel and strange things and events occur, making Anna think if her stalker followed her from London to Scotland? Is she in danger? Is someone trying to… kill her?
I like the fact that the twists and turns in this novel were so straight to the point. I can’t give you an example (obviously!) but I simply loved how the things happened and without all the extras, there wasn’t any unnecessary building the tension, will it happen/won’t it happen/what ifs, it was such a pleasant change and made the reading so much more dynamic and thrilling.
The book started in a perfect and very promising way: “If you’re reading this then I am no longer alive” – wow, right? The remoteness of the hotel has added so much to the storyline, it was a great idea to set it on the Scottish Island of Rum, cut off from the world because of raging storms. This really sets the scene, dark, mysterious and dangerous and the feeling of isolation, of being cut off from the outside world – literally – was there, and was overwhelming.
The characters were very well written and vividly described. They were troubled and full of flaws and they kept secrets, and what was great was the fact that actually I was all the time changing my mind about them – I always like this feeling of uncertainty, of not knowing who I can trust. They were not likeable to be honest, and in fact, personally, I didn’t really care who’s the culprit, because they were all able to do this and because well, I didn’t have my own favourites. They simply didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
But guys, I’m not sure what it was but I’ve missed something in this book. Maybe I’ve simply expected much more? C.L. Taylor is an author that’s getting raving reviews and I keep hearing brilliant things about her books so probably I went into “Sleep” expecting unimaginable things. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good book, interesting and hooking but also somehow flat for me, not reaching the promising height it could have. Yes, I was intrigued but I’ve missed the tension, this overwhelming feeling that something bad is going to happen. And Anna seemed to me very cold, lacking in emotions and while I was worried about her, I didn’t feel any connection to her, a connection that would make me vibrate, that would make me sit on my tenterhooks, shout “watch out” and completely fell for her.
“Sleep” was a story full of twists and turns. I had, however, a feeling that the author didn’t engage with the characters, that she was not fully in their skin – I’ve missed the connection there, or maybe it was intentional? Never mind, it didn’t work for me too well. But I still enjoyed the storyline, the surprises that the author has thrown our way, and the fact that actually till the very last moment I was kept guessing. It was a solid and interesting psychological thriller with addictive writing style – the prose, the assortment of words has me reading every sentence, every word, as I simply didn’t want to miss anything. The clues and red herrings were placed masterfully, in all the right places yet it really took me till the end to find out who was the one trying to kill Anna and why – because the why is also not so obvious. Recommended!
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