Review – ‘While You Were Sleeping’ by Kathryn Croft (@KatCroft, @bookouture)

Today I am delighted to take part in the blog tour for the new release from Kathryn Croft, ‘While You Were Sleeping.’

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Waking up naked in a strange room next to a man who is not her husband is on the beginning of Tara’s problems. The man she is with is dead and though he is not a stranger to her, Tara has no recollection of what happened or how she came to be in his bed. Stuck in an almost impossible position, Tara is torn between doing right by the man and protecting her family. In an instant, Tara makes a decision, one which will have far reaching implications for her and her family and friends.

But someone has been watching Tara. Someone she knows is keeping a secret which can tear her family apart for good. And when people she loves start to be implicated in the man’s murder she faces the agonising choice of telling the truth and risking her marriage, or keeping silent and risk losing everything.

Tara is certain that she had nothing to do with what happened, and when it is revealed that the victim had a secret lover, she is even more certain of it. But with her memory still letting her down, and others determined to prove her guilty, can Tara find the evidence she needs to clear her name once and for all.

While You Were Sleeping’ is a full on twisted thriller which had me hooked from the first page. Having read and loved ‘The Girl You Lost’ I had high expectations, and I wasn’t let down. I quite honestly whizzed through this in one evening as once I had started I didn’t want to stop reading.

There are so many interwoven threads, so many secrets being kept, that it was almost impossible to tell who was telling the truth and who was telling a complete an utter lie. With the probably exception of Tara’s ten-year-old son Spencer, each of the characters is hiding something, and it felt as though any one of them could have been responsible for the murder. The husband, the daughter, the betrayed wife of the victim, even Tara’s creepy colleague Mikey, who had more than an unhealthy obsession with her. They are all acting suspiciously. In fact, although she is convinced it wasn’t her, even Tara is an unreliable witness and potential suspect due to her complete amnesia.

The characters in this book are all very well developed, if a little unbalanced. I was never entirely certain of the motivations or logic of any of them. Yes, some may argue that the plot was a little far-fetched. Would someone really run out on a dead body, no matter the circumstances? Could you really expect to get away with it? Given the consequences, you feel that Tara would have made a different choice with the benefit of hindsight. However, decision made, the lies and trickery which ensued had me completely engrossed and I had no trouble suspending disbelief and racing along with the action.

I didn’t entirely like Tara as a character, and with the ‘amnesia’ she is somewhat of an unreliable narrator. The story was told from Tara’s point of view as well, which made it a strange experience seeing everything unfold through the eyes of someone I couldn’t quite trust. The fact that the family all lied to each other also made any of them hard to root for but I always had the feeling that something or someone was deliberately working against them, though to what end, I wasn’t sure. Still, despite my mistrust of the central characters, I was still strangely engaged, my impetus to keep reading was fed by a desire to satisfy my curiosity as to who might be trying to set who up and why, rather than an aching need for them to be proven innocent.

The chemistry between Tara and the lead Detective in the investigation didn’t add much to the story for me, but it provided a segue way into some of the more twisted parts of the plot. Tara’s creepy colleague Mikey and his clear obsession with her also added an element of unease to an already tense plot. His admission of spying on Tara and his manipulation of her was brilliantly written and made my skin crawl. I could cheerfully have throttled her daughter, Rosie, with her mood swings. Noah seemed to be almost the perfect husband at one point, but even he had secrets and was haunted by someone every bit as determined as Mikey to put an end to his marriage. In fact, only their son Spencer and Tara’s sister Lisa, seemingly had nothing to hide.

This book was so full of misdirection that right up the final quarter of the book I wasn’t entirely certain who had done it. The closer I got to the end though the clearer things seemed, and a few questions were answered which pointed to the killer. Or so I thought. Because, that said, Ms Croft still threw in one final, highly effective curve ball that made me doubt my convictions for a moment and the final revelation was still quite a bit of a shock.

With a good pace to the story and cleverly developed, if not entirely likeable characters, ‘While You Were Sleeping’ is another great addition to the Bookouture library. If you like a twisted tale that will grab your attention and keep you guessing to the end, then I would highly recommend you treat yourself.

4.5 tense and secretive stars.

4-5

I reviewed an advance copy provided by NetGalley and the publisher.

While You Were Sleeping‘ was published by Bookouture on 16th November and is available to purchase here:

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Make sure to check out some of the other fabulous bloggers taking part in the tour.

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The Official Book Blurb

You wake up to find the man beside you is dead. 
He is not your husband. This is not your bed. 

Tara Logan adores her perfect little family: husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer. 

But her happiness is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour, Lee Jacobs’ bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse – he has been stabbed to death.

Convinced she didn’t kill Lee, Tara flees home and stays silent, holding her breath as the investigation grips the neighbourhood.
But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara starts to wonder if someone in her own life knows what really happened that night. And when the police turn their questions towards her, Tara realises she has to find out. 

But what will it take to uncover the real story, and can she survive the truth?

A gripping, shocking psychological thriller, with a twist that will take you by surprise.

About the Author

kc-2  www.kathryncroft.com

Kathryn worked in HR and management training before her passion for literature led her to train as an English teacher. She spent six years teaching secondary school English; a job she believes was invaluable to her writing career. Kathryn now devotes all her time to writing.

2 thoughts on “Review – ‘While You Were Sleeping’ by Kathryn Croft (@KatCroft, @bookouture)

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