Today it is my absolute pleasure to join the blog tour for Sleep, the latest thriller from CL Taylor and Avon Books. My thanks to Sabah Khan of Avon for inviting me to join the tour and to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review. Here is what the book is all about.
The Bookish Bits:
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…
The million-copy bestseller is back in her darkest, twistiest book to date. Read it if you dare!
If I’m being honest, I’ve been struggling with reading this year. No reflection on the books, they’ve been great, mostly anyway, but I just haven’t gotten my head in the game. When I sat down with the copy of Sleep on my kindle I was kind of expecting to be faced with more of the same – a lack of concentration, and a kind of restlessness that saw me do anything but focus on the page and the words in front of me.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
From the very first chapter I was completely drawn into the book and one hundred percent focused on what I was reading. The only thing that pulled me away was a pre-arranged walk with my sister but as soon as I got home I was back to it and completely engrossed, finishing the book the same day. Believe me when I say that this has been very, very rare this year and hats off to author C.L. Taylor who had me so caught up in both the characters and the story that I didn’t want to turn away. My cats were less impressed as they had to wait to be fed but that’s an entirely different story …
Sleep is the story of Anna, a woman whose life changes in an instant when the car she is driving is involved in a serious collision with life changing consequences not just for her, but also for her colleagues that she was driving home. It’s a situation that, whilst thankfully most of us have never been involved in, is really quite relatable and this adds a layer of authenticity and sadness to the novel right from the start. Anna is plagued by guilt and unable to live with the consequences of what happened she decides to start her life over on a remote island in Scotland.
So far so ordinary, but Anna’s life is anything but and moving to Rum is really just the start of her troubles and of a tense, atmospheric and at times claustrophobic read that had me on the edge of my seat, because someone connected with Anna’s past is out for revenge and being on a remote island with a heavy storm drawing in makes her a sitting duck. But for whom? That’s quite the question because this is where the author has you guessing all over the place with no end of potential suspects. The story had a kind of ‘open plan’ locked room mystery feel to it and all of the guests of the hotel Anna works at seem to be guarding secrets. It’s fair to say that doubt is cast over each and every one of them over the course of the novel.
I grew to like Anna very quickly and you could feel her inner turmoil and natural fear following the incident, however there was enough of an erratic quality about her that made you question just how much of what was happening was real and how much of it paranoia. There is a sense of isolation which you get from her, both mental and physical as she gradually becomes cut off from anyone she knows or trusts. Now typically you’d wonder how this was possible given we live in an age of connectivity, but I love how the author has gotten around the whole problem of modern technology spoiling the suspense in the story, and has managed to add a very plausible edge to the tension which grows from very early on in the book.
Whilst I’ve been a fan of the author’s for a while, I found myself absolutely racing through the pages of this book, keen to know what would happen next, whether Anna would work out in time who the real threat was. The author has cunningly used more a kind of sleight of hand than blatant misdirection in guiding the reader towards her suspects and this works brilliantly, keeping the truth a very closely guarded secret until right towards the end when it becomes a true fight for Anna’s life. It left me with a smile on my face and a feeling of complete satisfaction when I finished it and that cannot be a bad thing now, can it?
About the Author
C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and have
been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines. C.L. Taylor was voted as one of the Bestselling Adult Fiction Debut Authors of 2014 in The Bookseller.
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