Author: C. L. Taylor
Number of Pages: 368 (Hardback)
Published: April 4th 2019 by Avon HarperCollins
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
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…
If you’re reading this then I am no longer alive. Someone has been stalking me for the last three months and, if I am dead, it wasn’t an accident.
Intriguing opening, isn’t it? It certainly grabbed my attention, and from then on I was hooked to the pages of this psychological thriller. Sleep was one of those books that I found myself making time for ‘just one more chapter’.
It kept me guessing throughout, as the story was gradually pieced together and several subplots led me to believe that this or that person was behind the attempt to drive lead character Anna to death.
Anna was involved in a tragic accident in which two of her colleagues were killed and one ended up with life-changing injuries. The guilt leaves her unable to sleep, even though what happened was not her fault. In search of a new start she splits up with her boyfriend and takes a job in a hotel on the Isle of Rum.
Seven strangers arrive for a walking tour and all have some secret or other. I could never have guessed which one had the motive to seek revenge on Anna, who is convinced that she is being stalked and that her stalker has followed her to Rum with the intent that Anna will not leave alive.
I love the setting of the remote island, cut off from the rest of humanity – it provides great atmosphere, especially as the weather turns stormy and the possibility to call for help becomes restricted. The river floods, cutting off access to the rest of the island, so this small group with a potential killer in their midst really are up against a lot. It raises the stakes in the fight for survival and provides a really claustrophobic atmosphere.
Sleep played into what I love about this kind of tale, that I didn’t see the final reveal coming. I like to try to pick up the clues, but I prefer it when I’m totally wrong. At some point there’s reason to suspect almost any of the guests, and there were twists and revelations aplenty until the truth finally came out, and it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. This is my first C. L. Taylor book, and I’m certainly tempted to read others after really enjoying this one.