While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft
Published 2016 by Bookouture
My copy: ARC
*** Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Kathryn Croft for the chance to read an advance review copy of this novel ***
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.
I was quite gripped by this novel, and read it in just a day – but yet I have to say that the whole thing was totally ridiculous!
Despite the blurb stating that Tara has a “perfect” family, this is far from the truth. Her husband is untrustworthy, her teenage daughter is completely bonkers – and while 8-year-old son Spencer is “perfect”, he is such a goody-two-shoes that I actually wanted him to be the murderer just to give him some personality! (Spoiler alert: sadly it wasn’t him.)
Every single character in this book is a liar, which means that at some point or another the finger of suspicion is pointed at them. While this makes the novel nice and twisty as we go from suspecting one character to the next, it actually became a bit ridiculous at times, with far too many characters having dodgy alibis, acting strangely and making stuff up. And the police are also utterly hopeless.
Then there is the love interest – I won’t give anything away here but it was completely unbelievable and utterly unnecessary – there was no point to it at all. But then Tara’s relationship with Noah was also pretty odd, with him moving in and out of the family home at will, and possibly having an affair with someone who is also probably a liar.
And then when we finally find out whodunnit, it doesn’t really make sense at all, and I find myself still asking questions and coming up with plot holes 24 hours after finishing it.
But despite the implausibility and ridiculousness of the whole thing, I did strangely find myself unable to put it down, so it must have something going for it, and for this reason I have to at least give it one star more than the other thriller I reviewed recently (Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton) which I found myself skipping chunks of just to get it over with.
My rating: 5 out of 10