Review: Sleep by C.L. Taylor

Opening sentence: “If you’re reading this then I am no longer alive.”

I always include the opening sentence in my reviews as I am a big fan of being sucked into the story from the very first line. If the first few sentences are duds, I’m not likely to be as excited about the read. So I think you’ll agree that Sleep ticks all the enticing and makes-you-want-to-read-on boxes with the above beauty.

I do love a psychological thriller / murder mystery that has all the classic elements: an isolated setting, a host of characters who all have secrets that are slowly revealed and a protagonist whose narration you start to doubt the further into the story you go. All of these are present and correct here: Anna moves from London to Rum, a tiny Scottish island, to work in the Bay View Hotel, abandoning her previous career in marketing after a car crash kills two of her colleagues. She was driving the car and the guilt weighs heavily on her. A fresh new start is what she needs, especially as she has been receiving unusual Hamlet inspired sleep-themed messages in London, it’s clear someone blames her for the car crash and she fears for her life.

Seven guests turn up to stay at the Bay View Hotel but not all are as they seem, in fact, one of them has arrived with the specific purpose to kill Anna. Will Anna be able to discover who that is before it’s too late? Throw in a selection of very creepy ‘In Memoriam’ chapters from the voice of the killer and you have the definition of a page-turner on your hands.

Overall, this is a really satisfying read; it’s perfect escapism and definitely one to add to your summer TBR list. The only thing is that – personally – I could have done without the final chapter. Our lead character, Anna, concluded her story in the penultimate chapter and for me – that was the perfect ending. The final chapter provides a little extra drop of tension, but as a reader, I was content for that not to happen – very much personal preference though! I’ve been going through a little bit of a reading slump for the past few weeks and want to kick it so badly; Sleep may have done just that as it was the first book in ages I’ve devoured, so for that reason it has high praise from me. There were one or two moments you thought the plot was going in a certain direction, then it threw you a tantalising curveball – love it when that happens. It’s also perfectly paced, effortless to read and an action-packed atmospheric story that keeps you on your toes.

If you’ve read Sleep I’d love to know what you think?

/ I was kindly sent this book in exchange for an honest review.

/ Published by Avon April 2019

/ 368 pages

/ Rating: 4/5

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