One of my chief pleasures in reading a ‘grip-lit’ novel is imagining what I would do in the same scenario posed, however the author had me stumped with this one, my imagination simply doesn’t allow me to believe that I would wake up in bed with the murdered body of a neighbour. That said, even though I wasn’t able to play the ‘what would I do?’ game, this book certainly had me reverting to the whodunit game with no problem at all!
Tara Logan wakes up next to her neighbour who has been stabbed, she remembered visiting the night before, her intent being to see his wife, she also remembered drinking some wine, but after that nothing. How she happened to be in the marital bed, naked, but fortunately with no blood on her she can’t imagine. She makes a choice, and runs home pretending that whatever it was that happened, never had.
Luckily for Tara, she is alone in the house, her husband away on a work trip, her daughter staying with a friend and her son is with his grandparents. This rare empty house was so that Tara could submit a work of art for a national prize but she can’t paint she’s too busy worrying what Lee’s wife will say when she returns from her hen-do and hoping that no-one saw her sprinting across the close to the safety of her own home – but wait, it might not be safe, after all, if she didn’t murder Lee someone else definitely knows she was at the scene.
Of course before too long Lee’s body is found and the police begin their investigation and Tara has to stay one step ahead. She no longer just has to lie to her husband, her children and by omission to her parents and her sister, she has to come up with a plausible account of her evening, one that didn’t involve downing a bottle of red wine or two with Lee while his wife was out of town.
To be a successful read in this genre, by necessity most of the characters need flaws, and not little bitty ones either, you need to be far too gullible, or obviously have a loose association with the truth or better still have some form of guilty secret that surfaces at inappropriate moments. While You Were Sleeping is no different, if I were living on this close, particularly with the organisers of the local neighbourhood watch, I might struggle, but Kathryn Croft keeps them all just the right side of outright nuts to keep the number of suspects pegged at practically every character whilst allowing the story to have one foot in a twisted sort of reality. To this end we have the busybodies, the media frenzy, some sibling rivalry, some stalking and some adultery – enough to keep even the most ardent issue junkie sated.
So in brief, I loved this book, the story is certainly compelling and I was invested in every aspect; I wanted to know not only who killed Lee, but why, how when and how on earth did they expect to get away with it? This is a book to set aside time for, because although you want to ask the major questions, you probably don’t want to dwell too much on some of the other aspects of the book, particularly those surrounding the police investigation. But that’s a minor quibble and as a fiction reader as long as the plot rattles along and doesn’t introduce outright implausible happenings, I’m prepared to enjoy the ride, and what a ride this book was.
I’d like to thank the publishers Bookouture for providing me with a copy of While You Were Sleeping. This review is my thank you to them, and of course the author Kathryn Croft
This is the third book I’ve read by this author
Kathryn Croft – Books I’ve Reviewed