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review 2019-03-25 09:03
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Sleep by C.L. Taylor
Sleep - C.L. Taylor

Sleep is the second book by C.L. Taylor I have read, and my opinion of her as a first class thriller writer has been solidified. This one was very different to The Fear, but just as good.

We start off with Anna driving home after a team-building weekend in Wales. Everyone else is asleep, and the weather is bad. Through no fault of her own, there is an accident. Two are killed, one is left unable to walk, and Anna walks away from hospital. Not uninjured, not at all, but still walks away. She suffers from survivor's guilt, and it isn't helped by the fact she is convinced she is being stalked. Taking matters into her own hand, she splits with her boyfriend, and takes a job on the remote isle of Rum. Seven guests arrive the same time as a storm. Everyone is hiding something, and Anna doesn't know if she will survive.

This was an intriguing story, full of twists, turns, and red herrings. I'm never one to try and figure out 'whodunnit' as I prefer to let the story take me where it will. I will say in this instance, it became clear who it was, and I was lucky enough to guess correctly as to the reasons why. However, this didn't detract from the story itself in any way.

With no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt my reading flow, I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish, and have no hesitation in recommending it to all #Thriller fans out there.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2019/03/25/Sleep-by-CL-Taylor
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review 2019-03-22 18:25
WHILE YOU SLEEP by Stephanie Merritt Review
While You Sleep - Stephanie Merritt

“Even in sunshine there was a bleakness to the island’s beauty that had whispered to her.”

While You Sleep is a book dripping in beautifully written atmosphere and eerie goings-on and features a protagonist who isn’t entirely reliable or likable. 

Zoe arrives at a remote island to rent a recently renovated home in Scotland. She’s running from her life, for – reasons, and needs some alone time. The neighbors are welcoming and a little smothering even though she does her best to keep them at arm’s length. She quickly learns that the house where she is staying has a spooky reputation and her attempts to investigate upset some of the locals. When odd events start occurring inside the house; sex dreams, a man who may or not be there, strange voices and other haunting events, no one wants to take her seriously with the exception of an old bookseller and a young teacher who is attracted to her. 

So that’s the set up. What follows is a very slow burn but the pace is pretty steady and even. Zoe and her crew of two attempt to figure out exactly what is happening at the house and dig up what has happened in the past. This may or may not have something to do with a long deceased woman, her dead son and possible experimentation with the occult. There are many descriptive passages of sexy times past and present because there also may or not be an incubus involved here somewhere. This may or may not be your cup of tea, coffee or bourbon but I didn’t mind it. More of it wouldn’t have hurt me any either.

Secrets and hints hide in every nook and cranny of this house and its surrounding cliffs. I figured out a few and a few I didn’t see coming at all (a particularly juicy and scandalous one at that). I admit I was disappointed when I guessed at a big one because I don’t think I’m very good at this kind thing but that one was so obvious to me. The characterization is strong and detailed and even though I personally didn’t like Zoe very much (and that never changed); she’s, ummm, imperfect to put it nicely and comes off as self-involved, angry at the wrong people and scatter-brained, I was involved enough with the other characters and their welfare that it wasn’t a stumbling block for me. You can’t like everyone, right? I also NEEDED to know all the secrets and most of them were answered in the end. There’s a pretty big one left dangling though which was a wee bit frustrating after all of the build-up.

I’d give this book a 3.75 on a scale of 1-5. It’s better than average and kept luring me back in whenever I had to put it down to live my life.

I received an ARC from Pegasus Books, thanks for sharing!

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review 2019-03-19 19:55
Review: While You Sleep
While You Sleep - Stephanie Merritt

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

This one came to me in one of those “read it now for the first 200 members” emails. I love gothic thrillers when they’re movies, particularly ones with a Scottish setting. So why not give it a go? I really liked what I read enough to buy a finished hardback.

 

Not my usual type of read, but this one caught my interest right away. I was intrigued with the mystery surrounding the main character, Zoe. She seemed quite cold and standoffish. She comes to a remote Scottish island to rent a manor with a foreboding location and gloomy history looking to get away from a tragedy and a failing marriage. The writing is delicious and the whole thing has a delightfully creepy and murky atmosphere to it.

 

Like with any small town, I would imagine, a community where people have known each other forever, Zoe is an anomaly and the subject of curiosity. The locals obviously know a lot more about the manor she is renting than they do. A strange history and the sight of recent traumatic event as well. Nosy neighbours galore, and unwanted attention from creepy men, Zoe does her best to keep to herself and deal with her own drama.

 

Doesn’t happen, of course. She finds herself drawn into the mysteries of the manor, the history and starts to get to know some of the locals pretty well. There was a surprising and well written erotic element to the mystery side of things as well. The characters were well fleshed out and believable,  even the unlikeable ones.

 

There were quite a few surprising twists, one or two of them I worked out, but some of them managed to surprise me. The tension was exceptionally well built throughout. The imagery was really vivid and the writing made it very easy to picture what was going on. I would love to see this book made into a movie.

 

Highly recommended and really, really good.

 

Definitely an author I will read again.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for the review copy.

 

 

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review 2019-03-11 17:44
Sleep - C.L. Taylor

After a traumatizing experience in London where Anna was involved in a car crash and two of her passengers/ colleagues did not survive and a third passenger was seriously injured,she feels ,apart from feeling guilty, as if someone is stalking her and very soon paranoia and insomnia sets in. So she decides to leave the Metropolis and move to Rum,a small Scottish isle, where she is helping David,the owner, to run a small country hotel. A group of 7 hikers arrive in this charming hotel and they all bring their own secrets and problems. When a storm hits the island and the hotel is completely cut off things start to become a bit uncomfortable. Anna feels more than insecure and is convinced that her stalker is in the neighbourhood... It starts very slowly and I had a hard time getting into this story. Of course,the fact that I wasn't particularly attracted to Anna and that her fate wasn't a major concern to me,well it didn't exactly help. Somehow this story had all the right building stones,(storm, invisible threats ,isolated house,strangers meeting each other for the first time...)but it just lacked something. The different POV didn't help and their were some strange passages for instance:" He's dead", I whisper again. Her eyes fill with tears."Her being the whisperer... I know that this is a 4 to 5 star rating on most major sites but somehow it had all the promises but it just didn't fulfil them...

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