While You Were Sleeping – Kathryn Croft

“You wake up to find the man beside you is dead.
He is not your husband. This is not your bed.
What do you do?
Tara Logan lives a quiet life with her husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer.
But her peace is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour Lee’s 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 stays silent, fearing the truth will rip her family apart.
But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara soon realises that someone in her life knows what really happened to Lee. She must get to the truth before they do.”

The story starts off when Tara wakes up naked in her neighbour Lee’s bed.  He is lying beside her, naked with his throat slit.  Tara has no recollection at all of the night before, the last thing she remembers is having a glass of wine with her neighbour.  In a state of panic, Tara flees the scene going back across the road to her own house.  It is only when Lee’s wife returns from a hen weekend that the alarm is raised.  Tara decides to keep quiet, for her family’s sake and is in a constant state of panic that her lie will be uncovered, but Tara is not the only character lying.  Her husband is lying, her teenage daughter is lying, her creepy colleague is lying and Tara does not know who to believe.  With all the evidence pointing at her daughter Rosie being the killer, Tara needs to solve this crime before the police charge her.

So, a great premise for a book.  The story is told through Tara’s perspective as she desperately tries to piece together what happened that night while trying to keep her dysfunctional family together.  Everyone is a suspect, holding on to their secrets that are revealed steadily with every twist in the story.  None of the characters are likeable, all selfish and self-centred making them the perfect suspect.  Teenager Rosie is the worst of all characters, an immature, compulsive liar with no regard for anyone.

The far-fetched plot ended in (for me) a surprise.  I genuinely did not expect the story to end the way it did.

There are a few issues with the story for me, mainly surrounding forensic evidence, and the fact that there was none.  It’s hard to believe that waking up naked next to a man violently murdered would not leave a trace, but then it wouldn’t be much of a story.  I was interested to the end though, the author had me intrigued, and I’m glad it wasn’t another predictable story.

Overall rating three stars, great original idea for a story, that makes an interesting change.  Thanks to Bookouture, Kathryn Croft and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy.



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