Sunday 20 October 2019

Taylor-made for thrilling binge-read

Fiction: Sleep

CL Taylor

Avon €16.99

Sleep
Sleep

Margaret Madden

"If you're reading this then I am no longer alive."

This opening line is indicative of what is to come in the latest psychological thriller from bestselling author, CL Taylor. A short prologue introduces us to Anna, who fears for her life and supplies a list of potential suspects, should her fears become founded.

Following a tragic accident, Anna escapes to the remote Isle of Rum and now spends her days working as acting manager of a small hotel. The off-the-grid location is what she needs as she slowly comes to terms to what she has done, the mundane household chores a penance, of sorts. Believing she is being stalked and crippled with insomnia, the slightest change in routine results in heightened paranoia. As the guests check-in, she analyses their individual personalities and assesses their needs - or indeed, any perceived threat.

A storm brews on the Scottish island and the landscape becomes treacherous. All seven guests are confined to the hotel and the combination of claustrophobia and clashing personalities makes for a tense and eerie atmosphere. Anna becomes convinced her stalker is one of the guests: "My gut instinct told me that all the guests were decent people… Assuming. Guessing. Gut instinct. If someone in this hotel has followed me from London I can't rely on any of those things. Someone's trying to scare me and I've got no idea who they are."

A riveting read, of creaking floorboards, dark corners and howling winds; of hidden pasts, uncertain futures and a hair-raising present. Anna is a victim of circumstance and each guest is drip-fed into the storyline, allowing for a portfolio of suspects.

Short, sharp chapters keep the pages turning and Sleep is a thrilling binge-read.

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