Lianna is our narrator, and she's telling the story of her mother's disappearance, which happened in 2000. It's an interesting perspective since there's no reference to the present until the end of the novel, so there doesn't seem to be a need for this. But it works.
Her mother, Annalee, was a sleepwalker. One who left the house and could have been in danger. As a matter of fact, Lianna found her about to step off a bridge into a rushing river one night. Her sleepwalking had been under control, mostly because Lianna's father had not been traveling. Annalee always tended to sleepwalk when Lianna's father wasn't at home. And sure enough, when he went away for a few days, her mother disappeared in the middle of the night.
Gavin is the detective who has asked to work on the case. It seems he knew Annalee from the sleep clinic they both attended. Gavin is a sleepwalker too. He and Lianna become friends, then more than friends, but she doesn't entirely trust Gavin. She's pretty sure her mother and Gavin were not having an affair, but she knows Gavin isn't telling her everything he knows.
I don't want to say too much more about what happens. Pieces are slowly revealed that add to the mystery. And eventually, we discover what really happened. And I was surprised. I thought there were several ways the story could go, but the final outcome was not one that I had thought of. Not that I don't think some savvy readers could come up with it, but I certainly did not.
Bohjalian crafts the story and characters so that you can't stay away. It's been a while since I've experienced one of those "I need to read now" kinds of books, and I really enjoyed The Sleepwalker.
The Sleepwalker is accessible to older teens (some pretty vivid descriptions of sex), and I think any mystery fans would love it.
Published by Doubleday, January 10, 2017
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
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