Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Book Review: The Sleepwalker, by Chris Bohjalian

The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian book cover and review
Bohjalian's novels have been hit or miss for me, but The Sleepwalker was a definite hit!

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
304 pages

Rating: 5/5

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  1. I've read a book by him though I know they have been popular. I should maybe try this one first to see if I like his writing. I do like the mystery aspect of the book.

  2. A high ranking! I have never read any of his novels, but have The Guest Room on my TBR shelf

  3. Heard about this one somewhere. Too bad I don't go for mysteries too much :)

  4. Hmm. This does sound good. I liked Midwives and haven't read anything by him since then. I am sorry I have missed you. My whole Blog roll dropped off and when I recreated it I forgot about you. But I've added you back on so you will hear from me again. How are things going twith the new house and grandbaby?

    1. Glad to hear from you! House is great, grand baby is 18 mos old, and all she wants is BOOKS!! She's amazing. Hope all is well with you.

  5. I haven't enjoyed Bohjalian's most recent books, but it sounds like this one is more up my alley. I'll have to give it a go as I have enjoyed several of his earlier books.


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