The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian Release Date: January 10, 2017 Publisher: Vintage Book #1 in the Sleepwalker series Number of Pages: 305 Kindle edition Source: MCL Mystery/Suspense Rating: R Read 8/21/18 to 8/22/18
It’s time for another book club post, and I thought this was a good one. Before I get into the thoughts from the rest of my book club, here’s my review…
I often have a hard time writing my reviews since I’m so adamant about not giving spoilers. It’s doubly hard when it’s any sort of mystery or suspense. I like for the reader to come to their own conclusions as the story unfolds for them and not have any sort of influence from anything I say in my review. But I’m going to try my best here.
This is what I’d call a sleepy story. You slowly meander into the narrative, not quite sure where it’s taking you. Although this is about the disappearance of the main character’s mother, there isn’t any real urgency to the beginning. I don’t know that I’m explaining that properly, because of course the characters feel an urgency to finding their mom/wife. But the book is written in such a way that I wasn’t on the edge of my seat, yet I wanted to know more. Possibly because it was written in first person past tense, which took away the feeling of things needing to happen immediately.
As the story goes along, it gets more and more compelling. Don’t like slow moving stories? Hang in there. Once you get to the second part of the story you won’t want to put it down. You’ll have your own theories and thoughts on who, what, where, why, when. That’s the fun of this story. It helps lighten the seriousness of the subject matter. Make no mistake, this is a heavy subject.
There are a number of choices this author made that I wondered about when they first came up that ended up making this a fuller story. I’ll circle back around to my no spoilers mention above…I can’t say too much without ruining it for you. This one is worth the read.
I tell ya, our book club was dropping like flies this time. We started out thinking all would be able to attend. A couple weeks before book club my mom’s trip to see my little sister (and celebrate the 1st birthday of her twins) got moved up and she knew she wouldn’t make it to book club. We don’t have a huge group as it is so that put us down to 5 people. A couple days before, Tina learned she wouldn’t be able to make it, the day before my Aunt Lynne said she couldn’t go. That left only 3 of us! Linda was the host this time around and lives about 45 minutes from me, Liz has an even longer drive. So Linda decided she wanted to visit one of her favorite Mediterranean restaurants that is in my neck of the woods instead of having us drive up to her place. Bonus for me…it was only 3 miles away!
As for the book, Linda and I had both finished reading the story but Liz had not. Luckily, she didn’t mind us openly discussing the book because it would have been a lot of spoilers for her. Turns out that Liz and I had similar feeling about some of the word choices this author made. For the first 25% of the book, some of the bigger or more obscure words the author used seemed to be used to “show off”, so to speak. I don’t know if his word choices calmed down or I just used to it, but I found that didn’t bother me after the beginning of the story.
Linda agreed that this story builds as it goes along. She was shocked by the ending where I had my suspicions by the time it ended. It just shows how people who are similar in many ways can have brains that move along totally different tracks.
There were more things we discussed, but once again I have to refrain from saying too much since this is a mystery and I don’t want to ruin it for you.
Our next book club will be at the end of October, but we haven’t gotten the book choice yet. As soon as Tina lets us know I will post to let you know in case you want to read along with us.
As always, I’d love to hear from you if you read this book. Did you know “whodunnit” before the reveal? What are your opinions on the detective that is working the case? Let me know!