Thursday, 3 August 2017

Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

| I received my copy of Are You Sleeping via Netgalley for review purposes |

Serial meets Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a mega-hit podcast that reopens a murder case—and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter.

The only thing more dangerous than a the truth.

Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father's murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay. The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name.

When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.

Firstly, I seriously debated with myself whether to rate Are You Sleeping a 3 star or a 4 star read... Ultimately opting for 3 stars.

I really loved the premise of Are You Sleeping, and was hooked from the get go. When a true crime podcast starts airing that focuses on her father's murder, Josie is forced to confront some realities she'd been putting off, as well return to her hometown and family. The plot was strong, and well paced, with the inclusion of excerpts from the podcast and also social media posts running alongside the narrative.

As well as the plot being strong, character development was also. Opening up we see Josie battling the emotions that come with her history resurfacing, soon following her across country to then see a family drama unfold. Not to mention the mystery of who exactly killed Charles Buhrman.

For me it was the ending that lead this to be a three star book. With a story that grips you like this one does, you kind of expect something big at the end, and that just didn't materialise. I had guessed the ending around the half way mark of the book, and it did all conclude rather quickly, given the build up prior.

Despite this, I would recommend Are You Sleeping to others, and will continue to keep an eye out for other works by debut author, Kathleen Barber.



  1. The Ruth Ware reference has me both intrigued and a little nervous because In a Dark Dark Wood was one of my favorite books last year. That's too bad this one didn't have a big wrapup as I would have expected that as well but it still sounds like an enjoyable read if not one that really wowed you.

    1. I have yet to read Ruth Ware myself, but heard good things!

  2. This book sounds quite good, it's always better reading thrillers and scary books on the dark, winter nights! You should check out No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay if you enjoyed this one :-)


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