AUTHOR: Romy Hausmann
PUBLISHED: June 24th 2021
MY RATING: 3.5/5
I received an eARC copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. My thanks goes to NetGalley and the publisher Quercus Books for the opportunity to review this book. An additional thanks to Joe @QuercusBooks for the invitation to participate in this blog tour.
*Synopsis taken from Goodreads*
It’s been years since Nadja was convicted of a cruel crime. After her release from prison, she’s wanted nothing more than to live a normal life. But then a murder occurs and a remote house in the woods becomes the scene of a bizarre game – because Nadja’s past makes her the perfect victim. And the perfect murderer…
A haunting novel about guilt and retribution, Sleepless is the stunning sequel to Dear Child.
I was invited to participate in this blog tour, and I couldn’t refuse when I read the synopsis. I love an intriguing premise, and it doesn’t get much more intriguing than a main character who is both a perfect victim and murderer – I mean, how?! That was my first thought, and enough of a reason to snatch up a copy of this. I’ve come to realise that a plot which is laid bare in the synopsis, but seems impossible is my favourite to read, I like to know what I’m trying to work out before I begin, if that makes sense.
The main character (our perfect murderer and victim) is Nadja, a young woman who has led a troubled life, and just wants some peace and quiet. To say she has been dealt a tough hand is an understatement, it seems as though she has been destined for hardship from day one. We join her at a time where she is attempting to lead a regular life – she has her own home and a steady job, but what she lacks is meaningful relationships – she wants a friend. It is this desire that leads her down a dangerous path.
Running alongside Nadja’s story are other narratives, which are clearly going to end up being both relevant and linked to the main plot point, however initially they only serve to bring confusion. To begin with, nothing made much sense, and the jumping back and forward in time didn’t hold a structure that was easy to follow. I do have a bit of a love/hate relationship with books that jump across time periods because, if done well they really enrich a lot of elements (particularly characterisation), but if they aren’t executed well then it tends to result in a messy read. I feel as though Sleepless started off as the latter, but it did redeem itself later.
Had I not been invited to participate in this blog tour, I may have made this a DNF, but I felt I should stick with it and keep reading, and this commitment did pay off. At around the halfway point (yep it’s a real slow burner!) everything seemed to click into place and make sense, and from this point onwards I thoroughly enjoyed the book! I had to pause my reading and go back to skim over the opening chapters just to make sure I understood everything but I didn’t mind doing this because by this point I was fully invested.
The second half of the novel was steeped in desperation, full of twists and turns, and resulted in an unexpected climax. Ultimately though, this story is profoundly sad, and this heavy heart feeling really stays with you after the book has finished. Nadja in particular really highlights how unfortunate life can be for some people, and how let down one can be by family, friends and peers. I was really rooting for her to get some much needed closure.
In fairness all of the characters projected this same sadness in varying degrees. Whilst some were more flawed than others, and the actions of most were quite deplorable, there were still elements of their backstory that left me wondering whether they would have turned out the way that they did if certain things hadn’t happened to them. There was not one character that was left underdeveloped, and as a reader I felt something for all of them. This is something which I find can lack in thrillers, and was a real plus point for me.
Overall, I’m really glad that I kept going with this one, it definitely paid off in the end! Would I recommend this one? That depends. If you like your thrillers to be fast paced then this may not be for you, but if a clever and intricate slow burner sounds intriguing then this one is definitely worth a read.
About the author
Romy Hausmann was born in East Germany in 1981. At the age of twenty-four she became chief editor at a film production company in Munich. Since the birth of her son, Romy has been working as a freelancer in television. Her thriller debut, Dear Child, became a number one bestseller in Germany and is being published in twenty countries. Sleepless is her second thriller. Romy lives with her family in a remote house in the woods near Stuttgart.
*Don’t forget to check out the other reviews from this blog tour – the reviewers handles are all in the image above*
Now it’s your turn, what do you think about this one? Does it sound like something you would enjoy? As always I would love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed!