A disturbing, gripping psychological thriller that keeps you guessing to the end
What the blurb says: “Blink. Keep your eyes open. Blink. That’s it. Don’t go back to sleep, not yet. If it weren’t for the nightmares, Ben would say he had a good life. He’s happy with his steady job, and loves his wife and kids to death. But it’s hard to ignore the dark, violent images that are so vivid that he often worries that the dreams are real and everything else around him is a lie.
Toby also suffers from nightmares. And the scars on his fifteen-year-old body are a ghostly reminder of actions he doesn’t remember or understand. Two people, two separate, unremarkable lives.
When their dreams and doubts collide and become too powerful to ignore, one fact will become clearer than any other – that the truth they are running towards is the very thing from which they should be fleeing.”
Rather like The Matrix, Sleepwalkers has the characters, and therefore the reader, questioning ‘what is the true reality?’ Three strangers – Ben, Toby and Anna – want to find out. Family-man Ben wonders if he’s just ungrateful for his seemingly pleasant albeit average family life, and is haunted by violent nightmares. Teenage Toby puzzles over how he came to have the scars that line his body, and if they are linked to the strange dreams he’s been having. And teacher Anna wonders whether this really is all there is in life. As their paths join, and they set out to discover what the truth really is, they discover that their lives are more connected than any of them could have guessed.
As Ben and Toby try to work out why their dreams seem more real and more vivid than their waking hours they discover a truth more shocking than they could have ever imagined. I found that I quickly cared about these characters and wanted them to succeed in their quest, even though I feared it could end badly for them. As the danger drew closer (I won’t tell you what – no spoilers here) I found myself holding the book tighter and reading faster and faster.
Tom Grieves’ writing is stunning: pacy, bold and completely absorbing.
In this action filled, disorientating and gripping story, nothing is exactly as it first seems. Sleepwalkers had me reading well into the night, unable to put the book down, and trying to puzzle out the truth (and what the characters will do when they find it) right to the end.