After two of her colleagues die in a car crash, Anna Willis is consumed by guilt as she was the one driving. Not able to come to terms with what has happened, and concerned for her own safety when she starts to receive threatening messages, she relocates to the remote Scottish island of Rum, looking for a fresh start. Her hopes become a nightmare, however, when seven people check into the hotel where she has started to work, seven people with their own secrets. One of them, in particular, is hiding something huge – their identity – and it soon becomes apparent that their sights are set on Anna, and they want nothing more than to see her dead…
I had heard nothing but good things about this book and so I was itching to start it. There was some trepidation, however, as I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I am pleased to report that it most certainly did and that was the cause of a couple of very late nights as I couldn’t stop reading!
I warmed to the character of Anna immediately, a woman whose guilt for something that was not her fault, drove her to relocating to the back of beyond in an attempt to escape her past. While I could see why she did this, the alarm bells started ringing right away and there was a definite feeling of unease as she started her job at the hotel and the first group of people checked in. The feelings of claustrophobia were intense as she realised that her tormentor had followed her to Rum, and that she didn’t know which one of the guests it was.
The more I read, the more tense I became, as I desperately tried to figure out which of the characters was the one trying to kill Anna. The hint given at the beginning of the book, via the words of Anna, also built an air of suspense as I tried to figure out if the would-be killer would actually succeed. This is definitely one of those, ‘I’ll just read one more chapter…’ books as I couldn’t bear to put it down.
I felt that the book had a conclusion that I was happy with, especially with the macabre twist at the end. This is one of those books that you can instantly see being transferred to television, and the final scene, in particular, would make for superb cliffhanger!
Sleep is a thrilling, ‘unputdownable’ read which will certainly be featuring on my favourite books of the year list.
With thanks to Readers First and Avon for my copy.