From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room comes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night.
When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee’s disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee’s husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs’ Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee’s disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body?
Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.»
The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian weaves a compelling mystery regarding the disappearance of a young mother in rural Vermont. Bohjalian draws the reader in as he introduces us to the strange world of parasomnia. The Sleepwalker will keep you reading late into the night.
I listened to the prequel The Premonition, and while not entirely necessary, it did give us insight into the Ahlberg family and Annalee’s sleepwalking. The Sleepwalker begins on the morning that twenty-two-year-old Lianna is awakened by her teenage sister Paige who cannot find their mother.
My review may seem vague, but this is the type of tale where little details might spoil the reader’s experience.
As a search party is formed to explore the woods and riverbed surrounding the Ahlbergs’ Victorian home, the police begin to question the family. We are introduced to a young detective who seems to know more than he should. The tale unfolds from Lianna’s perspective as she starts to wonder how well she really knew her mother. She forms a complicated relationship with the young detective. The tale took a darker turn into the world of sleepwalking than I expected and I found it all fascinating. Twists, turns, and surprises await you as you question everything and everyone.
Bohjalian is a masterful storyteller weaving in red herrings and scattering clues that begin to take form in the reader’s mind. As Lianna searches for answers, things that happen inside the Ahlberg home start to raise questions. I was pulled in by the tidbits on sleepwalking and the discoveries made regarding Annalee. The author makes you comfortable, and you feel like an amateur Nancy Drew until you realize you’re in over your head. Moments had me fearful, and others shocked me. The twist at the end had me smacking my forehead as all the scattered clues became glaring. Well done Mr. Bojalian, well done!
Fans of mystery and suspense will enjoy this well-researched and compelling tale found in The Sleepwalker. If you haven’t read anything by Chris Bohjalian I encourage you to explore his titles, you’ll find everything from historical to modern day whodunits. His writing is beautiful and his stories pull you into his imagination.