A tense, gripping psychological thriller, with Hitchcockian overtones, perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Sophie Hannah and Rosamund Lupton.
Lara Finch is living a lie.
Everyone thinks she has a happy life in Cornwall, married to the devoted Sam, but in fact she is desperately bored. When she is offered a new job that involves commuting to London by sleeper train, she meets Guy and starts an illicit affair. But then Lara vanishes from the night train without a trace. Only her friend Iris disbelieves the official version of events, and sets out to find her.
For Iris, it is the start of a voyage that will take her further than she's ever travelled and on to a trail of old crimes and dark secrets. For Lara, it is the end of a journey that started a long time ago. A journey she must finish, before it destroys her....
Emily Barr is the well-loved author of the best-selling Backpack, the original backpacking novel, and 10 other highly acclaimed novels. A former journalist, she has travelled around the world and written columns and travel pieces for the Observer and the Guardian.
©2013 Emily Barr (P)2013 Audible Ltd
“Thrillingly sinister… Single White Female with a twist, only far, far less predictable” (The Guardian on Stranded)
“Sleep-sabotagingly moreish” (Cosmopolitan)
“Gripping escapism” (Red)
“We can’t praise Emily Barr’s novels enough; they’re fresh, original and hugely readable” (Glamour)
I am addicted to talking books, but only mystery/thrillers or some particular authors like Terry Pratchett.
This book combines detailed characters with a complex and interesting story. It is told in sections in the first person by Lara and Iris and there are some good subtexts throughout.
I don't recall listening to Imogen Church but I really like her sound and style.
I have a long drive to and from work, and while I was listening to this story I looked forward to the trip so I could keep listening.
"Chick Lit thriller"
Never. Quite how she's been published I do not know. If Cecelia Aherne wrote trashy thrillers this would be the outcome.
Characterisation. She's gone at it with a sledgehammer. There's a line about coffee in the book that literally made me cringe. Read it yourself to discover the horribly flaccid metaphor, bleurgh!
By the reader deciding not to play every male character as a dope or a spiv.
The lead, Lara, what a wet weekend she is. And her husband Sam. Oh, where to start?!
The Sleeper is the kind of novel that makes me feel like I should take up writing, as I'm certain it'd be better than this drivel. The reality is I'd be crap, but seriously does one really want such nonsensical thoughts passing through ones grey matter when one is trying to enjoy a story?
The narrator was superb. Her ability to perform each part so believably aided my enjoyment immensely.
My favourite character was Iris, she was very believable and warm, with immense likeability. She embodied all that is wonderful in true friendship, loyalty, a sense of humour and honesty. I would like a friend like Iris.
Olivia. Imogen's accent and acting ability is second to none. The tone of her voice summed up Olivia's difficult and dogmatic personality and her moodiness and sulkiness.
No, I was happy to listen to it in chunks, however, it only took me 3 days to complete it, as I was keen to keep following the plot development. The story really does have you sitting on the edge of your seat, and although it was slightly laboured at times, I enjoyed it tremendously.
Absolutely fantastic book, and one I would recommend. I will certainly be reading more by this author.
"Long winded - Disappointing"
No - too much time spent on trivial details, not enough time spent on the plot and background to the main character. The would be heroine came to the story too late.
No, but may put me off the author.
None really come to mind as enjoyable
No, there was barely enough meat on the bones of the original plot, I don't see where a sequel would leader what it would add.
The final scenes and eventual ending were unrealistic to say the least, it's like the author rainout of steam for ideas. Unfortunate because it came well recommended and started well.
"Really enjoyable book"
It was the first one I've listened too and really enjoyed it
I really liked the imagery of the train and fall for any book that does this topic well.
I loved the train descriptions and imagery
"A bit disappointing - more melodrama than thriller"
Probably not. I found this download in the crime and thriller section, but this is a bit misleading. It is sort of 'chick-lit' with a twist. The thriller aspect is quite thin (even though endlessly drawn out) and very much secondary to the rather dramatic (I would say melodramatic) emotional experiences of the two female protagonists. The eventual 'baddie', when he shows his true colours, is almost a caricature villain.
Having said all that, it was a bit of fun and I didn't feel like asking for my money (credit) back. I did keep going to the end.
Shorten it by 25%, mainly by removing some of both Lara's and Iris's more longwinded emotional outbursts.
Have a more believable villain especially towards the end when he reveals himself.
Well done with some pretty awful dialogue.
Her presentation of Sam as the clinging husband was hilarious.
Was initially discouraged from listening to this book on reading a bad review; this has certainly taught me that, though we are entitled to our own opinion, sometimes it is worth giving a book a try despite being put off. I am so glad I did!
Excellent suspense thriller, with a well written story and an excellent plot. (No spoilers here!)
The reason I found this book is because I was looking for another read by Imogen Church. As I discovered in the previous book I listened to read by her, I cannot speak highly enough of her narration. She is very easy to listen to and has a lovely tone of voice and accent. Ideal for reading any kind of book. I will certainly carry on listening to any further books, in the genre I enjoy, narrated by Imogen. If I was an author, I would request it be read by this narrator without question.
"I didn't work it out!"
Really good listen. Easy going, but with enough intrigue to keep you interested. Definitely enjoyed this and will look at other audible books by this author
Is it Back Pack?
Loved this book, totally grabbed me and left me sat in my car at my destination not wanting to get out - I just wanted to know what happened next
"Intriguing, mysterious, surpising"
It was time well-spent, not because the book is great but because after listening it for a while you really want to know what it going to happen next.
I really like the way Emily Barr makes you want to know what happens next, I was really hopping it would be great. I like the way Lara decides to leave her boring life behind and start fresh.
Imogen is great , captivating and very comforting to listen to.
No, the story ends where it ends! I was wanted to know what was happening next until the last chapter, once it ended I was so disappointed that I don`t want to know what happens anymore.
The book is good but there are a lot of holes in it. I really didn't like the end and I could not relate to main character at all, I liked Lara's sister and Iris way more than Lara herself and I was actually glad when it was Iris' turn to tell the story. I do recommend the book but I'd advise you not to expect too much of the ending it is sad to had have such a good book with such a terrible ending.
"Great book with twists you don't expect"
I enjoyed this book. It is the first Emily Barr I have listened to It is well constructed with a clear storyline which develops nicely.
I loved the characters especially the heroine Lara who has entered a marriage with a perfectly nice man but feels stifled and bored.
Some books you read you just know the ending before you get to it but with this one I did not spot the killer even when it's pointed out to me I didn't believe it.
The plot unravelled gradually and always kept my guessing what what's coming next and who would be the next character I would suspect.
I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good murder/mystery to get their teeth into.
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