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.
I love Imogen Church's narration. It improved this good but not great book.
I'd have rather rated the story a 3.5 but that's not an option.
This book held my interest and had a satisfying ending.
But it's not great enough to earn the enthusiasm I have for IN A DARK, DARK WOOD by Ruth Ware. Listen to that one! Same narrator. That book blew me away. But I digress.
THE SLEEPER redeems itself by avoiding cheesy love scenes and cringe-worthy dialogue. It does not focus on a hard-bitten detective, thankfully. Contemporary references ground this story in reality, which I also appreciate. It does contain a decent twist. Overall a credit well spent, but not an exceptional experience.
Who would think a novel about a plague-ridden village would be so engrossing! Emily Barr is a wonderful storyteller, narrator---not so much.
The weary monotone was a reasonable interpretation for the main character but when it came to the big fight between her father and a wrathful neighbor I kept thinking how much better it would have been if the reader had delivered the lines with some gusto.
Toward the end her vocal tone sounded so tired it was almost a yodel.
I liked the story fine, not much to say one way or the other about it.. It was just fine.
Although I really enjoyed the narrator throughout the entire story, at the end I noticed her swallowing a lot and it grosses me out. I know that's a weird thing to remark on, but it was hard to ignore once I noticed it and that was my last impression of the book... Her swallowing. I've never narrated a book before.. But can't you turn away or something? Just sayin
Very enjoyable throughout - had to listen constantly, which is why the end was so frustrating . The last two hours moved so slowly and had so much filler that I had to fast forward periodically. This change was very noticeable from the rest of the book. Instead of coming to a satisfying ending with the same intensity that it had all along, it came to a slow flat end.
Reading some of the reviews prompted me to write this one so that men aren't scared away by it being characterized as "chick lit" as to me this book was far from it. The plot was engaging and well written and Imogen Church is a great narrator and it was in searching for books narrated by her that I found this one. I personally would highly recommend this one.
"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?
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.
"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
"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.
"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.
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.
"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
"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.
"Held my interest and kept me wanting more"
I found it easy to listen to and thought provoking with all its twists and turns and great characterisation
Gone Girl because is everything what it seems?
Enjoyed it well worth a read although writers style of splitting her infinitives made me focus on counting these rather than on the story
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