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?
"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.
"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.
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.
It took nearly half the book for the story to get underway and even then it was not at all exciting until almost the end, by which time I had lost interest in what happened to the characters.
Unlike other reviewers, I didn't think the reader was very good either, so I was disappointed as the book had had some good reviews.
I tend to judge by whether I'd want to hear the story again, and this time I definitely wouldn't.
I've given up on this it was another recommendation from Audible and it is dreadfully slow never mind sleeper I'm in a coma!
"Very mixed feelings"
I stuck with this and thought the plot good but the writing language wasn't great and the narration terribly jarring - will never buy another title without first listening to the sample.
"Good story with a clunking end!"
The plot held my interest until the final few chapters which dragged and were annoyingly implausible! Great reader though
"Starts well, then becomes far-fetched and tedious"
The narration was fine, but the actual plot was far-fetched and not quite believable. The switching between two women narrating the story at the end was particularly annoying.
The narrator was fine.
The main character was not believable.
The first part was too slow.
Nice twist in the second half of the book.
Bad mens voice.
I will try a second book of the same author
Try not to give up during the first half of the book, the second half improves a lot. Would be a strong four star if the quality had been the same in the beginning.
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