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.
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.
This might be the best fiction I have ever listened to. I was unfamiliar with the author and narrator when I selected this (a recent New York Times book review mentioned it), and now I hope that Emily Barr has written more and that Imogen Church has narrated more. Great suspense with many unpredictable twists and turns.
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.
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.
I really enjoyed it. Similar feel to In a Dark Dark wood, and The Girl on the Train.
She's an amazing narrator. I would listen to more of her stuff
No I would not listen to this twice. It was an OK listen but honestly it got rather silly by the end.
I liked the parts about the train ride and how Laura was so conflicted internally.
I think when she played Iris I liked her the best. I wasn't a fan of the "fake" "airy" sound she did when she played Laura speaking to Sam. It got annoying.
Oh heavens no. There was nothing moving about the story.
It's hard to find books that can top my favorites by Kate Murton and Liane Moriarty. Every other books pales in comparison and every narrator that isn't Carolyn Lee is the same way.
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
"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.
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.
"Took a trip on the sleeper specially!"
Great book, story I hadn't heard before, or expected.
Gripping and it's stayed in my mind since listening to it.
Would def listed to more by this writer
"Took me by surprise"
Unexpected but gratifying
The first few chapters I thought I'd read the synopsis wrong and it was going to be a love story of sorts, but I was still enjoying it so kept on. Then it took me by surprise and hooked me in and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
The book was read very well.
A excellent story, very intriguing plot, well read, and good twists in the second half of the book.
the story and unexpected twists involving the main character
The aftermath of the murder
No but keeps you thinking
a very exciting listen. It kept me wondering until the very end. I happened to be listening in the place where the final scene was set so it was spookily realistic !
"Really enjoyed this story"
I would definitely recommend this book. It was quite different from most of the crime/fiction/thrillers I like to read. I enjoyed how the story was told from different perspectives ie Lara, Iris and Lara's diary. The only thing that bothered me was that I got no clue to Lara's dark past in the first section of the book. In some ways it felt that this was dreamed up as Iris took over the narrative. That said the story and characters pulled me in and I found myself listening even on the shortest of journeys as I couldn't wait to find out what happened. Despite its flaws, I really enjoyed this 'listen'.
Iris. I felt I got to know her through the story.
Iris. My least favourite was Sam. I wasn't too keen on the narrator's depiction of male characters. Too contrived and stiff (all a bit samey.)
I wasn't at all moved by the book. Much as I enjoyed it, I never felt it was for real. It was very much a story if that makes sense.
My enjoyment of this book will tempt me to try another by this author but not straight away.
This was just a nice read with a very good end.
Great plot and POV.
The relationships between the main protagonists was very well told.
a great listen, thoroughly recommended. The story line is gripping and unexpected and the characters likeable but challenging. loved it, best listen in a long time.
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