Sleep Tight, by Rachel Abbott

Short Take:  There are a lot of reasons not to read this book.


I read this book in less than a day.  It’s really a fast read, and not because it’s skimpy on content.  No, you should definitely not read this book if you don’t like a meaty novel.

Olivia Brookes has had a weird life.  When her daughter Jasmine is just two months old, Olivia’s lover (and Jasmine’s father) Danush disappears.  A few weeks later, both of her parents die.  She manages to move on, marry a man named Robert, and have two more children.  Then Robert disappears with the children.

She calls the police, he eventually comes back.  Then Robert has to call the police in two years later when Oliva vanishes with the kids, leaving behind her purse, phone, car, everything that would indicate she had left of her own free will.  Every single picture of her and the children is gone, and there’s been a large amount of blood cleaned up in the house.

Tom Douglas is the detective investigating the disappearances.  He’s smart, driven, and determined to solve this case, as is his partner Becky.  Both are dealing with personal issues, and getting more and more tangled in the complicated trail that the disappearance of Olivia and the children follows.

This book isn’t for everybody.  I mean, if you prefer your characters to be poorly written and lacking depth, then yeah, skip this.

If you like your villains to be cartoon bad guys, or horror-movie monsters, this is totally not for you.  The bad guy in this one is frighteningly realistic.  He’s just smart and obsessive enough to carry out his plans, and still seem like an ordinary guy.

And the pace!  There are a lot of people who like their stories to move slowly, to be able to savor all the nuance and detail, to plod steadily to the ending.  They should definitely not read this book.  It moves at a surreal speed, breathless even.

The plot itself is not for people who like straightforward, easily understood narratives.  There are a lot of twists and turns, with new information and revelations hitting from many directions.

If you’re the kind of person who gets emotionally invested in characters, and your heart starts speeding up when they are in danger, and you hate that, skip Sleep Tight.

Some books use over-the-top gore in place of building real tension via small doses of carefully targeted violence.  If blood and guts with no real purpose is your thing, you’ll hate this.  Seriously.

And finally, if you’re the kind of person who has other things to do, you should probably just walk away from this one.  You won’t get anything done until you finish it.

The Nerd’s Rating:  FIVE HAPPY NEURONS



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