Judith D Collins
While You Were Sleeping
By: Kathryn Croft
Publication Date: 11/16/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars You wake up to find the man beside you is dead. He is not your husband. This is not your bed. What do you do? Tara Logan lives a quiet life with her husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer. But her peace is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour Lee’s bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse – he has been stabbed to death.
Convinced she didn’t kill Lee, Tara stays silent, fearing the truth will rip her family apart.
But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara soon realises that someone in her life knows what really happened to Lee. She must get to the truth before they do.
Tara made a mistake … but will one night cost her everything?
A gripping, shocking psychological thriller, with a twist that will take you by surprise.
From one of my favorite UK authors, following Kathryn Croft’s The Girl You Lost (2016) and The Girl With No Past (2015)- comes her latest. WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, Croft’s best yet! The author possess a knack for crafting engrossing psychological thrillers, in the event, you have not heard. An edgy and tightly constructed, "impossible to put down" mind-boggling crime mystery suspense. Cleverly crafted, a wickedly smart twisty domestic page-turner. As the book opens, Tara wakes up in a bed naked, in her neighbor’s bed, Lee Jacobs. He is dead. She has no memory of sleeping with him. She could not do this to Noah, Rosie or Spencer. Was she drugged? Twenty -four hours earlier. A teenage daughter, Rosie. Who has issues, self-destruction, meltdowns. She has stalked a guy, Anthony in the past. Under her psychologist care, Dr. Marshall—she says she is under control. Spencer is the younger brother, age eleven. Noah, the husband is packing for a business trip to New York and plans to return on Sunday. Tara is worried about her submission for the London Art Gallery competition and her limited time to complete. She is looking forward to having the house to herself to complete her project. Rosie is staying with a friend, and Spencer is staying with grandparents. She is delighted to have the house to herself to get some work done. We also meet her jet-setter sister as we move along- Lisa and Australian hubby Harvey. Lisa and Tara are very close, yet a world’s apart, in lifestyles. Despite her good intentions to paint all day, somehow she fell asleep while taking a break on the sofa. She receives a text from her husband he has landed in New York (he is in the advertising industry). She replies to his text. Then she receives a text from Serena, a neighbor, and friend from across the street. She wants her to come over ASAP- she needs a shoulder to cry on. She does not pay attention to the time, the text came in. Serena and her hubby, Lee had been trying for years to have a baby and often Serena needed support from her friends, while they continued trying, with one test after another. The calm before the storm. Tara decides not to bother with texting back. She will take a short break and walk over. When she arrives, the hubby said the text came in earlier that morning and she is not currently home. She apologizes and turns around, to head back home. Until Lee offers her a glass of wine. Across the road her unfinished painting awaits, but why not? It would be nice to have company and laugh for a bit. Right? Wrong. This is where the novel stands out from the ordinary. From this point on. This situation could actually happen to anyone. It is realistic. In a split second, a choice. A choice which would forever change lives. Note to self: Never have wine with a neighbor husband in the wife’s absence. You never know who is watching. A real whodunit mystery. Why would someone violently kill a man and leave the woman unharmed, while she was unaware of anything happening around her? Drugged? Did they have sex? What in the heck happened? She wakes panicked. The facts: One: She knows she did not kill Lee. There was no blood on her. Two: whoever did it saw her. The killer knows her face. What if they come back for her?She leaves. Who will see her leaving Serena's house? Who will believe her? She has to call the cops, or let him be found? CI (Holden) Hunt and DS Aldridge are heading the murder case. A crime of passion. With many suspects, red herrings, and suspects, Croft takes you down many twisted intriguing paths; however, she keeps you in the game. "The truth is, how well do we ever know anyone? Secrets and Lies. Are things black and white?"
From Part I (the murder) and events leading up to the incident.
Part II (Three weeks later) an arrest. Everyone in the neighborhood is shouting accusations at Tara and her daughter Rosie (murderers), even though no evidence. How could there be charges, when no one could prove the connections? Some distressing news. So many suspects. A complex web of deceit and lies. The person you least expect.
Part III (Six weeks later) The aftermath. The jealousy, greed, a suitable scapegoat, someone to take the fall. More deaths. All is unraveled. The killer comes to light.
“Sometimes it’s just hard to see the truth when it’s hidden in so many lies.” Her own husband is not where he says he was, Serena is acting weird, Rosie says she has a new boyfriend whom they have not met, was Lee having an affair, a mysterious engraved watch, Lee’s wedding ring. A stalking teacher. A voice from the past. A setup? Lee. Serena. Mikey. Rosie. A witness. Tara is driving herself crazy, trying to figure out the killer's identity, while protecting her own family. Is she safe? Now her sister Lisa needs her help. The strong cool one. How could things be any worse? Tara cannot trust anyone, especially those close to her. Can she trust herself? Blackmail. Nothing makes sense. A stalker? A past. “Lies and secrets are only ticking time bombs, waiting for the moment they can wreak the most havoc.”Time is running out. Is someone trying to frame their family? The person you may trust the most, could be the one to fear the most. I love Croft’s writing style! It is crisp, taut, and keeps you focused (read in one sitting). There is never a language barrier, no matter what part of the world you are may reside. Heart-pounding action, with so many suspects, yet each one is so believable, keeping you reading to find how this complex scenario will end. Engrossing and completely absorbing, the intensity and suspense is riveting. You are in the mind of Tara; confused and bewildered as the events unfold before her very eyes. The desperation is felt and the intensity electrifying. I have enjoyed immensely, Croft’s previous three books and now strong desire to go back and read her first two. An author to follow. WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING fast paced non-stop action; reflecting the dangers of suspicion, revenge, and obsession. Truly addictive, keeping you guessing until the breathless conclusion. Highly recommend! A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Kathryn is always seeking new challenges and has had a wide and varied career before writing her first novel. After gaining a BA Honours Degree in Media Arts with English Literature, she worked in human resources and management training. But it wasn’t long before her passion for literature led her to train as a teacher and study for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She then spent six years teaching secondary school English; a job she believes was invaluable to her writing career.
Kathryn now devotes all her time to writing and is currently working on her fifth novel.
Having always been an avid reader, Kathryn believes in the power of words to entertain, teach and transform lives. Now that she has achieved the dream she has held onto since childhood – to write a full-length novel – her new goal is to be as successful as the bestselling authors she admires. She firmly believes anything is possible if you work hard enough and never give up!
Kathryn lives in Guildford, Surrey with her husband, their baby son and two cats. Read More