There’s so much to love about this book, from its engaging and accessible suspense storyline to the way Barber infuses an on-trend psychological thriller with inventive and original storytelling tools ... just plain fun to read. It has that addictive quality that authors like Ruth Ware and Clare Mackintosh have mastered—it’s compulsively readable, and I can practically guarantee fans of current psychological thrillers will find this book unputdownable ... isn’t necessarily as dark a read as some of its peers—I wouldn’t classify it as particularly chilling, and there is minimal violence in this book, but I certainly don't consider that a flaw of the novel ... Accessible, engaging, and not too dark or violent, this psychological suspense novel will hook readers looking for a binge-worthy beach read.
Barber weaves a twisty tale that will grip readers as they follow Josie confronting a past she finally cannot escape. Highly recommended for fans of the podcast Serial and authors such as Ruth Ware and Paula Hawkins.
A quandary: There is an absolutely thrilling dilemma baked into Are You Sleeping, a debut thriller from Kathleen Barber. However, not only can I not discuss it without revealing too much — I'm not even sure if it's meant to be a dilemma, or if it's an oversight by the author and her editors. If the former, it could have used more framing; if the latter, someone needs several lashes with a red pencil for overlooking things ... Back to that problem of framing: All of this novel could use more of it ... their characters, like Poppy's, and Ellen's, and all the rest, are one-dimensional ... What the characters lack in depth the book makes up for in pace. Barber cuts in and out of past and present with expert precision, perhaps evidence of her background as a bankruptcy attorney ... that dilemma. If it's deliberate, it's one of the most subtle sleights of hand I've seen in a novel of suspense, and proves that there are some places inside the human mind even social media can't reach.