While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt


Published by Harper Collins UK

5 stars


A pacy, chilling psychological thriller, set to reinvent the genre.

It begins, they say, with a woman screaming…

On a remote Scottish island, the McBride house stands guard over its secrets. A century ago, a young widow and her son died mysteriously there; just last year a local boy, visiting for a dare, disappeared without a trace.

For Zoe Adams, newly arrived from America, the house offers a refuge from her failing marriage. But her peaceful retreat is disrupted by strange and disturbing events: night-time intrusions; unknown voices; a constant sense of being watched.

The locals want her to believe that these incidents are echoes of the McBrides’ dark past. Zoe is convinced the danger is closer at hand, and all-too-real – but can she uncover the truth before she is silenced?

You know that feeling you get when you read just the right book at just the right this? This was it for me. Turns out that what I needed to blow the cobwebs away was an exceptionally well written supernatural thriller set on an atmospheric and windy (obviously) Scottish island.

I read this in one day and was devastated when I had to put it down for half an hour before I could read the finale!

Without giving anything away, this book is a subtle mix of human behaviour, psychology and supernatural elements. It’s so well written that I was drawn in from the start as Zoe reached the island and settled into her rented home, the history of which all the locals have apparently been sworn to secrecy.

When she starts having strange dreams in the house and finding things being moved about, she has to uncover the truth of the past to make sure nobody gets hurt. The suspense of it all had me at the edge of my seat – how much of it was supernatural? How much of it was just people being people?

If you like atmospheric thrillers, which a slice of gothic horror thrown in, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy!

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