Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Sleeper - Emily Barr (Review)

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Emily Barr's latest book, The Sleeper to review, so even though I have a thirty-book high pile at home, this book got fast-tracked to the top of the pile for immediate consumption.

From the back of the book, "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..."

It's so hard to write about a book without giving away to much of the plot. The main characters are Lara, the one who disappears, and Iris, an acquaintance who tasks herself with finding Lara. Lara is a bored woman who lives with her sweet but dull husband, drowning in debt after failed IVF attempts. Iris is someone she barely knows and wants to get to know better but seems to always push other people away. When Lara disappears, it transpires that both women have pretty big secrets that they want to keep but that are inevitably all going to come out.

I really rated this book, like all of Emily's so far. I love Emily Barr. She is like, my favourite. Her books are great psychological thrillers, always containing a slightly messed up character who you can totally relate to, with so many twists and turns in the plot it's impossible to see what's coming next. I've now read all but two of her books, but they are firmly on my to-read list, because they are just so easy to read yet not at all chick-litty.

Emily was a journalist, but hankering for other things, she asked her boss if she could go backpacking and write a column on her travels. When they surprisingly said yes, she went off, and ended up with an idea for her first book, Backpack. Now she has written 12, and they're all brilliant. Nearly all of Emily's books have at least a portion that is set somewhere else, like Italy, France, Spain, Cuba and a few recently have been set partly in Cornwall, it's no surprise to find out that's where she lives. The Sleeper has an overseas section too, although you'll have to wait and see where.

The Sleeper is on sale from 4th July, RRP £7.99 but available from Foyles at £6.07. I recommend it highly. A great read for your commute, or if you're off on your travels, your sunlounger (I am jealous).