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Thursday, January 12, 2017

(6)The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

Warren Ahlberg is out of town at a conference when he gets the call that his wife, Annalee, has gone missing.  He knew it was a risk leaving Annalee home with his daughter, Lianna and Paige, but he did.  Annalee's sleepwalking has been under control, but it always gets worse when Warren is out of town.  The family accepts Annalee's disappearance with a broken heart, assuming she fell in the river.  Twenty-one year old Lianna strikes up a friendship with a detective n the case, it turns out that the detective had a sort of relationship with Annalee.  Through Gavin, Lianna learns more about her mother than she ever wanted to know.  Information about her sleepwalking that will change the Ahlberg family forever.    But will they ever find out what happened to Lianna?  Was her disappearance a tragic accident or was it something much more sinister?

Chris Bohjalian has outdone himself.  The Sleepwalker starts out as a bit of a mystery and then meanders into a fascinating story about a twist on a common ailment, sleepwalking.  Annalee and Gavin, the detective had one thing in common and met at a support group for people who have parasomnia.  They don't walk in their sleep, they do something so much more.   I enjoyed Lianna, who was desperately trying to hold her family together after her mother's disappearance.  Her younger sister was still in high school and Lianna felt a sense of responsibility for Paige. She took a semester off of college to be there.    I didn't have a good feeling about Gavin, the detective.  He was considerably older than Lianna and I thought he was a bit of a predator.     When the truth is revealed, I have to say that I was shocked.  It was not what I had expected.  -- CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS

Bottom line - The Sleepwalker was such a terrific read.  The book has all of the components of a good mystery, but the characters were so much more developed than your average mystery novel.  There is so much in this novel that is up for discussion.  You won't regret it