The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

January 6th, 2017 Kimberly Review 49 Comments

6th Jan
The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian
The Sleepwalker
by Chris Bohjalian
Genres: Mystery
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room comes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night.
When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee's disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee's husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs' Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee's disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body?
Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers."

well written mystery SUSPENSE Auto-Buy

The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian weaves a compelling mystery regarding the disappearance of a young mother in rural Vermont. Bohjalian draws the reader in as he introduces us to the strange world of parasomnia. The Sleepwalker will keep you reading late into the night.

I listened to the prequel The Premonition, and while not entirely necessary, it did give us insight into the Ahlberg family and Annalee’s sleepwalking. The Sleepwalker begins on the morning that twenty-two-year-old Lianna is awakened by her teenage sister Paige who cannot find their mother.

My review may seem vague, but this is the type of tale where little details might spoil the reader’s experience.

As a search party is formed to explore the woods and riverbed surrounding the Ahlbergs’ Victorian home, the police begin to question the family. We are introduced to a young detective who seems to know more than he should. The tale unfolds from Lianna’s perspective as she starts to wonder how well she really knew her mother. She forms a complicated relationship with the young detective. The tale took a darker turn into the world of sleepwalking than I expected and I found it all fascinating. Twists, turns, and surprises await you as you question everything and everyone.

Bohjalian is a masterful storyteller weaving in red herrings and scattering clues that begin to take form in the reader’s mind. As Lianna searches for answers, things that happen inside the Ahlberg home start to raise questions. I was pulled in by the tidbits on sleepwalking and the discoveries made regarding Annalee.  The author makes you comfortable, and you feel like an amateur Nancy Drew until you realize you’re in over your head. Moments had me fearful, and others shocked me. The twist at the end had me smacking my forehead as all the scattered clues became glaring. Well done Mr. Bojalian, well done!

Fans of mystery and suspense will enjoy this well-researched and compelling tale found in The Sleepwalker. If you haven’t read anything by  Chris Bohjalian I encourage you to explore his titles, you’ll find everything from historical to modern day whodunits. His writing is beautiful and his stories pull you into his imagination.

[bctt tweet=”The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian will keep you hooked” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

49 Responses to “The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian”

  1. AngelErin

    I loved this one! I’m glad you enjoyed it too. It was my first book by him, but I have The Guest Room that I’m hoping to get to soon. Excellent review!

  2. Lorna

    Yes, this does sound like a good mystery and I am pretty intrigued. Glad it kept you guessing-and smacking your head!

  3. Toady

    I just read this, but have not written my review. I liked it, but was feeling kind of lukewarm about it until that final page. Wow! I was quite taken with that which would be a total spoiler for others if we spoke of it here, but you know.

  4. Lizzy

    Definitely going to be looking for this one. I need a few more good mystery/detective authors on my auto-buy list. Right now there’s only Tana French!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Chris writes a variety of stories some historical some present day, but all well researched with a touch of mystery and suspense.

  5. Bookworm Brandee

    It’s been a long while since I read Bohjalian. This sounds like a great read. I love it when an author keeps me guessing. 🙂 I’ll have to see if my library has this one.

  6. Angela Adams

    Since I went to college in Vermont, I have a soft spot for Chris Bohjalian and his books (as in I read them as soon as they hit the shelves). Christmas has put me behind in my reading, but this book is definitely on my list. Also, I highly recommend “The Guest Room” for fans of mystery/suspense/thrillers. Thanks for the post, and have a great weekend!

  7. Mary Kirkland

    Ooo sleepwalking, that’s something I used to do when I was on Ambien. I even drove to the store at 3am and bought a dozen donuts and didn’t remember doing it. So this sounds really intriguing to me.

  8. Rita

    I’ve read all of his books, auto-buy, except for his historical titles. I also love Vermont which we used to visit, and have a signed copy of one of his books, which is treasured. This one I’m getting from the library, hopefully soon

  9. Heidi

    Oh this sounds intriguing. It has been awhile since I read a good mystery/thriller. Hoping this isn’t too dark?

  10. Darlene

    I have yet to try this author, but a few of his books are on my TBR (Midwives and The Night Strangers). I hadn’t heard about this one yet, so I’m adding that to the list!

  11. Ethan

    I’ve been eyeing this one for a while. From your review, it sounds like exactly the kind of mystery that I love to read!

  12. Maggie

    Kim this book sounds very interesting. Having had an issue with sleep walking once I am tempted to adding it to my 2017 reading list. Let me say that nothing bad happened while I sleepwalk (it was a 1 time occurrence after taking Ambien) lol 🙂 It was a rather funny story…at least now it is 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      We have a few funny ones, like the time my brother slept walk as a child and thought the upright vacuum was the toilet. I slept walked from meds once and apparently raided the cabinets. Oddly I ate things I do not like.

  13. Rowena

    I don’t venture into the mystery genre all that much but this one sounds interesting so you’ve done it again. Added another book to ever growing TBR pile. Ha!

    Have a great day, Kim!

  14. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I loved this book, too! After The Guest Room, which I also loved, I didn’t think the author could grab me in quite the same way again….As different as the two books are, they are evidence of the fabulous writing of the author. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kimberly, and that ending caught me by surprise, too.

  15. Cyn

    Sounds like a very interesting mystery! Twist and turns is always good. Glad this was an awesome read for you! Great review, Kim!