Before I Go To Sleep by S.J.Watson
This book gave me nightmares so quite frankly, I wish I did not read it before going to sleep. I think I am, four days later, still traumatized.
Winner of UK Crime Thriller of the Year, this book delivers. The feeling it left me with was that horrifying scene in When A Stranger Calls where the killer ends up in bed with the babysitter. That scene still makes me want to cry with terror 25 years later….and this book, left me with a similar skin-crawling shakiness.
So in short, this book is a creepy, creepy ride but it is a goodie.
Christine Lucas wakes up every morning without any memory. She is 47 but sometimes wakes believing she is a child, sometimes in her 20’s. She knows nothing, remembers no-one and with the help of her long-suffering husband Ben pieces it all together during the day – until she falls asleep and the days memories are erased.
Secretly Christine begins to meet with a Dr Nash who gets her to write a journal each day and she scribbles furiously, only to forget about it each morning until Dr Nash rings to remind her of the hiding place and its importance. In the front of the journal she has written Don’t Trust Ben. Throughout the book you can’t figure out if Ben is on the nose or just bloody exhausted by the daily ritual of reminding Christine who she is, who he is, where she is, why she is like this….the list goes on as you can imagine. It must be hell for both of them.
This book is so well crafted because it keeps you – or it kept me – baffled and with each page more and more unsettled. The inside cover and back page are full of rave reviews and deservedly so. It is, as one reviewer wrote ‘faultlessly executed’ and it really is. There is so much intricacy in the tale and the characters.
I certainly didn’t crack the case until it was spelt out for me so probably best I am not trying to earn a crust as a detective.
And that is my 2 cents worth.