The sleepwalker A novel

Chris Bohjalian, 1960-

Large print - 2017

When a sleepwalker who has experienced episodes of near violence while unconscious goes missing, her eldest daughter, Lianna, finds herself drawn to a lead detective who seems to know more than he is revealing.

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Subjects
Genres
Mystery fiction
Published
New York : Random House Large Print [2017]
Edition
First large print edition
Language
English
Physical Description
398 pages (large print) ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781524755942
152475594X
Main Author
Chris Bohjalian, 1960- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

One night when her professor husband is out of town, and while her teenage daughters sleep in their rooms, Annalee Ahlberg walks out her front door and heads toward the river. She is never seen again. The fact that this loving mother had a history of sleepwalking influences her family's and the community's reaction to her disappearance. Is she still wandering somewhere in a fugue state? Was she murdered? Kidnapped? Or did she drown in the Gale River's icy waters? Detective Gavin Rikert pursues the case with a less-than-objective interest: he and Annalee were once treated at the same sleep clinic and bonded over the peculiar way in which their disorder manifested itself. While Annalee's older daughter, Lianna, tries to reassure her younger sister, Paige, and buoy her father's spirits, she also puts her life as a college student on hold to conduct her own investigation, which brings her into ever-closer contact with Rikert. Best-selling Bohjalian (The Guest Room, 2016) raises essential questions of identity and heredity, sexuality and desire, bringing the Ahlberg family conundrum into focus with a didn't-see-that-one-coming powerhouse ending. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Bohjalian, who never writes the same book twice, here offers suspense with a twist. Says Harlan Coben, it's "more than a mystery: it's a beautiful, wrenching novel of family secrets.". Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Set in Vermont in 2000, this stylish fusion of mystery and domestic thriller from Bohjalian (The Guest Room) explores the aftermath of the inexplicable disappearance of a woman prone to sleepwalking. Annalee Ahlberg's two daughters, 21-year-old Lianna and 12-year-old Paige, attempt to find some kind of closure after their beloved mother—who has experienced bizarre sleepwalking episodes in the past—vanishes from her home in the middle of the night. The mystery deepens when Lianna and a detective, who may have had an intimate relationship with Annalee, become emotionally connected. Powered by brilliantly rendered characters, an intriguing topic (parasomnia), and a darkly lyrical narrative that captures the melancholic tone of autumn in New England perfectly (red maples in their "death throes"), this novel has only one weak point—its highly improbable conclusion, which may leave readers unsatisfied. 10-city author tour. Agent: Jane Gelfman, Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners. (Jan.) Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a sleepwalker who has experienced episodes of near violence while unconscious goes missing, her eldest daughter, Lianna, finds herself drawn to a lead detective who seems to know more than he is revealing. By the author of The Guest Room. (suspense). Simultaneous.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

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.