Review~ Sleep No More by Susan Crandall

26 January 2010

From the book:
The night was always Abby Whitman's enemy. As a young girl she walked in her sleep, and one night, she started a fire that scarred her sister for life and left Abby with unbearable guilt...and a loneliness that echoes within her.
Now Abby has begun blacking out again-- with apparently fatal results. A car accident has killed the son of a prominent family. Even though the evidence seems to exonerate her, Abby is plagued by doubts-- and soon by mysterious threats. Psychiatrist Dr. Jason Coble is intrigued by Abby and offers to help her explore the dark recesses of her mind. Through this terrifying journey, Jason's interest turns to passion, and he yearns to give her the love she craves. But first, Abby must trust him-- and shed light on secrets that will rock this Southern town and reveal a danger that threatens them both.

My thoughts:

The hero in this story is not the typical cop/ ex- cop/ ex- marine. He is a psychologist who has worked with law enforcement before to help understand the minds of criminals. He carries a gun when it is necessary to protect loved ones, but he's not Rambo. It is a nice switch.

Dr. Jason Coble runs a small practice in a rural southern town. While helping other people get control of their shattered or confused lives, he is struggling to keep his own family stable despite being divorced from his kids' mom. His ex-wife is an alcoholic, his step-son is a 17-year-old discipline challenge, and his 7- year old daughter is caught in the middle of it all. The last thing Jason wants to do is put all of his troubles on someone elses shoulders, so he has chosen to remain single... A choice he has stuck to until meeting Abby.

Abby has spent her adult life alone because of her sleepwalking problem. As a child, she started a fire in her sleep that burned her little sister badly. Now Abby refuses to put anyone else at risk. Running her floral business gives her peace and purpose. Her heart aches at the thought of never having a family, but she won't take the chance of hurting anyone. Until she developed a crush on Jason, that vow was easy to keep.

Jason believes that Abby's sleepwalking can be dealt with differently. He is not afraid to have her in his home or his bed. Now he needs to help convince her of it. When Abby's life is threatened, he insists she stay in his home for safety. It is his only hope for keeping her safe, and for showing Abby that sleepwalking doesn't have to lead to harm. Together, they will investigate the crash and the threats to Abby's life.

Read this book on a weekend when you won't have to worry about getting a lot of sleep. It is very hard to put down. Susan Crandall can really tell a terrific story. Things continue to move as the pages turn. The reader gets a good sense of the characters thoughts, feelings and motives without becoming bored with excessive wordiness. There are varying clues dropped often enough to keep you guessing at who the "bad guy/gal" is. I like a good mystery mixed in with romance and action.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Hachette Book Group in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”