Sunday, 16 August 2015

Review - Sleep Peacefully by NC Marshall

Sleep Peacefully is the debut novel written by NC Marshall which I was absolutely delighted to be offered the chance to review. As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I had a strong feeling that it would be right up my street and I can safely say that I was proved right. Without a doubt, it’s an extremely well-written and cleverly crafted novel that I could not put down and did not want to be parted with in the slightest. 

In this story we meet Nat, a young woman who’s younger sister Jess died in what the family were told was nothing more than an accident. However, Nat, who lives in the UK with her husband and five year old son Josh, is unable to move on from her sister’s death and experiences such vivid dreams about the night her sister died. With these dreams becoming more and more frequent and starting to take over her life, Nat starts to believe that there is more to her sister’s death than meets the eye. The belief leads her to launch an investigation of her own in order to find out exactly what happened, uncovering many of her sister’s secrets in the process. 

This is one of those books which ends up being told from two perspectives and was really well done in this respect. In addition to hearing of Nat’s discoveries and the progress she is making in finding out what happened to her sister, the reader also hears from Jess as the author dedicates several chapters to her side of the story from several years before right up to the minute of her death. Although in a way it was sad to read Jess’ parts knowing what we do about what eventually happens to her, I thought that her chapters were a welcome addition to the story and succeeded in filling in the gaps and providing information about her life and experiences that, otherwise, readers might not have known. 

Although the investigation that Nat is carrying out into the death of her sister clearly forms the main part of Nat’s narrative, it’s not her only focus. By describing her life in the detail she does where we find out much about her job, her family and her friends, NC Marshall allows the reader to feel fully connected with Nat. This is something that contributed towards me feeling that I was the one doing the investigating, wanting to get to the bottom of what happened just as much as Nat. 

Sleep Peacefully is one of those novels which contained unexpected twist after unexpected twist that means the reader is kept fully alert, on their toes and constantly wanting more. It’s certainly the sort of book that could easily be read in a day and I certainly came very close to, finishing it off one Saturday by reading almost 80% of it in one sitting. 

My one hope is that both the author and the book itself gets the praise and recognition that they so rightly deserve. I’ve definitely found a new author to follow in NC Marshall and I really hope it won’t be too long before I’m lucky enough to be reuinted with her writing and back on this blog with another review of her work.