Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
Published by Gallery Books on August 1st 2017
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
The only thing more dangerous than a lie…is the truth.
Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay. The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name.
When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber was not much of a psychological thriller, in my opinion. The story is about a woman, Josie, who returns to her hometown after her mother dies. Pieces of Josie’s past come to light, when a reporter, Poppy Parnell (what kind of name is this anyways?) creates a podcast showcasing the murder of Josie’s father. It seems the person who was charged with the murder, may not have done it after all.
As the story unfolds, I was expecting some huge revelation of news. However, there wasn’t any shocking twist. The drama between Josie and her sister was interesting, but not thriller worthy. By the halfway mark I had a pretty good idea of who the actual killer was.
What I did enjoy about the story was Barber kept the focus on Josie and her sister. It didn’t involve in depth analysis of too many characters. I liked the modern take on the reporter uses a podcast to share her findings on the case. Though the character’s name Poppy Parnell sounded very cheesy!
Overall the story was good. Different. However, the story didn’t hold any shocking twists or turn of events.
Side note: I’m not sure what the title “Are You Sleeping” had to do with the story.
I would recommend this one if you’re looking for a more modern take on the mystery genre. Let me know what you guys thought of Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber! I would love to hear your opinions as well!
Until next time,
Kathleen Barber was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. When she’s not writing, Kathleen enjoys traveling the world with her husband.