Cover Image: Are You Awake?

Are You Awake?

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Member Reviews

Very different people but bonded by what they think they saw, insomniacs Mary and Tim join forces to try to solve the disappearance of a local girl. But can they solve the mystery without putting Mary's family in danger or implicating themselves to the police? What is real and what is in their heads?

A brilliant thriller that keeps you turning the pages until the exciting ending. Full of twists and turns and shocks, this one kept me gripped right through. Recommended!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of the book in return for my honest feedback.

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Mary a mother of two young children and Tim her neighbour think that they see someone being attacked in a flat across the road.
They are both having trouble sleeping at night and are not sure what they saw.
A very slow moving story with unlikeable characters that failed to hold my interest.
Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Overall this was a good, well written read but I did find it a bit slow in parts, was a bit bored and I found it hard to engage with the storyline.

Thank you to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing for this ARC.

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Are You Awake? by Claire McGowan is a domestic thriller about a murder that might not have happened. The story revolves around Mary and Tim. They are neighbors, but strangers. One night while walking around a nearby park, they think they see a murder in the window of a nearby house. They think that they saw Samantha, a local young woman, viciously attacked and murdered. But was she really? When the police don't believe them, they decide to investigate themselves.

Here is a gripping excerpt from the opening chapter, which is from Samantha's point of view:

"The man stood across the room from her, where she sat cross-legged on the mattress. As she watched, he undid the expensive watch he wore around his left wrist. Her eyes tracked it as he slid it off, set it down on the grimy windowsill with a small chink of metal. He was in dark jeans and a black jumper that she could tell was also expensive. Leather boots, which he now bent to undo, tucking the laces carefully in, setting them aside. He did not speak to her. She did not speak to him either. What good would words do now?
He rolled up the sleeves of the jumper and her heart began to race, gulping away in her chest."

Overall, Are You Awake is a domestic thriller with an intriguing premise, but it ended up being disappointing. I found this book to be very slow-paced. Two neighborhood busybodies think they saw a murder, but was it really a murder? They decide to investigate. I took off two stars, because there was no tension or sense of danger. It picked up a bit at the midway point. I didn't see the twist coming, but I had lost interest at that point If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of domestic thrillers in general, you can check out this book when it comes out in November.

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A fast read and a good entertaining killer. The first chapter are excellent the rest is good.
It kept me on the edge and entertained.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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3,5 Stars

This book is quite entraining and gripping. I enjoyed reading it over the course of a few weeks (on and off) and it succeeded in keeping me interested in the book and the fate of the characters.

The premise is what I liked best, the suburban mom who is on parental leave and trying to solve a disappearing girl case is brilliant.
The characters are conflicting. I like them, but not all of them. When I think of it, the flaws in them should make them feel more realistic, but some decisions did not appeal to me, which explains why I am not a big fan of the main characters.
The kids are so cute I loved them, and I loved that they were here.
The plot had really nice build to it, everything went well until the end. The ending is a bit rushed but it didn't ruin it for me.
The writing style was smooth and the events flowed nicely.

A few things I did NOT like about this book, please note that this is my opinion based on things to which I relate to and feel targeted with:
- All the remarks about the middle east. Yes there are war zones in some places in the middle east, but it is not all that it is. And this book is full of micro-aggressions that I felt personally as an Arab.
- The sexism in this book is real. Again, micro aggressions. small remarks here and there that shouldn't belong in a book in 2022. Jack being forgiven after a 5 mins talk where he still goes to the gym while his wife barely sleeps? No thank you. Not how it should be done.

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An intriguing premise that didn’t quite deliver for me….Can the eye witness accounts of two sleep deprived witnesses be reliable?

Mary is a mother of two children under the age of two. She feels like she hasn’t slept at all since her second was born.

Tim is a journalist who suffers from PTSD and Insomnia, since getting injured in the field. His partner, Alice has left him and he is on administrative leave from the paper he works for.

The two meet when they venture outside of their respective houses in the middle of a sleepless night after “witnessing” what appears to be “violence” in the attic room of a boarded up house across the park.

Convinced the “missing woman” who has been all over the news is being held captive there, they team up to investigate after the local Police, don’t feel that the tip they call in is credible enough to even visit the property in question.

Although I liked Tim, and felt compassion for all he has endured-I struggled whenever the narrative switched to

Reading about breast feeding, crying children, food being thrown, and dirty nappys always bores me to tears as a woman who is childless by choice. And, the decisions she would make while her children were in tow would not win her any “mother of the year” awards. So, I found myself wanting to skim through half of the chapters for that reason.

These two Amateur Detectives succeed where the Police have failed, finding lead after lead that Detectives have apparently missed! 🤦🏻‍♀️

I have heard great things about this author’s work, so I will have to give her another try-but this one unfortunately, was a MISS for me!

Expected Publication date of November 8, 2022.

Thank You to Amazon Digital for the gifted ARC. It was my pleasure to offer a candid review!

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As a thriller and suspense lover, I was very excited for this book. However, I felt a little underwhelmed by the overall thriller & suspense aspects of this novel. Don’t get me wrong, it was good just not great!

The tension was there at parts but not entirely throughout. There were various unrealistic events that I could just not wrap my brain around.

The characters didn’t wow me. The connection wasn’t there which in turn made me lack interest in what was going on.

Things that I did enjoy about this book was the pace was consistent. It didn’t fall flat at any point. The plot itself is intriguing and captivating. And the details throughout the book were overall phenomenal.

I’m giving this one 3.5 stars!

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My favorite genre is thriller, so I was really excited about this book. Plus, I've read books by the author before. I liked the premise of the book, but I felt that the pacing was off. Some sections kind of dragged on, while others moved too quickly and left me confused. It was an OK read. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

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Great plot to get your interest . The book was an exciting read. Fast paced . The book was well written. Was a hit with me

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This book kept me guessing until the very end - it didn't quite hook me like some other mystery/thrillers that I have read.

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I normally enjoy the author's work, but this book just didn't do it for me. Definitely an interesting premise, but the main character (Mary) is soooo aggravating. I found it not so believable that she was a lawyer, since she didn't really seem to know anything about the law. I also found the way everyone treats Mary really off-putting... they just kind of dump on her and treat her terribly, and she doesn't stand up for herself. Like I said, aggravating. I figured out the ending pretty early on and I enjoyed the journey but couldn't stand Mary.
I would probably not recommend this to others, and point people towards some of the author's previous books instead.

Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the ARC!

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I struggled a bit reading this book. There were some parts that had me entertained and others very slow and dreading. A couple if twists but again very slow in some parts.

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Are you awake is another great novel by claire mcgowan! This one will keep you at the edge of your seat, and will be very hard to put down!

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With two young children, Mary hasn’t slept in what feels like years. For his part, Tim never feels safe enough to sleep. And so one hot, exhausting night, the two strangers meet while seeking solace in a nearby park. There, they witness something horrific: a violent attack in the window of a neighbouring house.
Bonded by what they’ve seen, Tim and Mary are desperate to find answers. And when they see news reports of a missing woman who was last seen walking alone not far from them, the pair are convinced it’s her they saw being attacked—no matter what the police say.
But with her marriage under strain and the police on their tail, Mary begins to doubt her own mind…and Tim’s. And as the pair are drawn into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, the culprit appears to be even closer to home than they thought. Have they got it all wrong, or is something even more sinister going on?
I really enjoyed this book. It was hard to put down as it drew me in immediately and before I knew it I was in the middle of the book!
The character depth was amazing! Can’t wait to see what this author brings out next!

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This was an enjoyable book….I liked the two characters investigating on their own and had sympathy for both. The hunt was interesting with a bit of a twist. I did figure it out partially but liked the multiple choices.

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There are two main narrators of this story: Tim and Mary. As the story starts they are complete strangers, but soon they will be united by their present circumstances. The story is set mainly in the outskirts of London during a boiling hot summer. A local nineteen-year-old girl called Samantha has been abducted in the dead of night, walking home from her shift as a care assistant in the Care Home. The local police have been overwhelmed by sightings.
Tim is in a bad way. He is on sick leave from his job as a highly rated international journalist. He has PTSD and cannot sleep. His insomnia is crippling him as well as his diagnosed mental health issues. Once he travelled the world and reported the most horrible news anyone normal shirks from. He enters war zones, has dealt with famines and so much more. He has won awards and is a household figure in news broadcasts. His current illness is fraught with survivor’s guilt caused by what happened to him on his latest roving job. He hears explosions in his head even when everything is quiet in the depth of the black night. He is frightened.
Mary is a mother of two very young children, one daughter aged two and the other a son is a new-born. She is currently on maternity leave from her work as a family lawyer. She is living in a two bedroomed property so the children share a bedroom and regularly wake each other up. Mary feels as though she hasn’t had a decent night sleep for years. She is unhappy, restless and downhearted and her husband is almost no help at all. He by and large leaves childcare to his wife. She loves her children to the moon and back. Please let her sleep.
Tim cannot stand being in his flat. He feels shut in and is way too hot and wound up to sleep so he sets off for a cool walk in the park. There he meets Mary who needs space and cooling down in the shade of the park’s many trees. The meet each other and talk until they see a girl at the window of the house opposite the park they both believe to be Samantha. It appears that she is being viciously manhandled. She is the image of the photographs they have seen on the newspapers and TV. They hatch a plan to report the sighting to the police. When nothing at all happens they are furious and decide to investigate on their own. Something must be done and if the police do not believe their report, as good and caring local citizens, it is up to them to find Samantha and take her home. So the story continues.
The chilling storyboard of this new novel is bulging with secrecy, suspense and surprises. The storytelling is vivid and exciting. The characters are well described but I felt no closeness to any of the characters and have no favourites. The pace of the story is even and the details of the case are well documented. It is certainly much more than a ‘whodunit’, as it is full of mystery and activity. I felt that both Tim and Mary would not act in the way that the story took them so I found it difficult to come to terms with this fact. Overall I enjoyed reading this story. I was so excited when I first saw this new novel and requested it for review. I quickly received a complimentary copy from publisher Thomas & Mercer through my membership of NetGalley. Thank you for my copy sent in return for an honest and unbiased review. It’s a 3.5* review from me.

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Available from November 11, this focuses on neighbours Mary and Tim, who suffer from insomnia: Mary because she has two small children and Tim after a traumatic event that had ended his career. One night both see what looks like a violent attack in the window of a neighbouring house. The following night both seek refuse in a nearby park and realise they were not dreaming about the attack. The police disbelieve them despite a teenager being reported missing. They take the matter into their own hands and set out to find the answers despite police warnings. Are You Awake? will keep you guessing until the final page. This is an addictive thriller packed with secrets and lies with a twist that will knock you sideways.

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2.5 stars.

Thanks for the ARC copy! I was drawn in by the title and the cover of this book, so sometimes it isn't a genre or an author that draws me in.

Now, the title of the book just doesn't live up to the name. Granted, the first few chapters featured our sleep-deprived main characters but then it went off in a new direction - especially when the character Eric Johnson popped in with his big reveal. Whoa.

Unfortunately, it took me almost three weeks to finish this book and that just never happens. But I found that I wasn't invested in the characters, they were a bit odd and didn't match the tone. Although the two-year-old was a riot!

I predicted almost every portion of this book, apart from one section which took me totally by surprise. Even the last paragraph in the epilogue didn't get my gears going.

All in all, it's an okay book.

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Not the thrilliest thriller or suspensiest suspense story. I definitely felt the tension of a sleep deprived mom and a raging insomniac. That part was well done. I just thought the actions of the various characters were a bit over the top and unrealistic. The story itself was perfectly fine - I just had a hard time buying into the actions and reactions of these various people and the situations they put themselves in.

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