Are You Awake?
by Claire McGowan
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Pub Date 08 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 22 Nov 2022
Amazon Publishing UK, Thomas & Mercer
From the bestselling author of What You Did comes a chilling story about a missing girl and two potential witnesses. They both think they saw her. But can they trust their own eyes?
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?
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 123 members
This is quite a quick thrilling read which has masses of twists and turns in it! For some reason I found the pace a bit slow but in saying that, once it gets going then there were certainly a whole host of red herrings, twists and turns that you just don't see coming. I did skim a few bits but I also couldn't stop reading because I needed to know just what on earth was actually going on. The characters were well written, even if some of their choices and behaviours were a bit unrealistic. Some people do just make stupid decisions in life. It's definitely one of those books that gets under your skin and it was also a really unique concept with a number of different sub plots running through it. It doesn't end abruptly or rushed and there are no massive plot holes left either which was super satisfying. A very clever thriller and a perfect beach read.
As someone who's struggled with sleep, I felt the first few chapters of this book did a great job of summing up how it sometimes feels... and it connected me to the characters in sympathy.
Beyond that I just went with the flow, and was entertained by it all.
The plot is slightly ott, but it's all the more fun for that.
Plenty of twists along the way.
I enjoyed it.
Good book!! Oooh I really enjoyed reading this one! This book had suspense, intrigue, action, and a great who done it! The storyline was very interesting and kept me glued to my kindle! There were so many shady characters that it kept you guessing till the end! Great who done it! I will definitely recommend reading this book as it was well worth reading! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!
I was excited to see Claire McGowan's upcoming novel, Are You Awake, available as a "read now" on NetGalley, so of course I had to read it right away! Sadly, I have to say that I was very disappointed with this one. It was painfully slow going and extremely boring at first. The writing felt stilted and lacking in connection. The characters were very blah and I didn't care about any of them. I thought about giving up a few times, but I stuck it out hoping that it would be worth it. Around the 60% mark, the mystery aspect of the story did become more interesting and I raced through to the end hoping for some redemption. Nope! The end was just there...and then poof, it was gone. Over and out. No bells, no whistles. No WTF moments nor shocking revelations. It was extremely anticlimactic and a huge let down for me.
I really wanted to love this book. It was a decent mystery, but everything else just fell flat for me. I am a huge fan of McGowan and will continue to read her books even though this one wasn't my favorite. I am hoping that others will enjoy it more than I did.
Thank you to the author, Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for allowing me to preview this eARC in exchange for my honest review.
Imagine if you thought you witnessed a brutal crime? A young girl is missing in London. Two insomniacs swear they witnessed the crime. Mary is an exhausted and sleep deprived mother of two little ones. Tim is an insomniac suffering from trauma that causes him to be scared to sleep. Both of them believe they witnessed the attack on the missing girl. They meet at a park one night and form a friendship. Now they are on the path to figuring out what really happened. The police think they are crazy. But are they really just crazy and imagining things in their sleep deprived brains? This book will take us on their paths in figuring out what really happened. Can their sleep deprived minds figure out all the clues?
What I loved:
- first off the author is one of my favorite thriller writers. I am so excited to read another one of their books! This one did not disappoint.
- Dual POVs between Tim and Mary. And ocassionally we get a POV from the missing girl, Samantha. I also loved the dynamic between Tim and Mary. I enjoyed their journey of sleuthing.
- Trying to figure out who to trust. Or what was even real. This kept me on my toes the whole time!
- the twists!! I didn't see any of them coming
This was a well paced, interesting, and fun book. The last half of the book flew for me.and I couldn't put it down. This author continues to keep me on my toes with their writing. 4 stars out of 5! Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Having enjoyed the authors previous works I was looking forward to reading this book but I struggled to engage with the plot or characters
I was intrigued by the cover, title, and description of Are You Awake by Claire McGowan and loved the friendship/connection portrayed between the two main characters, a harried mom and a former detective. There were many twists and turns, which I loved, but the pace felt a bit off -- some parts moved slowly and some sped up so fast I almost missed them. I had to skim at points throughout the narrative to get to more action. Still, a good mystery and I liked the characters. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.
Can't sleep? Do not read this one at bedtime as it is mysterious and thought provoking...will keep the reader up at night. This author has woven a story that is difficult to put down. Despite the fact that the story moves slowly at times, it is intriguing. The characters are a man...just a man...and a woman with a husband and two children...one wonders why she had the children as she complains so much about them...and the husband. don't try to determine the end of this book too close to the beginning...surprises abound. The book was sent to me by Netgalley for review.
I loved this thriller and the pairing of the unlikely duo Mary and Tim. In London, Mary a mother of two is balancing life with two small children, lack of sleep and thoughts of returning to her job as a solicitor. Her neighbour Tim, a journalist is experiencing insomnia, anxiety and PTSD. They meet one sleepless night and witness what appears to be a violent attack on a young woman in a neighbouring house. They soon link this to the disappearance of a young woman but despite calls to the police there is little interest or follow up on what they've witnessed.
This is a really gripping thrilling, full of twists and turns and a believable partnership of Mary and Tim that I'd love to see more of in future novels. Recommended.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this digital ARC.
I really enjoyed this and think it would make a fantastic TV drama. The story took a little while to get going but once it did, I couldn't put it down. I didn't really see what the little 'adverts' brought to the book, but otherwise well thought out clever thriller. Many thanks.
It’s my first time reading one of this author’s books and according to the reviews, I’ve been missing out. This one was fast paced and while not exactly an original plot, it’s very well written and brings the reader in a lot of directions with red herrings here and there before settling on the suspect being not exactly a surprise as the blurb give a huge hint. I also wonder from the end if we’re going to meet Mary in another story.
what a fantastic read, thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book. I could not put it down.
Claire McGowan doing what she does best!
Mary who with two young children struggles to get any sleep meets up with Tim the insomniac. A local girl has gone missing and they are convinced they have seen her being held against her will. The police don't take much interest when they report what they have seen so the pair do there own investigation.
What i like about this story is that even though Mary is married i had a feeling that the pair of them would end up in some sort of affair but no, how refreshing is that?
Great characters, loads of red herrings, highly recommend this book.
My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an early copy in return for leaving my honest review.
Mary and Tim meet one night in a park and witness a terrifying scene through a window. Mary is escaping from the never ending demands of motherhood and Tim is walking to keep his nightmares at bay. Mary and Tim decide to investigate the disappearance of a woman last seen where they were walking, but the police don’t believe that Mary and Tim saw anything sinister. Still, another murder compels the unlikely duo to continue their investigation, regardless of what happens to them…or to the families
I enjoyed this book so much, i really hope Mary and Tim have another outing!
Mary is a married mother of two, not sleeping due to having to manage a baby and a toddler, her husband Jack does not be able to hear the cry of their baby at feeding time in the early hours!
Tim doesn't sleep due to PTSD following a collapse of a building he was buried under whilst on assignment as a journalist in the middle east.
These two don't know each other but live almost opposite one another and once night they see the same activity at 4am, a woman, movement, violence maybe?
Then they find in the press that a young woman has gone missing from their neighborhood, is this what they saw in the middle of the night? The woman being abducted?
This starts an unlikely coming together of Mary and Tim as they investigate what has happened to Samantha, the missing woman.
I thought this was a fantastic idea, i loved their sleuthing alongside there separate issues relating to their lives
This is an exciting and engaging thriller which i thoroughly enjoyed.
Claire McGowan is an accomplished writer of thrillers and the premise of ‘Are You Awake’ sounds promising. Two people, unable to sleep for very different reasons, believe that they see a missing girl being assaulted in the middle of the night. The police do not appear very interested.
McGowan writes about insomnia very well and her portrayal of Tim, a war journalist, suffering from PTSD is convincing and sympathetic whilst also allowing the reader to appreciate how difficult he would be to live with. In contrast, her depiction of Mary, mother of two children under three, is not so convincing. I completely understand the bone-tired state that she operates in, having experienced it myself way back. However, I am just not convinced that a woman up to her eyes in nappies, breast feeding, toddler tantrums and professional self-doubt would have the energy or the inclination to put a great deal of time and effort into sleuthing, given all that she is juggling!
Unfortunately, the story only works if the reader can buy into her all-consuming need to solve the mystery of the disappearing Samantha. And I couldn’t. There is no doubt that McGowan can tell a beguiling tale. Sadly, ‘Are You Awake’ is an exception. Well written but increasingly unbelievable as the narrative unfolds.
My thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.
For me Claire is author that is pure hit or miss. I first came across her work via a BBC radio play which I loved and it made me seek out her books, I started with the Paula McGuire series and was hooked, I very much enjoyed them all and highly recommended them. After finishing this series I started reading her stand alone novels and I have to say I have been disappointed by each and everyone, they lacked any grit, proper story, strong well written characters they were outrageous boarding the fantastical in term of storylines but I held out hope and continued to read them, perhaps this was due to lockdown , flying though and running our books but I kept the faith. I am glad to report I did as I really enjoyed this book.
Full disclose if this book had not been a read now on NetGalley I wouldn’t have requested it or indeed bought it on publication, I would have waited until it was a free read in include in Prime Reading for my kindle if even then. So a massive thank you to NetGalley for having the ARC as a read now as it is a good book I’d other wised have missed on. My review is honest, unbiased and fair I hope it makes you want to give this book a try.
The story is an interesting one- A young woman is missing in London. Two insomniacs swear they witnessed a crime. Mary is an exhausted and sleep deprived mother of two little ones. Tim is an insomniac suffering from trauma that causes him to be scared to sleep. Both of them believe they witnessed a attack on the missing woman . They meet at a park one night and form a friendship. Now they are on the path to figuring out what really happened. The police think they are crazy. But are they really just crazy and imagining things in their sleep deprived state or did they really see something- it keeps your interest and make you want to read to the end tho I did guess fairy early on what had happened but there was enough twists in the story to question yourself and there was slight twist in conclusion I misread.
The plot is slightly OTT, in what in fact was actually quite a slow paced book . The writing felt stilted at times like the author wasn’t sure where the story was going and was trying to drag it out to create the tension it was sometimes lacking. Around the 60% mark, the mystery aspect of the story did become more interesting but it was dragged out with pointless parts and it got annoying how the main characters were reacting. I skimmed though parts to get the end looking for the big ending but while it drew conclusion to the main story as well as the sub stories it felt a little bit flat, I did like how it ended but it felt rushed and anticlimactic
The characters were very blah and extremely stereotypical, dare I say lazy in how they were written I didn’t really care what happened to any of them ,however they did not distract from what ,while was very OTT plot, a fairy interesting mystery . The lack of strong characters just shows the writer needs to take her time and instead of churning out novel after novel working on one,taking what is a clear talent for writing and writing one amazing book rather than lots of alright ones, her early work in the Paula McGuire books shows the roots of a great writer are there.
What I will say I liked how she portrayed Mary, and the feelings she has about being a new mum struggling with her new role in life, I feel she captured that perfectly and did not go down the easy route of PND instead showing how you can have these feelings without it being something deeper, she actually showed a bit humour in this which made Mary less 2D than the other blah characters. Also liked the slight cosy crime feel I got from both Mary and Tim with their amateur detection though am not sure if the author meant them to read like that I suspect not.
Furthermore I found the message, awareness around violence against women and the highlighting of the woman’s movement well done it was subtle and cleverly intertwined into the story.
This book was not brilliant but it is a good read that will keep your interest, just don’t expect to too much and it will make a ideal beach read, go with the flow at times, accept the slightly annoying bits and you will be left with a story that leaves no plot holes , will give a bit of thrill and even a laugh in the process.
Overall I enjoyed this book. The characters were well written and I feel like we got to know our two leads very well, especially Tim. I liked the writing style and found the story interesting.
I wasn't fully convinced by Mary or Tim's motives in becoming so involved with the investigation, but I appreciate there wouldn't have been a story if they hadn't! The only other drawback for me is that whilst the plot held my interest, it wasn't twisty. There were no surprises or 'wow' moments which would have elevated this to a five star read.
Delicious Hitchcockian Premise…
A girl missing, two sleep deprived insomniac strangers, a heatwave and an incident which may, or may not, have devastating consequences. Tim and Mary, both unable to sleep, meet in a local park during a particularly humid night. It seems as if the whole of the world is asleep - excepting them. They are soon to witness what they interpret as a violent attack through a window of a nearby house. The police take their account with a large pinch of salt and an unlikely friendship ensues as the pair hunt for clues and investigate themselves. What did they really see and how credible are they themselves? Wholly immersive and compelling with a delicious Hitchcockian premise which, although an initial slow burn, really does deliver in terms of atmosphere, character and the solid mystery at its heart.
Another fantastic read by Claire McGowan. I loved it from the beginning. Struggling mother with 2 children and a husband that hardly helps her can't get any sleep with two young children sharing a room. One night she thinks she sees something in an empty building. Then a teenager goes missing. Lots of unexpected turns, suspenseful, just a brilliant read.
I'm so torn!! I love Clair McGowan's writing style, and I love a quick thriller. Unfortunately, this was anything but. This book had a very slow start, and a very slow middle. The story didn't really pick up until the end, and I can't really say if it was worth sticking it out.
I think this book was well written and atmospheric, but painfully, painfully slow.
I’ve been waiting for a fantastic summer read and this one checked all the boxes! I’ve been a fan of Claire McGowan for some time and this book reinforced the fact, she can write a great thriller with well developed characters. While my mind immediately figured out who the likely culprit was, there were some twists and turns throughout the story, Besides the actual mystery, was the storyline of Tim and Mary which was rich and well developed, I found myself looking forward to finishing my work day just so I could finish this book. Great story overall and I highly recommend!
Okay, so this one wasn’t for me.
It’s like, I started thinking that the title, ‘Are you awake?’, was actually just a question being asked to the reader because…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I probably stepped away from this book a dozen times because nothing was happening.
The thing is that I actually liked the characters. The mom, Mary is just so freaking exhausted and I just felt her. Tim seemed like a really good guy and I was so sorry for all he went through. The husband, whose name I can’t recall, was kind of oblivious, but in general an okay guy. But my character like was not enough to sustain me.
The reason behind everything isn’t even all that interesting.
This one is a skip from me.
*ARC via Net Galley
An enjoyable read, great style of writing switching between the characters. Plenty of twists throughout and kept me guessing to an extent.
Mary is a family lawyer on maternity leave and Tim is an investigative journalist on sick leave. They both struggle with getting any sleep so when they both see something strange in the middle of the night they come together to solve the mystery.
Great read for me I enjoyed the little twists throughout and loved the unlikely paring of Tim and Mary. I would of liked a little more explanation at the end but apart from that thought it was fab. Thanks to #netgalley for this ARC.
Thank you NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the eARC.
Two strangers meet in the middle of the night in a park in London: Mary, who has a baby and a toddler who keep her awake most nights and Tim, who hasn't slept since a nightmarish experience has left him traumatized. They both think they've seen a girl in an abandoned building; could it possibly be the girl the police is looking for?
The two form a strange alliance, they decide to investigate. Hopefully that will keep their sleep deprived brains busy; something to focus on.
What starts out as an exciting idea though, soon turns into a fight for their freedom and their lives.
I really enjoyed this, even though it's a bit of an unrealistic story (but hey, it's fiction!), it clips along at an exciting pace and was hard to.put down. Definitely recommended!
Really enjoyed this book. Alot of twists and turns that kept me guessing. Highly recommend this one.
I had mixed feelings about this one. The premise was interesting albeit a little far fetched. Two unconnected insomniacs think they see a missing girl trapped in an empty house. The rest of the book is these characters trying to get the police to take them seriously whilst making various unsavoury discoveries along the way.
I liked the portrayal of Mary as a struggling mum, worried about her stagnating career and drifting apart from her husband due to the competitive tiredness and general strain of having very small children. Tim was also a complex character; initially we feel a strong empathy for him, but this becomes more reluctant as his infertility and reckless selfishness is revealed later in the book.
However the likelihood of two randomers uncovering the truth before the police did require a significant suspension of disbelief - and Tim’s discovery of the final location in the few seconds he had to look at a (conveniently unlocked) computer screen was a little too convenient. Some artistic licence is mandatory but there were a few too many cliches, convenient coincidences and glossing over of logistics for it to be a very convincing read.
That said, it was an interesting idea and it did keep me reading as I wanted to know what had happened - though the finale was a little flat; I was expecting a big twist but there were no real surprises at the end.
Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
Mary and Tim are both sleepless for different reasons and witness a murder. The premise was exciting and I wanted this to be great but it didn’t land. The twists felt predictable and then a little silly.. Nothing really landed right.
I have read Claire McGowan before and enjoyed it, but not this book. Sorry
Mary has two young children and is awake through the night, not remembering the last time she fully slept. Tim is a journalist suffering from guilt and horrific memories of an accident - leaving him unable to sleep, suffering from insomnia. One night, both Mary and Tim look out to a house across from them, and witness violence through the window. A house that already has a past history of a brutal murder. Working together to try and find out what they saw, they'll head further and further into danger. A danger that might not allow them both out alive.
Another fantastic book by Claire! I haven't read a book that I've been disappointed with yet by Claire, she's just that good!
A chilling story of two sleep deprived strangers coming together to find a missing person, not knowing whether they can trust their minds. It's brilliant and tense, the tension building right up to the spectacular ending.
Two people who couldn't sleep are bound by a common sight they see across the street, in a house that is under renovation.
17 year old Samantha is missing and Tim, a journalist fighting his demons, and Mary, sleep deprived mother of 2, both think they have seen her across the street. They forge an unlikely friendship.
They join forces to track Samantha down after their calls to the cops don't yield immediate results. But they get caught up in so many other happenings that are more life threatening for them and Samantha as well.
Fast and pacy thriller. Thank you Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK fir the ARC
I really enjoyed the set up of this book— introducing us to Mary, insomniac courtesy of two young children sharing a room and waking each other up all night long and a husband who is no help at night; and Tim, an insomniac investigative reporter dealing with PTSD after an overseas attack. Both of them see something suspicious in a neighbor’s house and think it might be linked to the disappearance of a local teenaged girl, but they can’t be sure. The police don’t seem to be making any headway, so they start to search out leads. It did get a bit convoluted by the end, but was nevertheless still a very good domestic thriller!
*Thanks to the author, Thomas and Mercer, and NetGalley for the advance reader’s copy for review.
I really enjoyed this book and was frustrated that I couldn’t read it in bigger chunks! I particularly liked the relationship between Tim and Mary and the fact that they never gave up! A lot of twists to this story and an ending which surprised me
What a great read this is ,two people who have trouble sleeping see something untoward in the dead of night and in doing so a series of events follow which will change their lives .keeps the reader involved until the very end .
Anyone who has suffered sleepless nights for any reason will immediately identify with both Mary and Tim. That awful watching of the clock and counting down how many hours you have left to sleep only to finally drift off half an hour before you have to get up is soul destroying. It is obvious immediately that Mary is only awake because of her children but the author kind of drip feeds the reader with the reason for Tim's insomnia a little bit at a time. The disappearance of Samantha seems clear enough at first but halfway through the story there is a massive plot twist that had me reeling. The plot gets a little convoluted from there but this only makes it more exciting. Claire McGowan has really cornered the market with her one off crime thrillers and this is another one well worthy of 5 stars.
This was a very intriguing mystery story. Tim is a man suffering PTSD and unable to sleep normally at night. Mary is a mother of two young children that sleep in the same room together waking each other up all night so she gets very little sleep too. The two meet one day when they think they see a young woman in a house across the park doing erotic things in the upstairs bedroom. They both feel it might be a young lady who was said to be missing from her home. The two get together to try to find out what’s going on in the house. The police come in to the picture and tell Mary and Tim to mind there business as they investigate and find nothing in the house. Tim and Mary don’t give up and continue investigating finding different people that maybe in involved. I enjoyed this book very fast paced and the characters were very believable to end up solving the case before the police.
Thank you Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. IYKYK, my reviews are always honest.
Writing: 2/5 | Plot: nah/5 | Ending: thank god/5
Mary is a mom-of-two who is TIRED AF. Tim is a former war journalist with crippling PTSD. Together they team up to solve "who the fuck is that lady in the dilapidated house across the street".
THIS BOOK IS LIKE...
...taking a bite of the juiciest, cheesiest, creamiest mac n cheese but the aftertaste is kraft dinner dry ass powder.
AFOJFOJFOJ WHYYY!! ??? I absolutely loved Claire McGowan's writing in I Know You and What You Did, so naturally I was pumped af to grab her latest off NetGalley. The start was promising with Mary's raw af account of being a mom of two young kids with a bum ass husband. Her daughter, Audrey, was the uncontested star of this book—which is why I gave this two stars instead of one.
Ok so this could've been a guilty pleasure read but McGowan punched above the belt by making Mary a lawyer who didn't know the law from her left foot. If she had just been a SAHM or like a cupcake baker on maternity leave, that would've been fine. ANYTHING but a lawyer.
How can you make the MC a lawyer who asks questions like: "Wasn't it a crime to hide evidence too? But how did they even know that's what it was?" GURL??? ARE YOU ACTUALLY SERIOUS. THE BAG BELONGS TO A MISSING GIRL. OFC IT'S EVIDENCE. AND YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT'S A CRIME. HAVE YOU NEVER WATCHED CRIMINAL MINDS?? EVEN A LIL NCIS??? CMON!!!
Then you have Timmy boy who tells Mary he'll let the police know about the evidence they're obstructing "when they call him back." Pardon? Is he expecting someone to ring him like "hey is this Tim? Yeah this is 911. Did you happen to find a missing girl's duffle? Yes. Parfait. Could you bring it round let's say 7? Thanks so much."
This was very formulaic like many thrillers from well-known authors this year, which was disappointing. Thankfully Audrey made the first part of the book slightly enjoyable.
PROS AND CONS
Cons: Mary is the worst lawyer on the planet, didn't really care for the other characters, another dud ass husband, very formulaic, writing wasn't up to par with her other books
A wuick and easy read that was gripping, twisty and unpredictable and kept me guessing all the way through. It started off a bit slow but pacing incresaed as tension did - which didn't take long at all.
Thanks NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Mary Collins is wide awake at 4 am thanks to her two small children. Tim is also awake, because he doesn’t sleep. They see a woman being attacked in a vacant house across the park from their homes. Mary, a lawyer on maternity leave, and Tim, a disgraced reporter, decide to find out what they can. Neither one of them is completely sure of what they saw but when a local girl, Samantha, turns up missing, they dig deeper. There have also been a series of disappearances over the years in the neighborhood. This could have been another line of mystery, but the author didn’t run with it. Both Tim and Mary are at loose ends in their lives and this is a great outlet for them. One thing that drove me absolutely CRAZY, editor please fix, is the use of the word alright. GRRR. It is one of my pet peeves, and it’s in the book quite a lot. Otherwise, it’s a pretty easy read, you won’t get lost if you put it down for a few days, and you probably won’t stay up late reading it.
Very gripping book.lots of suspects.changing twists. keeps you wondering who did it. I had every one suspected except the one who was guilty.. ha im not joining the police anytime soon.
Mary's two young children won't let her sleep; Tim, a journalist, just can't, following recent trauma. When these two sleepless people witness something concerning in the dead of night, perhaps linked to a recent crime, the unlikely pair - both experiencing their own form of desperation - come together to investigate.
I do like Claire McGowan's books, but this took a while to grab hold of me. It settles down into what feels like quite an old-fashioned adventure whereby Mary and Tim, finding the police less than helpful, set about their own amateur investigation into the disappearance of a nineteen-year-old girl, Samantha. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way and ultimately it's all a bit far-fetched, but enjoyable enough.
The insomnia stuff is done well, with Tim struggling to differentiate what's real at times. The mother reluctantly awake with her baby in the depths of the night gave me vibes of Celia Fremlin's classic The Hours Before Dawn (and if you're a fan of domestic psychological thrillers and haven't read Fremlin, you really should).
As someone who has spent a lot of my professional life in care homes, my jaw did drop in response to what was going on in one home in the middle of the night. I can't quite imagine anyone getting away with it, but you never know.
A good read overall but not McGowan's best.
I’ve loved all of Claire McGowan’s other books and this one certainly didn’t disappoint.
It’s unique, clever and well written. There’s plenty of twists and turns and despite me finishing it a few days ago, the story has stuck with me. I was super invested in the characters throughout.
It’s one I’d definitely recommend.
Having read Claire McGowan books before I was thrilled to get the chance to read her latest offing.
Sadly it just didn't hit the mark for me I found it to slow paced for my liking I was left dissapointed.
Thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing for the ARC
Book: Are You Awake
Author: Tess Stimson
Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK
Pub Date: November 22, 2022
Are you awake? Well I had trouble staying awake reading this…I put this book down a lot and had a hard time finishing it. This just wasn’t the book for me. I didn’t find it exciting enough to hold my interest. The characters themself are interesting but just not enough to carry the book.
Thank you Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for this sneak peak! Publication date is November 22, 2022.
This is the story of two sleep-deprived people whose life experiences are poles apart but who come together to solve the disappearance of a young woman and a series of historic murders. Both of them believe they have seen a missing girl whilst they were awake in the middle of the night but they struggle to get anyone to listen so decide to investigate for themselves. I really enjoyed the way the story twisted and turned so that I could not be sure what would happen next. I did work out who the serial killer was fairly early on but this is not the only mystery that has to be solved and it did not detract from the pleasure derived from reading such a well-crafted story. As much as this is a whodunnit, it is also a story of redemption as a journalist with PTSD tries to get his life back on track and a mother who is struggling to cope finds ways to reinvent her life and her relationship with her family. I would highly recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys good crime fiction combined with a feelgood ending.
I wanted to like this - but the domestic thriller is getting so old. When are we going to stop accepting books where the characters just do ... absolutely ridiculous things that would never ever happen? I wanted to like this - and I did care about the characters. But the tropes were soooo thick with this one I just couldn't get past it.
This is a chilling story about a missing girl and two potential witnesses. They both think they saw her. But can they trust their own eyes? And can you trust them? Told from differing viewpoints, I often felt I was surrounded by unreliable narrators but with all the twists and turns, that became almost secondary. I did not see the end coming at all which is what I look for in a good thriller and this one delivered. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
I liked this book quite a bit. Mary is the mother of 2 young children. She doesn't feel like she has slept in 2 years. Tim is a reporter who is in London recuperating from an injury suffered in the Middle East...and the death of a love.
One night while they are both up, they see something in a window of an abandoned house. It looks violent. Over the next couple of days, they both become aware of a missing girl and wonder if that was who they saw. They meet in the park and discover they saw the same thing. After doing research, they discover this missing woman isn't the first one in the area.
The book covers their investigation. They're actually pretty good at it. The book leads in a different direction than I thought it would and I liked it a lot. Satisfying ending.
Ive read all of Claire McGowans books,, never disappointed! So excited to get this one. I binged this in one night and she did not dissappoint. Great thriller. Thank you NetGalley for this ARC!
This was not my cup of tea. It was slow, crawling. And even at the big reveal, the big climax, nothing really happens and it's a let down. Characterization was also weird and things didn't add up quite right.
My first Claire McGowan book. I like her writing style. It flows easily from page to page and I really was intrigued by this premise. This is a book I THOUGHT I would love. I was intrigued right about up to 40% and the direction seemed to change.
Mary is a mother of two who is on maternity leave and is in desperate need of some sleep. Her children keep her up at night. Tim, her neighbour is a former journalist who suffers from PTSD and can't sleep at night. These two are separately looking out the window one night and think they see something sinister occurring in one of the (abandoned) homes across the street. There is also a girl missing from the neighbourhood. Mary and Tim later bond and try to piece together what they saw that night and begin to connect it to the missing girl.
I enjoyed the beginnings of this one as the two neighbours were acting as amateur sleuths. This was more of a mystery than a thriller IMO. I didn't really feel a strong connection of friendship between the two main characters. One thing that did bother me a little was that Mary was a lawyer but did not seem to understand the law. A lot was packed into the last half of the book. It seemed to try a little too hard but in saying that it still kept me second guessing and reading.
This one reads a lot like a made-for TV movie and I think it would make a good one. I know that the author does write for television in the UK.
It’s a bit like rear window meets strangers on a train meets brief encounter. A really clever mix of plot lines and I loved it so much. This author never disappoints me and I wait hopefully for a new book. This is so good it’s so worth a read whatever your favourite.genre.
Are You Awake will definitely keep you on your feet and guessing until the end. I enjoyed it and turned page after page until the end. I did find the plot a little ridiculous towards the end, but will wanted to find out who the bad guy was. Overall, recommend for a quick easy read thriller!
Thank you to net galley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.
I have loved all Claire's books. This is very good with enough twists and turns to keep you from guessing the end which I can usually do. I like the journalist, Tim and his back story very much. Mary is also drawn very well. I would recommend this book to my friends and family.
I really enjoyed this. It was just so much fun. I love books where people who normally wouldn’t know each other team up or encounter each other and that’s really McGowan’s strength. In this book she brings together a tired lawyer mother and a reporter with PTSD who can’t sleep. I wish she would make them into a series! They had great skills and really pulled off an interesting mystery investigation. No one believes them and they are so tired they may be hallucinating but they save the day.
In this book we meet Mary who is a mother to two young children. Who is feeling like she has had enough. She hasn't slept in what feels like two years and really needs a break. So one night in the middle Mary decides to escape to the park for some much needed air.
Here Mary meets Tim who also cannot sleep and has alot of demons in his past and is suffering from PTSD after what happened to him in the park. Here they both witness a terrible attack in the window of one of the houses which faces the park.
Horrified by what they have seen Tim and Mary form a bond and work together to uncover what has happened.
This is a very tense, edge of your seat thriller by amazing author Claire McGowan. It has lots of twist and turns in this book to keep you guessing throughout and it is very well written. If you love physiological thrillers then this book is perfect for you.
I wanted to like this book because usually, Claire McGowan's books are well written. The characters in this story were well developed; however, they were bland and boring. The storyline was plodding to develop, and the ending was entirely predictable.
Thank you to Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for letting me read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I have enjoyed previous books by this author but this is definitely not one of her best. It was an easy, fast paced read but it just was not memorable for me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
This book kept me guessing until the very end - it didn't quite hook me like some other mystery/thrillers that I have read.
Great plot to get your interest . The book was an exciting read. Fast paced . The book was well written. Was a hit with me
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
This was a brilliant read. A fast paced, keeps you on your toes read. I loved it, particularly the two main characters. Highly recommended xx
Thank you to NetGalley for the arc. This review is wholly my own.
The writing style wasn't doing it for me, the plot questionable and ending really brought it home. I am glad I stuck with it even though I was close to DNF'g a few times due to the slow pace and literally falling asleep holding it at night multiple times.
Some of the plot was questionable and didn't realistically make sense, but it's fiction, so I guess it doesn't always have to be realistically sensical.
Reminded me a bit of Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough, which I also gave the same star rating to, which would make sense due to the similarities with the main characters in both books.
If you are ok with slow, sleepy stories, stick with it, but if you get bored quickly, I don't recommend picking this one up. It was just ok.
This a quick and easy read that I’m a little bit undecided about, on the whole I did quite enjoy it but somehow it just seemed to be lacking in something and the plot seemed to lag a bit halfway through but I never felt I wanted to give up on the book. The story is told mainly from the points of view of Mary and Tim who are both struggling to cope with life in general and I think my problem was I just didn’t warm to Mary at all
We have theses two characters both who are sleep deprived for different reasons trying to solve the mystery of a missing girl after they both are sure they saw her in the attic room of a house across from them which leads them getting into all kinds of trouble, I liked this idea but I didn’t find it terribly believable.
So sadly just a 3 star read for me I really wanted to like it more it had some funny moments and I think that’s what kept me reading till the end.
My thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
An entertaining addition to a crowded genre. Good for fans of Sophie Hannah and Imran Mahmood. A recommended purchase for collections where crime fic is popular.
This was a big skim for me. At the beginning, the description of being unable to sleep was so spot on that I thought for sure it was going to be good, but the plot was soooo slow moving, and then when it finally did pick up (around maybe 60-65%), it wasn't enough for redemption. Lots of twists and turns, but it's a slog to get to them.
This was an interesting premise for a novel, with 2 unreliable narrators. Can you really believe the words of 2 sleep deprived people? My biggest gripe with this book was Mary. As a MC, she is a lawyer but she seems to have no grasp of the law at all. Unfortunately this leaves a gaping personality/character flaw that ruins some of the book. I enjoyed Claire McGowan's other books and will continue to look forward to her future books but this one just was not as good a read as her previous books.
Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the ARC.
My thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for a. Copy of “ Are You Awake ? “ for an honest review..
I’ve loved the last few books by Claire McGowan , and was also drawn to this title, as someone who has had sleep problems in the past.
Although I appreciated the style of writing and found the.book very readable, I didn’t enjoy this title as much as the previous ones.
For me , an average read from a usually very suspenseful author, hopefully her next will wow me more .
Honestly, it started out pretty intriguing, but soon turns into just a chaotic day in the life of Mary. She is a mom who apparently hasn't read this book because she can't sleep! Tim, is her neighbor who was a former journalist and suffers from PSTD.
They end up being partners who are trying to find out what they saw one night in an abandoned home in their neighborhood. Window gazing..........
I wasn't invested in any of the characters and didn't care what happened in that house, I just wanted them to find out something! This dragged on far too long and Team Mary and Tim were as frustrating as the police team.
I've heard good things about some of her other titles, maybe I'll find a good fit!
After the past two unprecedented heat-wave summers here in the Pacific Northwest, I understand Mary’s predicament. Trying to escape the heat became an obsession, to the point where I wasn’t thinking rationally. Although I don't suffer from PTSD, I’m a worrier and often have difficulty getting to sleep because my mind wants to revisit every single negative situation I can imagine. Mixing this with having been prepped as a witness for a trial, I understand the controversy over eye-witness reliance. All of these allowed me to become part of the story while still maintaining some objectivity.
I eagerly followed the amateur sleuths and became invested in the mystery. There were times that Mary’s questioning left me unsettled because her thoughts weren’t indicative of her career mindset. Although the characters were irksome, they were representative of what law enforcement deals with on a regular basis…people (witnesses) who think they know more than they really do!
This story hinges upon the three Ss: secrets, surprises and suspense. It is a well-written multi-POV and well-paced story that had me questioning who I could trust and what was reliable enough to believe.
I’ve wanted to read a Claire McGowan book for a while now and appreciated the introduction to her writing. I’ll search out her backlist.
I was gifted this copy by Amazon Publishing UK, Thomas & Mercer, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
I quite like thriller novels, but found this one quite hard to get into. Some parts were a bit long-winded and overall, the ending didn't really move me or surprise me. I would say it's a run-of-the-mill thriller novel.
I thought this book sounded quite different, and original. And it did not disappoint I liked the two main characters and could sympathise with their sleepless nights. I enjoyed reading this book, it kept my interest.
A very slow burner just not for me.
Two sleep deprived neighbours witness the same thing, a young girl being attacked in the house opposite they believe its the young girl that had gone missing and was on the news but the police don`t believe them so they go out on their own to find out if what they saw actually happened.
Mary has young children and unable to sleep and Tim suffers from PTSD and can`t sleep.
I found the story just didn't flow easily for me and couldn`t gel with any of the characters.
Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for the ARC
Tim and Mary both see unusual lights, like signs of a struggle, from a house near the park. They get to know each other and become sleuths, fearing it is to do with a missing girl. As the investigation continues, the case becomes complicated, with lots of twists.
An edge of your seat novel, with the situation getting scarier by the minute! Superb read!
This is my second experience of Claire McGowan's work, having previously read and enjoyed "I Know You". The premise for "Are You Awake?" was an enticing one and I had every reason to hope that I would enjoy this novel every bit as much as the previous one I had read. Unfortunately, I didn't.
Claire McGowan is clearly a talented writer and, as she showed in "I Know You", she is perfectly capable of producing a well-constructed, tense and enthralling mystery thriller. Sadly, those are not words I could use to describe "Are You Awake?" I am not averse to a slow-burning novel, but this one never really got going at all. There were a few false dawns when I briefly felt like the pace was about to be ramped up a few notches, but it wasn't to be. I was never convinced by the central characters, nor did I ever find myself feeling compelled to get being them in their endeavours. There were times when I found it quite a struggle to carry on, but I hate not finishing a book, so I made sure that I got there in the end. This is certainly not the author's best work and with content as tedious as this often was, the choice of title may be ironically appropriate.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for supplying an ARC in return for an honest review.
A huge thanks to Amazon Publishing UK for my complimentary copy and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Can Claire McGowan do no wrong? Of course not! This is a wickedly clever premise that features a mother of two (Mary) who is on maternity leave and of course like every mother needs a good night's Sleep. One night when she can barely get some shut eye looks out the window and seemingly sees something at the same time her neighbor who suffers from PTSD does the same and witnesses the same event. They wake up to news of a missing girl and these two neighbors suddenly become sleuths. Did they actually see what they saw? Are you awake will have you pinching yourself to see if you are awake too. I enjoyed it!
This story reminded my of “The Woman in the Window”. Did what they see really happen? Was it a figment of their imagination, or was this a result of some kind of sleep induced hallucination? Although this is a work of fiction, I found the plot unbelievable. It kept me interested, and found the characters likeable. This read a little more like a cozy mystery which is not my typical read.
Clare McGowan is a favourite author of mine and this book was really good.
The two main characters who are strangers both unable to sleep because of different reasons look out one night and both see something that unsettles them - they join together in an unlikely friendship to try and work out what they saw. A great thriller.
Thank you to Amazon Publishing UK, NetGalley and Claire McGowan for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This author for me has always been hit or miss. I was so disappointed, a very slow burner. It was like walking through very thick treacle. When it did start to get interesting it finished. No fanfare, no great revelations just ended. A real anti climax to a very mediocre read. I hope other readers will enjoy it more just not for me.
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.
An original story from Claire McGowan that I thoroughly enjoyed. A stressed out mum with 2 young children struggles to sleep. Whilst up at night she thinks she sees a missing girl in the window of a house that is being renovated, She meets Tim, traumatised by his experiences in war zones who helps her investigate. Are they right?
The first three or four chapters of this book were very slow, but I kept reading, and what a treat it was! This was a fast-paced thriller after those chapters and kept me turning pages. Well done!
Mary and Tim are neighbours who get caught up in finding a missing girl, Samantha. They both see something in a house across the park, that pretty much seem like violence.
Mary is a mother of two and Tim is a journalist on a break. This incident makes them both curious and they work with each other to solve the case, when police ignores their calls about them seeing someone in an empty house with over-security protocols.
This is a decent thriller. Held my curiosity from the start. Plot is good. Character development is good. Author also added about the struggles of raising babies, insomnia,loss and guilt.
It would be nice if some more scenes are added for Samantha. Overall, it is fine. A page-turner and enjoyable.
Thank you @netgalley and the publisher for the Arc.
This was an enjoyable read.
It started out slow for me and it kinda made me want to stop reading after the first 30% in but I kept going and I’m glad I have.
There are some interesting characters and many twists. Some very predictable and some very unexpected.
The ending was satisfying for me and I think I’ll be reading more by the author in the future.
Perdido any domestic thrillers lovers.
Very grateful to the publisher for my review copy through NetGalley
The synopsis for this one pulled me in, but sadly the story seemed to drag on and didn’t really hit the mark for me.
This is a very interesting psychological thriller. I had read one book by this author before, so I generally knew what to expect. And I was not disappointed.
Two people living in a London suburb cannot sleep at night. Mary is a young mother whose two children won't let her close her eyes for even a few hours. Tim is a former journalist struggling with a serious case of PTSD. One night, these two see something in the empty house next door that really bothers them. Soon they are convinced that they have seen Samantha - a young girl who disappeared in the area not so long ago. Mary and Tim try to help the missing girl at all costs.
I really liked the very idea for the story. Two strangers, very different people, are connected by efforts to save a young girl, creating unlikely allies. Mary's struggles with motherhood and Tim's problems with coping with his past provided an excellent background for this story. And the main mystery is also really good. The author gives us some really nice twists, some of them I did not expect. The author also managed to build a really suitable atmosphere of the stuffy suburbs of London during the heatwave where everything is possible.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good time with an interesting story. This is my second book by this author and I will definitely reach for another.
Set in the depths of London, Are You Awake? is a book drenched in atmosphere, suspense and deceptions. The insomniac angle is a fascinating one which I understand too well. The first half of the book is anxiety-inducingly slow in such the best possible way and gets snappy the last half. It is told mostly from the perspectives of Mary and Tim but also occasionally by a third.
Mary is a married mum of two wee ones who is desperate to sleep. She is also a lawyer which in this story is almost irrelevant. One tormented sleepless night up with her babies she looks out the window and questions what she sees...is it her insomnia-induced state or did she really see something? Meanwhile, Tim is awake but for different reasons. His terrible past prevents him from falling asleep. But on that same fateful night he, too, sees something from his window. The two meet one night and make a decision to investigate. Is there a link to the missing neighbourhood girl? The pasts become the present as other characters appear. And there is reason to question each of them.
Though Mary's occupation as a lawyer isn't convincing enough to add depth, it did not really matter to me as the story is super good. If you seek a clever and atmospheric thriller to curl up with, make it this one.
My sincere thank you to Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC of this taut and claustrophobic book.
Mary hasn't slept in what seems like years. Her two children never let her rest, so one exhausting night, in the middle of a London heatwave, she escapes to a nearby park for some air. Tim can't sleep. It doesn't feel safe after the terrible thing that happened to him. Seeking solace outside, he encounters a sleepless Mary in the park. There, the two strangers witness what looks like a violent attack in the window of a neighbouring house. Shocked at what they seen, Tim and Mary form an unlikely bond, desperate to find clues.
Mary is a lawyer on maternity leave. Tim is a disgraced reporter. They both suffer with sleep deprivation'. They met in a park in the middle of the night where they both witness a violent attack through a window of a neighbouring house. But neither of them os entirely sure of what they saw. The pace is slow throughout. The characters weren't interesting, and I felt there was something lacking that I couldn't quite put my finger on. The story is told from Tim and Mary's perspectives with occasional point of view from missing girl, Samantha. There's plenty of twists and red herrings. The plotline is a bit unrealistic, but it has some funny moments.
I would like to thank #NetGalley #AmazonPublishing #ThomasMercer and the author #ClaireMaGowan for my ARC of #AreYouAwake in exchange for an honest review.
A mom of two, who has barely slept in three years and a man traumatized by his past, who also barley sleeps both see something suspicious across the park in the middle of the night. It appears to be someone fighting or being attacked in a window of one of the houses. When the two meet, they end up discussing what they saw and try to solve what happened by themselves.
Two amateur investigators are the case of what could be the local young woman who has gone missing.
The characters are real and flawed people. Yes they each have problems of their own, but you can't help but like them for what they are trying to do.
A little predictable at times. Reads like a made for TV movie.
Thanks to netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the arc
Mary hasn't slept for months & it feels like years, ever since she gave birth to her two children; Audrey, a smart but restless toddler & Leo, a few months old. As one falls asleep, the other wakes or they end up waking the other, & round & round it goes. One night she is looking out the window & sees what she thinks is 'violent movement' in an empty house over the way. Tim is a journalist who is currently out on sick leave following an earlier trauma. He can't sleep either due to PTSD, & he wanders the park in the early hours. He also sees someone in the upper window of the empty house & the following night, he returns to have a closer look & runs into Mary.
They talk & realise that the person they both saw looked like a local missing teenager, Samantha. Her family have been on the news recently begging for her safe return, & Tim & Mary fear she has been kidnapped & is being held in the empty house on Cliveden Road. The two of them report what they have seen to the police but nothing much comes of it, so they decide to continue their own investigation. For Mary it's a chance to have something for herself outside of motherhood, whilst for Tim, it's the first time he's been interesting in anything (apart from stalking his ex-wife) for a long time. Can they trust each other though, & given their respective issues, can they even trust themselves?
The two main characters are fairly likeable at first, but Tim is a bit of a wet lettuce whilst Mary flipflops between wanting to help & fear of getting involved. Mary is struggling but doesn't talk about it with her husband, but sits there seething instead. Mind you, don't even get me started on husband, Jack (as in Hit the Road if Mary's got any sense - she hasn't). Towards the end, hubby says "I didn't know you were struggling this much". Like dude, the woman can't go anywhere without two kids in tow whilst you go to work, then either come back & swan off out again or fake illness so you don't have to do your share of childcare! Your wife doesn't get to sleep whilst you snore in the next room. I don't know how she wasn't tempted to smother him with a pillow in his sleep, but I digress.
When Mary & Tim realise Samantha's disappearance could link to the disappearances of several other young women in the area over the years, things snowball. It's the usual case of amateur detectives somehow being able to outwit the police & get witnesses to talk, for example, the person they initially think is behind Sam's disappearance conveniently has a 'Road to Damascus' conversion & spills everything. The plot was okay but stretches credulity in some parts, it was interesting though & it mostly kept my attention. 3 stars
Thanks to NetGalley & publishers, Thomas & Mercer, for the opportunity to read an ARC.
For someone who struggles to sleep, books with titles like Are you Awake will always jump out at me, this novel was a bit improbable, Mary a mother of two demanding children is awake when she sees what looks like a woman being attacked in a house that is run down and being renovated, she teams up with a neighbour who has his own demons and sleepless nights to discover the truth behind what they have both witnessed.
Claire McGowan always writes a good story but I can’t say this one grabbed me it was okay but it’s not dramatic and some of the plot you have to question but it’s an okay read.
I feel like this had promise going into it. I’ve loved the author before, started off with an intriguing plot line, and then my interest sort of fizzled.
Your basic overview is: Mary and Tim both can’t sleep. Mary and Tim are neighbors who think they saw a girl being attacked. A girl goes missing. Mary and Tim meet and join forces to try to figure out what has happened. This is the intriguing and interesting part of the book.
As I read on though, some things really got to me. Mary is supposedly an attorney, but she asks the simplest questions about crime and evidence. Also, Mary’s husband is actually kind of the worst and I just could not stand reading about how terribly unhelpful he was. I actually wanted to slap the man through the book. What a dud.
I will say I do think the exciting part of the plot kind of fizzled after the exposition. There was just so much back and forth with nothing really going on.
I will say, I really liked the ending though. So it might be worth your trouble if you don’t pull your hair out.
Mary and Tim both can't sleep for different reasons. After meeting in a park and witnessing an attack together, they feel bonded and both want to find out the reason why this attack happened.
I just couldn't get into the characters here. The writing wasn't what I normally get out of this author's books.
Are You Awake? is a cracking thriller, with an emotional edge. It starts off slow, with the narratives following Tim and Mary, two strangers who both think they see something untoward out of their windows late at night. Tim is a journalist on sick leave but still keeping his ear to the ground, and Mary is a frustrated mum on maternity leave. Their thirst for answers leads them off on a path of investigation, but cosy crime this is not. There are no easy clues or suspects presenting themselves. In fact, more often than not, it's Tim and Mary that find themselves in trouble.
We find out a lot about Mary and Tim's characters and back stories too, and they're not exactly wholesome amateur sleuths. I loved this side of the story, it elevates it from a standard whodunnit to much more of a psychological thriller.
Are You Awake? is a chilling story about a missing woman and two potential witnesses. They both think they saw her. But can they trust their own eyes?
I really liked the concept of this story when I read the blurb, which I found to be so intriguing and it definitely piqued my curiosity. Diving in, I was immediately invested in what lay ahead and couldn’t wait to see how it was all going to unfold.
It is told from the points of view of lawyer and mother of two Mary, former journalist Tim, who suffers from PTSD, as well as interspersed throughout with the voice of Samantha, our missing woman. As someone who’s sleep pattern is all over the place, I could relate to Mary and Tim’s own issues with insomnia.
Full of tension and suspense, in the main, I did enjoy this book. I did have a few little niggles about some things to do with Mary’s character, but these were minor in the grand scheme of things. Overall this is a quick and entertaining read.
Thank you to, Claire McGowan, Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of Are You Awake?, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Whoa!! This was definitely chilling. I felt the whiplash. Writing was on point, though I didn't feel like the story itself was very unique -- it was your run-of-the-mill thriller. However, there's nothing wrong with that. I will still recommend it to friends.
Are You Awake by Claire McGowan is a mystery with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages. Mary is a mum of two young children who hasn't had a full nights sleep in almost four years, and it is taking its toll on her marriage as well as her sanity. Awake once again in the early hours of the morning she meets another local with sleep struggles of his own, Tim was a journalist but following a traumatic assignment in the middle east which almost cost him his life he is suffering from PTSD and severe insomnia.. The unlikely duo are chatting casually when they notice the face of a young woman in the window of an unoccupied building on the street. She looks remarkably like a young woman who is all over the news following her disappearance on the way home from work a few days before. When the police are dismissive of their report, Mary and Tim decide to do some detecting of their own, but before long this gets them into trouble on multiple fronts.
This was an entertaining read, but not a very memorable one. The characters felt flat and unbelievable and I had to suspend my disbelief at some of their decisions and actions. I thought that some of the twists were very predictable and nothing really shocked or surprised me about the conclusion of the book.
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
So considering no one slept in this book, it was a very sleepy read.
I kept really wanting something exciting and gripping to happen, but it didn’t; it was very disappointing.
Mary and Tim decide to become amateur detectives when they think they see a missing girl in an abandoned house. Their suspicions are all based on not very much, and they put their lives in danger because they can’t sleep and are bored.
Mary wound me up with how she was with her children. She didn’t even sound like she wanted them, was the author hinting at PPD? If so, it was way too subtle and came across instead as Mary just moaning constantly. I have chosen not to have kids as I like my sleep, my time and everything that comes with not having kids. This is a choice; Mary chose to have not just 1 but 2 kids very close together in age. I just found her winding me up constantly!
The author had tried to make Tim interesting with his background in journalism and jet-setting around the world, but he too came across as boring. There was just nothing likeable about him; I found myself not even caring what had happened in his past to make him the recluse he is today.
As for the investigation, Mary and Tim weren’t very good at it, they just kept stumbling across situations, and it was frustrating that the police were doing nothing. As for the conclusion and what had happened to Samantha, this just fell flat and certainly wasn’t worth persevering with the book for.
So, overall, the book was unsatisfying, mediocre and just bored me. I have liked this author’s work in the past, but this one just didn’t do much for me, I’m afraid.
Fast solid read. A little unrealistic, but it's what I needed. It didn't stop me from enjoying the book. Starts off a little slow, but if you hang in there, you're in for a treat! After that start, the story moves quickly. I finished the book with a span of a couple of days. Started right before bed and wound up reading late into the night. There's a level of disbelief, but it doesn't take away from the story. Tried to figure out the story, but after letting go, it was a fun read. Thanks to NETGALLEY for providing a copy to read.
Ever been so tired you can’t see straight? That you being to question what you are seeing? Is it real or is your mind playing tricks on you? Tim and Mary both have sleeping issues. Mary is a mother of two who never gets any sleep. Readers are told how often she is up in the night with her two children. She is bleary eyed and dog tired. Tim, a former war journalist, has PTSD which keeps him awake. Both are up in the night and see something through a window - something that doesn't look quite right. They both believe they are seeing an attack or some form of violence taking place in an abandoned building.
They inform the police but don't get far. Both believe that a missing woman may have been the victim in the incident they both witnessed. They decide to do their own detective work when they get nowhere with the police.
This was a hard one to rate. It's a book that I didn't dislike but I didn't particularly like either. Although readers are meant to feel for the two main characters as one struggles with PTSD and the other is a sleep deprived Mother with a husband who is clueless. I mean seriously, how did he not see how tired his wife was? But do we care for them? I didn't really connect with either. I can relate to being a sleep deprived mother but that was it.
There is a twist/reveal but after not caring for most of the book, I really didn't care. The premise was so intriguing and promising, and I really wanted to enjoy this one. I'll still read books by Claire McGowan in the future. This one just wasn't a winner for me.
I found Are You Awake? to be an ok read, It had plenty of twists and turns which should have made it a quick and thrilling read but for some reason the pace was quite slow and hard going in places. I have read and really enjoyed previous books by Claire McGowan but unfortunately this one wasn't quite as good as I was expecting.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC.
A good plot line that never graduated to great. Two sleep deprived neighbors bear witness to a crime, but cannot convince the police of what they saw. There are a few inconsistencies in the characters actions that were glaring enough to interrupt the story. I've read a few of Clare McGowan's back library and found them excellent thrillers so started this one anticipating another great read. While this is a GOOD book, it just doesn't seem to live up to Ms McGowan's previous books.
Mary Collins is a mom of two under two on maternity leave from her job as a family lawyer. By her own account, she hasn’t really slept for two years, and she thinks of her husband, Jack, as little more than deadweight at the moment.
Tim Darbandi, is a senior foreign correspondent who’s on long-term leave from his paper while he recovers psychologically and physically from a Syrian bomb attack. He’s also really not slept in years.
One thing to know about these two, because it will be repeated incessantly for the first quarter of the book: They’re tired. Really, really, reeeally tired. It’s amazing that they can function at all, they’re so tired. Despite their unending tiredness, these neighbors both end up in a park near their homes at 4 AM peering up at a lit window of a home where they both believe they’ve seen a young woman, Samantha Ellis, recently reported missing in the news.
After getting skepticism and no help whatsoever from the police, these two barely functioning adults decide the best course of action is to amateur sleuth this thing in the most ill-advised ways possible that get them in trouble over and over again, because that's what intelligent adults do. 🤦♀️
In ‘Mum of the Year’ fashion, Mary occasionally brings her nursing three-month old son and her continually screaming two-year-old daughter who either speaks Caveman “HOT, MUMMY!” or beyond her years sentences “WHO IS THIS MAN, MUMMY?” along on her potentially dangerous snooping. When they aren’t with her, she’s shuffled them off to her friends to continue investigating the disappearance of a girl she doesn’t know with her neighbor she’s just met, while continually whining about her mom guilt.
Tim, on the other hand, seems like a fairly stand-up kind of guy when he’s not spying on his ex-wife, Alice. He means no harm. I guess he’s just checking up on her between his Sherlock Holmes adventures with Mary. It’s never really explained.
Despite my complaints, I did want to see how things wrapped up rather than DNF’ing it, so there was enough intrigue to keep me turning pages.
As for the characters? I liked Tim. That’s it. Unfortunately, he wasn’t enough to save this.
Thanks to Amazon Publishing UK, Thomas & Mercer, NetGalley and author Claire McGowan for the opportunity to review this honestly. It's now available.
The atmosphere created by Claire McGowan in this, her latest novel, replicates the life of the chief protagonist, Mary. Mary hasn't had any proper sleep for what feels like forever, she is a mother to two young children and anyone who has been in her shoes will recognise the claustrophobia and resentment to the partner that the trials and tribulations that go alongside this magical time.
One night Mary and Tim, who can't sleep due to PTSD, see something in a house across the park. The pair combine their efforts to find out more and the unlikely duo turn into amateur sleuths.
This was a good plot with a great premise although perhaps reality had to be suspended more than I am usually happy with.
A domestic thriller set in London suburbia featuring two insomniacs, one a mother of two young children, the other a traumatised journalist. They both witness supposedly suspicious behaviour in a nearby property and join forces to find a missing young woman. I did not empathise with either character, both flawed and selfish in behaviour and manner and much of the plot was unbelievable. However, an easy but slow read.
3.5 stars rounding down here on NetGalley
I thought this one was okay. I liked the characters, and their backstories, and I loved the setting. I did see where it was going, which always bums me out a bit. I will definitely read this author again!