ARC Review: Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

Release Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: Kindle
Pages: 336 pages
Genre: Suspense / Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover


The only thing more dangerous than a the truth.

Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father's murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay.

The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name.

When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.


If you haven't listened to Serial or any of the other popular crime podcasts that delve into different crimes you are about to get a first hand look into what they can do. Josie and her twin sister don't speak anymore but after a podcast starts delving into her fathers murder her life gets turned upside down.

This is an interesting mystery with passages from the podcast thrown in here and there.  Poppy Parnell's podcast is a bit more tabloid than the real crime podcasts I've listened to but it worked for the book.  As the issues between Josie and her twin Lanie unfold you start to wonder what happened to Lanie that she took such a different turn.  All of the characters are really well developed with the exception of Poppy who seemed more of a caricature than an actual person.  Every horrible tabloid reporter was rolled into her character leaving her too unrealistic.  I found that I wanted to know more about Josie and Lanies mother who seemed crazy even before all this madness went down.  So I'm sure there would be a good backstory there.

This is Kathleen Barber's first book and it is a hit.  The premise is refreshing and the writing simple and fast paced but the characters well developed.  Overall a very well done read.  I can't wait to see what else comes from this author.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.