blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Sleepless – Louise Mumford*

Don’t close your eyes. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t let them in.

Thea is an insomniac; she hasn’t slept more than three hours a night for years.

So when an ad for a sleep trial that promises to change her life pops up on her phone, Thea knows this is her last chance at finding any kind of normal life.

Soon Thea’s sleeping for longer than she has in a decade, and awakes feeling transformed. So much so that at first she’s willing to overlook the oddities of the trial – the lack of any phone signal; the way she can’t leave her bedroom without permission; the fact that all her personal possessions are locked away, even her shoes.

But it soon becomes clear that the trial doesn’t just want to help Thea sleep. It wants to control her sleep…

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Louise was born and lives in South Wales. From a young age she loved books and dancing, but hated
having to go to sleep, convinced that she might miss out on something interesting happening in the
world whilst she dozed – much to her mother’s frustration! Insomnia has been a part of her life ever since.

She studied English Literature at university and graduated with first class honours. As a teacher she
tried to pass on her love of reading to her students (and discovered that the secret to successful teaching is… stickers! She is aware that that is, essentially, bribery.)

In the summer of 2019 Louise experienced a once-in-a-lifetime moment: she was discovered as a
new writer by her publisher at the Primadonna Festival. Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind since then.

Louise lives in Cardiff with her husband and spends her time trying to get down on paper all the
marvellous and frightening things that happen in her head.

Her debut thriller, SLEEPLESS, will be published by HQ on 11th Dec 2020.

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My thoughts:

Note to self: never accept an invitation to anything that takes place on an abandoned island. See also And Then There Were None, Last Resort.

This however is not a revenge fantasy enacted over dinner but a “sleep study” gone insane.

As someone who suffers from insomnia, I was intrigued by the premise of this novel, an elite study into sleep, taking place in a purpose built facility on an island that once housed a monastery. An enigmatic founder, a brilliant scientist, high tech used to understand a very basic need – the vital necessity of sleep.

Thea finds herself trapped, they don’t want to help her sleep, they want to manipulate her brain into never needing sleep – so she tries to escape. But on a small island, there’s nowhere to hide.

This was brilliant, at times absolutely brutal, and I loved the image of Thea’s eccentric mother, vagina scarf flapping, sailing to the rescue with the grumpy pub landlord.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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