Review: Are You Sleeping - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Serial meets Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a mega-hit podcast that reopens a murder case—and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter.

The only thing more dangerous than a lie…is the truth.

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

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

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

Book Type:

Adult psychological thriller

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Are You Sleeping
By Kathleen Barber

Review: Are You Sleeping

A riveting whodunit with a modern twist, Are You Sleeping takes us deep into one family’s core, to unravel tightly woven secrets which led to the murder of one of their own.

Professor Chuck Buhrman was shot and killed by his neighbor’s son one night, as evidenced by his young daughter.

Or so we thought…

The neighbor’s son—Warren—has lived behind bars for the last twelve years.

In the wake of the murder, a fractured family failed to pick up the pieces. Chuck Buhrman’s twin girls watched their mother wither in grief then leave them to join a cult. The girls (Josie and Lanie), once inseparable in the inherent way of twins, fell apart, their closeness morphing into an intense resentment fueled by betrayal in the years that followed.

Josie Buhrman needed out of her life. She started over, changed her name and now happily lives in New York with her boyfriend who has no idea what she’s lived through.

Enter Poppy Parnell, an investigative reporter who reopens the case of Chuck Buhrman’s murder via her podcast, Reconsidered. With every episode, the podcast reigns chaos on Josie’s emotions, questioning things long put to rest, threatening the life she worked so hard to build in the years after her father’s murder. Worse yet, as the podcast goes viral, it begins to tear apart her family all over again.

Josie must return home to confront her past, her sister and find out what really happened on the night which changed their lives.

The narrative—peppered with podcast transcripts, Reddit threads and strings of often-contentious tweets—is tautly and cleverly written. With its atypical approach to a classic whodunit, Kathleen Barber’s book felt fresh, addictive and fast paced, especially as the podcast’s popularity reaches a fever pitch.

As an avid listener of true crime podcasts, the format and the story really hit the mark for me. It was so much fun to read something eerily timely as it explores the familiar friction within families and the dangerous secrets they keep.

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