A bizarre and brilliant plot

2012-10-17 00:00

BOOK REVIEW

Sleepwalkers

Tom Grieves

Quercus

 

THIS book is the stuff of nightmares, literally. When Ben wakes up from his sleep, he has been having terrible nightmares — only he can’t figure out if they were really nightmares or if they were real. Sometimes he has mysterious gashes and bruises all over his body, and he sometimes wakes up and it seems as if days have disappeared from his life.

He wants to tell his wife, but he is afraid that he will be diagnosed as a mental case and that she will have him committed to an asylum. She keeps urging him to go and see a shrink, but he is terrified at what they will discover.

Ben is not the only one who is having these bizarre dreams. Toby, a young teenager across the city, is going through the exact same thing. He has changed schools several times and he always ends up with the same situation. He has gaps in his life and he goes truant. His parents seem to be understanding, but how can they understand him when even he doesn’t know what is going on.

His life is about to change when a young teacher takes an interest in his case. She doesn’t like it when he becomes the object of a pack of bullies, and then she notices the scars and bruises all over his body. She wants to help.

Her persistence and her connections with an ex-student, who is an IT genius, may help her young teenage charge finally figure out what has been happening to him. When Ben also traces them through images in his nightmares, they realise he is also part of an elaborate scheme. They also realise that they are in serious danger.

What emerges is a plot so bizarre that it is brilliant. Each of the characters has been drawn into a web of intrigue that is premeditated and diabolical. A good thriller. 

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