This author is one of my faves and I always find his books to be interesting and with a weird twist sometimes. This one did not disappoint.
Annalee Ahlberg is the wife of Warren, a college professor at Middlebury College in Vermont. They live in a small town called Bartlett and have 2 daughters: 21 year old Lianne who is a senior at Amherst College in MA, and 12 yr old Paige who is in middle school and a champion skier and swimmer.
One evening, Annalee disappears! Warren is on a business trip and has to rush home.
Of course, everyone fears the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker and this isn't the first time she has disappeared from the house. She only sleepwalks when Warren is away on a trip. But it has been a number of years since she left the house while sleeping, and the other times, she always came back or was found.
This time is different. A search party begins to comb the woods and the Gale River that are nearby their red Victorian home. Even Paige starts to swim the river looking for clues. The police end up finding a small piece of fabric from Annalee's nightgown...it is ripped and hanging off a tree branch. Now it seems likely that Annalee is dead.
The family is questioned by the troopers but one detective in particular is very interested in the case. His name is Gavin Rikert and he is very handsome. Lianne finds her self being drawn to him as she begins to search for clues to her mother's disappearance. The river is combed but no body is found.
Finally......several months after she disappeared, Annalee's body is found by a hiker and his dog.
Now there is even more of a mystery surrounding her death because the autopsy doesn't show drowning. She died before hitting the water! Her head has blunt force trauma.
Lianne begins to question things regarding Gavin: why does this police detective know so much about her mother? Why did her mother only leave her bed to sleepwalk when her husband was away?
And what really happened to Annalee??
This book focuses on the very real world of parasomnia, which is a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness. It is a very confusing, strange and mysterious thing.
This story touches on betrayal, lies, family secrets, buried desires, and loss.
I especially liked the setting of the story and the character development. As usual, this author does a fantastic job with keeping you turning the pages to find out a little more and then he puts a twist in the plot that totally surprised me.
The ending is a tad bit abrupt for me.....it was like all of sudden, Lianne found the answers to what she had been searching for and it seemed to wrap too quickly. I did appreciate the epilogue at the end of the story, but again, it felt too abrupt!
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older due to some mature content.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 9.