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Reader Reviewed
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

Are You Sleeping

Thriller / Suspense   Crime / Mystery   Debuts of the Month   eBook Favourites   
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January 2018 Debut of the Month

Poppy Parnell is an investigative journalist who digs into a case thirteen years old and produces a couple of podcasts. The first interviews the convicted murderer still claiming his innocence of killing a history professor. The second talks to the detective who was first on the scene and found twin sisters locked in a bedroom. We get the story through the eyes of one twin, now leading a new life with a new name. The media frenzy whipped up by the podcast exposes the vulnerable family with tragic consequences which does eventually allow some reconciliation but not for all. Simply written, highly addictive with the feel of a ‘young adult’ novel about it, this is a debut worth taking note of. Sarah Broadhurst

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Celia Cohen - 'An intriguing psychological thriller.'
  • Kathryn Whitfield - 'A brilliant murder mystery which will have you guessing even after the last page.'
  • Alison Greenacre - 'It's a page turner! With good character development, and good pacing. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys family based thrillers.'
  • Carol Peace - 'It was well written with well-defined characters. I thought it deserved the 5*.'
  • Lorraine Blencoe - 'What a great idea for a story – a man is murdered and the only witness is one of his twin daughters.'
  • Sue Burton - 'This book is thought provoking in the way that one small thing can change everything.  Would highly recommend to other readers.'
  • Stephanie Harding - 'Well drawn characters and a good plot. I had to stay up to read the end – need I say more?'
  • Teresa O'Halloran - 'A very modern psychological thriller, that is addictive, and difficult to put down...Kathleen Barber, writes crisp clear prose and her characters are complex. An author to watch.'
  • Michelle Hodson - 'Murder, mystery & mayhem. Lies, intrigue and at the heart of the book a very dysfunctional family drama.  This novel has it all.  Very enjoyable and well written story.  Highly recommended.'    
  • Julie Evans - 'A page turner from beginning to end. Keeps you guessing with its woven stories from Josie's tragic past. Skeletons are released from the cupboard uncovering new information about her father's death.'
  • Helen Lowry - 'Overall, this book kept me reading and kept me wanting to find out the truth of who killed Charles Buhrman...Kathleen Barber is a lady with potential.'
  • Lynne Morgan - 'Kathleen Barber brings a long closed murder mystery right up to date by successfully incorporating the tale into a social media format...I found this book really interesting, not just in adopting this new approach, but also in its good old-fashioned suspense.'
  • Gill Wilmott - 'This book racks up the suspense from chapter one. There is no escaping the air of mystery and menace from the very beginning.'
  • Evelyn Love- Gajardo - 'The pace was very slow and seemed to wander round in circles with not much happening.'


Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

Memory can be imperfect. The truth is always black and white. When a family man is killed at point blank range in his home, it shakes a sleepy town to its core. The murder is a strange, horrifying crime but for the authorities it's an open-and-shut case. Ten years on, the victim's daughter, Josie, has started afresh in New York - far from the tragic events that blew her family apart. No-one knows the truth about her previous life, not even her fiance. Investigative journalist Poppy is convinced the wrong man is in jail for the murder and she's determined to prove it. What starts off as a true-crime podcast snowballs into a national phenomenon and everyone has an opinion on the case. Poppy's relentless pursuit of the truth threatens to expose old secrets. Josie realises that her father's murder could have consequences more devastating than she had ever imagined. Are You Sleeping is an addictive debut psychological thriller for fans of Serial, Disclaimer and Luckiest Girl Alive.


Are You Sleeping will more than likely keep you up all night as this most compelling suspenseful novel unfolds. A classic whodunit gets a very clever modern treatment that left this reader's heart racing right up to the last page. Liz Nugent, author of Lying in Wait

I couldn't turn the pages fast enough . . . a terrific debut Jenny Blackhurst, author of Before I Let You In

Tense, clever, addictive Paula Daly, author of The Mistake I Made

About the Author

Kathleen Barber was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. When she's not writing, Kathleen enjoys travelling the world with her husband.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th December 2017


Kathleen Barber

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Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan


384 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Crime / Mystery
Debuts of the Month
eBook Favourites

Thriller / suspense



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