The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian – Book Review


I have to start out by saying that I love Bohjalian.  I love the stories that he tells, and how he chooses to tell them.  This novel revolves around the disappearance of a mother, Annalee Ahlberg, who suffered from sleepwalking.  However, this was no ordinary sleepwalking, and is often referred to as a “sleep sexer”.  Annalee would rise out of bed in search of a lover.  Her husband stayed at home for four years until they were sure that her sleep issues were behind her.  But, she got up the night he was gone to a conference, and went on a jaunt, and ended up dead in the river.

This novel is narrated mostly by Annalee’s older daughter, Lianna, who is convinced that her mother did not actually die only due to the sleepwalking.  After learning about the sleep sex, Lianna becomes convinced that her mother was killed. Perhaps someone killed her after having sex, or someone killed her because she had sex with their husband.  Lianna is consumed with guilt, if only she’d done this or that, her mother would be alive.


I really enjoyed this thriller.  It has all the dark overtones of a good old-fashioned murder mystery.  Was Lianna’s father really at a conference, who is this detective who knows more than he’s saying, what about the neighbors and their friends.  Who is lying to her, and who is telling the truth?  How about her younger sister Paige and her own burgeoning sleepwalking issues?

I highly recommend this novel.  Well done Bohjalian!



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