An Irish Times Top Ten Bestseller
The Sleeper Lies is a mystery-thriller set in the big snow of March 2018, and it’s about a woman who lives on her own in the middle of nowhere. She looks out one freezing morning and sees a trail of footprints across her snow-covered garden, right up to her bedroom window, where they’re deeper, as though someone stood for some time looking in at her while she was asleep.
It was inspired by a real-life event – a set of footprints across my dad’s snow-covered garden that none of us could explain. The main character, Marianne, is also a True Crime fan, and member of various online forums for armchair detectives – people who try to investigate crimes and missing persons cases via the internet. So she spends a lot of time home alone, reading about serial killers, and soon, her online and real-life worlds collide. I loved writing about Marianne – unlike Lauren in One Click, Sylvia in The Other Side of the Wall (and me in real life) Marianne has no children and lives on her own. Turns out, that doesn’t necessarily make life any easier…
Here’s the full blurb from the back of the book:
One Window, Three Lies.
I step forward, breathing fast. Movement. I force myself to take another step. I think about all of it, all of the deaths and all of the accidents and all of the pain. And I know what I need to do.
It’s March 2018, and the country is covered in snow. Roads are impassable, shops are running out of food, and official advice is to stay indoors. Marianne lives on her own and works from home, so this isn’t a problem. Until she wakes one morning in her house in the middle of nowhere and finds footprints trailing all across her garden. Half-asleep, she is at first curious. Then she realises the footprints stop at her bedroom window, and curiosity gives way to unease. Who was looking in at her, while she was asleep?
As the big freeze worsens and the stalker begins to leave disturbing mementoes, Marianne’s thoughts go back two decades to the schoolyard outburst that tore her childhood apart. Old feuds resurface, and the mystery of her mother’s death is pulled back into focus. Marianne begins to see patterns – is there a link between her stalker and the true crime story she’s been obsessively researching, or does the answer lie closer to home?
In the end, 24 days is all it takes for everything to come crashing down.
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