Hello everyone! I hope you’re all keeping safe, because it certainly has been a hectic and draining few weeks more so than our unfortunate new normal. However, we will always have books to offer just that little bit of escape and I’ve been relying on them more than ever. So, today it is my stop on the exciting blog tour for C.S. Green’s Sleep Tight. This is the first of Green’s books I’ve read, and I’m always interested in trying out thrillers which lean closer towards crime and police procedurals as I haven’t read a huge amount and I’d like to determine what I do and don’t like in those sub-genres. However, I certainly got far more than I expected from this book!
I’m also going to say, straight away, that I count three stars as a good rating. There is typically some confusing regarding where exactly this rating falls, but you can see a breakdown on my About Me Section for more detail.
TW: In light of very recent events, it is only right to give a warning that this book discusses crimes of home invasion and violence against women.
The nightmare is only just beginning… When DC Rose Gifford is called to investigate the death of a young woman suffocated in her bed, she can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to the crime than meets the eye. It looks like a straightforward crime scene – but the police can’t find the killer. Enter DS Moony – an eccentric older detective who runs UCIT, a secret department of the Met set up to solve supernatural crimes. Moony wants Rose to help her out – but Rose doesn’t believe in any of that. Does she? As the killer prepares to strike again, Rose must pick a side – before a second woman dies.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was so pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of supernatural elements within these otherwise quite traditional police procedural. It ultimately recalled Midsummer Murders with an unexpectedly creepy and deeply intriguing undertone. I also study ghosts in literature so the inclusion of certain characters, and Rose’s interactions with them, were easily my favourite elements and these sat perfectly alongside the day-to-day aspects of working at the police station. It certainly achieved the goal of creeping me out enough to second guess quickly nodding off to sleep after reading it!
I found Rose very relatable and an excellent entry point into her job, relationships and the individualistic world created between the supernatural elements of confusion and the hard line needed for her work. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading about the interpersonal relationships of her colleagues, Mick more so than most, and listening to their processes during briefings was very intriguing. These procedural aspects, combined with their personalities, offered vital moments of slight levity amongst the deeper tragedy of their case. I also found numerous aspects of the case incredibly gripping including postcards, Facebook groups and keys to locked rooms so if you’re looking for something to sink your teeth into, I’d say especially if you like to read slower or in smaller chunks, I would highly recommend Sleep Tight!
I liked Green’s writing and the first half especially was very gripping and interesting and the case and key figures were introduced. However, the pacing slowed towards the end and a few too many elements were added for me without satisfyingly solidifying connections and resolutions. This is personal preference, but I felt this resulted in the finale missing the mark of an all-encompassing, memorable gut-punch moment. I simply felt that the antagonist’s motivations were slightly disconnected from the central aspects I had been expecting to play a larger role.
I’ve also got to admit that I found the bulk of chapters from Rose’s perspective far more enjoyable than those from the mysterious figure or even from Kirsty. I feel that Kristy’s chapter is an excellent opening, but I feel the space of these chapters could have been redirected towards fully developing those connections I mentioned above or involving the extended police force even deeper into Rose’s investigative methods.
I’m also only going to mention this as I know it is a divisive writing technique amongst mystery and thriller readers. There is an explanatory speech from the antagonist, however, it took the form of one of their chapters and, therefore, was not exactly aimed at any other character. Due to this, it seemed to just hang in between the plot, and broke up the final moments so I became quite separated from their character development at that point.
Overall, this book took me completely by surprise. Green completely deep dives into this intriguing twist between police procedural and supernatural twisty elements and I found it thoroughly enjoyable. It has also convinced me to give more crime novels a try. There are many good elements in here and my reading experience was certainly enjoyable. However, I feel that the ending was simply a little disconnected from the previous pacing and this dampened my interest in the antagonist specifically. I’ll certainly be having a look over the synopsis of the next in the series and hopefully slotting it into future overly ambitious TBR lists!
Sleep Tight by C. S. Green was published in hardback by HarperCollins Publishers on the 4th of March 2021.
After responding via Twitter, I was approved to take part in the blog tour by Jennifer Harlow at HarperCollins Publishers who provided a physical final hardback in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much to Jennifer and the HarperCollins team for this opportunity.
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