Book Review: Sleepwalker – Wendy Corsi Staub

Book: Sleepwalker

Author: Wendy Corsi Staub

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

SleepwalkerFeel free to sleep right through this one.  SLEEPWALKER is the second book in Wendy Corsi Staub’s trilogy, but if you read the first book I’m not sure it’s worth it to read the second one.  I feel Staub committed a fatal flaw in that first book Nightwatcher (read my review here) that totally ruined the story in the second one.  But even without that flaw, I’m not sure this book would have kept anyone awake.

Fast-forward ten years after the terrorist attacks on September 11th where the two main characters from Nightwatcher, Allison Taylor and Mack MacKenna, are now married and living a cozy life in suburbia.  But Mack’s new medicine for his insomnia is causing him to sleepwalk just as more women, now in their little haven of suburbia, are being murdered in the Nightwatcher’s signature style.  Now Allison must figure out if Mack is the true Nightwatcher all while protecting her family from the savagery.

Doesn’t sound bad, but if you read the first book none of that matters.  Why?  Well, you already know who the true killer is, which was revealed in the first book.  That, I feel, was the fatal flaw which ruined the second book.  Now you’re just plodding along waiting for them to catch him.  I know it’s supposed to create suspense because the reader knows the killer and the main characters don’t.  But I didn’t feel any suspense.  And I don’t feel it was done in a way to entice the reader to turn the pages.  Sure, lots of authors give the killer’s viewpoint, James Patterson and John Sandford to name a few, which I love when they do, but they do it in a way that you don’t know all the details of that killer.  Here, you know almost everything courtesy of that first book.  There’s very little to find out and what’s left isn’t all that interesting in the first place.  Don’t even get me started on the flimsy motivations of the killer.  I think it would have been more suspenseful if she held back on the details in the first book and slowly revealed them in the second.  Or done something different with the ending of the first book to make you wonder if there was a second killer.  Maybe even give the impression it could have been Mack.  Something.  Anything.

The rest of the book is packed with routine detail of their daily lives.  I found myself skimming large chunks just to get through it, so I could move on to the third story.  By sheer determination I pushed through, but it wasn’t easy.  If anything, it felt like I was sleepwalking through the whole book.  Yawn.  And guess what?  You don’t even need to read the second book to read the third.  The third book takes a completely different turn.  Thank goodness too.  Otherwise, I’m not sure I would have continued on.  So if you want, save yourself some frustration, skip the second, and move right into the third book Shadowkiller (read my review here).


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