Thursday, February 29, 2024

Book Review: "Nightwatching" by Tracy Sierra

Excuse me while my breathing gets back to normal! This was an intense, crazy thriller that didn’t really let up until it neared the end.

It’s the middle of a blizzard, and a woman is at home with her two young children. When her son awakens in the middle of the night, she gets him settled back into his bed. And then she hears a noise. Of course, it’s an old house and there’s a storm outside, so noises are inevitable. But as she stays hidden, she sees the face of a man appear at the top of the stairs.

“Reality can be more disorienting than dreams.”

She’s determined that she and her children will not be sitting ducks for this intruder. She wakes the kids and takes them into a secret crawl space, where she tries to calm them down and wait him out. But when she hears his voice, first trying to coax the children out of hiding, then threatening to destroy all of them, she realizes she knows who this man is, and what he wants she will never give him.

She tries to figure out a way to escape and get help, but can she leave her children alone in the house? And how far will she get in the blizzard?

I really wasn’t sure how this story would be resolved. I’ll admit I thought this could all be some sort of hallucination, or that there would be a twist I didn’t enjoy. But Tracy Sierra, in a tremendously self-assured debut, slowly lets things unfold and keeps you thinking.

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