One year ago, Isabelle Drake’s life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally.
Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn’t slept in a year.
Isabelle’s entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle’s past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust… including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads.
First I’d like to praise the narrator Karissa Vacker who did an outstanding job narrating Isabelle’s story! The male and children voices were also very well done, making everything believable!
I won’t give a lot of details as it’s a mystery and I don’t want to spoil your fun.
As the synopsis says, the action centers around Isabelle’s quest to find her son Mason who has been kidnapped one year ago while she and her husband, Ben were asleep.
No clue was left, just the window open and Mason’s stuffed dinosaur left behind in the mud.
The case went rapidly cold but Isabelle can’t let it go. She HAS to know what happened. She HAS to find her son.
Her husband grew tired of Isabelle’s obsession at collecting clues, developing theories and also…lack of sleep. They are now separated.
Sleep was like another main character in the story.
The Isabelle from now hadn’t slept a whole night in one year! She has micro naps, small blackout… and that made her an unreliable narrator because sleep deprivation can induce hallucinations.
So what is true that Isabelle sees and do?
And the Isabelle from her youth was a very deep sleeper. She sleepwalked a lot and that was also frightening to realize that she did a lot of things at night she had no recollection of having done come morning!
Isabelle is now growing desperate and that’s why she accepts Waylen’s offer to feature in his true crime podcast. She feels heard, finally. But as the synopsis says, his interest in her past makes her reconsider her trust.
That’s all for the synopsis!
The book is told between past Isabelle, from her childhood as a senator’s daughter and big sister to Margaret to present Isabelle in her search for her son Mason.
We also get a few chapters from Isabelle some eight years ago when she met her husband.
I had tons of theories about “who did it” and “what happened” throughout the book, evolving according to new revelations about Isabelle or her entourage.
This was completely mind boggling and entrancing.
Disheartening somehow too as we realize how in these “crimes” the mother is often considered as the usual suspect. Stacy Willingham developed some taboo topics about motherhood, going from depression to the permanent guilt of mothers who always think they never do enough, are good enough.
It was frightening and fascinating when we learn what people can do while sleepwalking! Some can even have conversations with other people or drive their car and don’t remember the day after!
And the part that was hard to read was what happened in Isabelle’s childhood. The narrator did such an amazing job impersonating Isabelle and her little sister Margaret that I had literal chills when the tension rose and that I just KNEW that something bad would happen!
All the time Stacy Willingham sent me on goose chase and I absolutely had no idea what truly happened until the big reveal.
The ending was satisfying but also …questionable in my opinion as there is a bad deed that still will remain unpunished. I won’t elaborate more.
If you are an amateur of the genre, I totally recommend this one! That won’t be my last from this author!
Thanks for reading!