A razor-sharp thriller about a mother forced to the breaking point when her life and the lives of her children are threatened by an intruder.
Home alone with her young children during a blizzard, a mother tucks her son back into bed in the middle of the night. She hears a noise—old houses are always making some kind of noise. But this sound is disturbingly familiar: it’s the tread of footsteps, unusually heavy and slow, coming up the stairs.
Shrouded in the shadows, she sees the figure of a man appear down the hallway. Terrified, she quietly wakes her children and hustles them into the oldest part of the house, a tiny, secret room concealed behind a wall. There they hide as the man searches for them, trying to tempt the children out with promises and scare the mother into surrender.
In the suffocating darkness, the mother struggles to remain calm, to plan, to search for any opportunity to find a weapon or escape and get help. But then she catches another glimpse of him. That face. That voice. And at once she knows her situation is even more dire than she’d feared, because she knows exactly who he is—and what he wants.
Hi and welcome to my review of Nightwatching!
Man, what a book to end my bookish year with! I had no idea when I picked my last book of 2023, I’d be in for such a thrill fest! Nightwatching was such a claustrophobic read for me! It’s horribly realistic, and therefore absolutely terrifying. I was so glad I wasn’t home alone!
But our main character is in fact home alone with her small children, when there is a home invasion. They run, they hide, from what might be man or monster or both, and it gives the story a dark, nightmarishly glow. The alternating chapters offering glimpses of the past did nothing to relieve the tension, if anything they cranked it up, as you have to wait to find out what is happening in the dead of night.
At a certain point, and for quite a long time, I kinda lost the plot, not quite knowing which way was up, or what and who to believe. How reliable is our narrator? Is she a distraught mother, a fantasist or even a liar? I do love it when a thriller puts me through the wringer, making me question everything, including myself.
Nightwatching is a most excellent debut and it has definitely put Tracy Sierra on my authors-to-watch list. It had my heart racing and my fingers tapping the screen of my Kobo as fast as I could. I even denied myself that extra chapter in bed, knowing I wouldn’t sleep a wink if I did. Nerve-wracking and heart-breaking, I loved Nightwatching! Highly recommended.
Nightwatching is out in hardcover, digital formats and audio on 8 February.
Massive thanks to Viking and NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own.