Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Before I Go to SleepBefore I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Christine wakes up every morning with no memory of where she is or who the man is in the bed next to her. He explains that he is her husband Ben and that she has amnesia. He clearly loves her but she cannot reciprocate that love because he seems like a stranger. The woman in the mirror looking back at her is 20 years older than she thinks she is. Soon a doctor researching her unusual case provides her a way to connect with the past – by writing down in a journal what each day is like. Every day after Ben has gone to work he calls her and tells her to look in the closet to read the journal so she can get a sense of what her life has been and who she is. The next morning the same thing happens, but there is always a little more written in the journal. It is an intriguing set-up for a plot.

This is the best mystery I’ve read in months. The suspense builds page by page as we learn more about her past. She begins to have flashes of memory – or are they her imagination? Ben is caught lying to her about things, but does he do it only to spare her having to relive traumatic events? Because he can’t bear to go through the same explanations day after day? Her doctor lies too. For the same reason? She once had a best friend. A son. Why aren’t they in her life now?

The pacing is sharp and so is the writing. I had to force myself to put the book down to make it last longer. This is one I recommend to every mystery fan.

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