#BookReview: Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough @HarperCollinsUK #Insomnia #damppebbles

In the dead of night, madness lies…

Emma can’t sleep.


It’s been like this since her big 4-0 started getting closer.


Her mother stopped sleeping just before her 40th birthday too. She went mad and did the unthinkable because of it.


Is that what’s happening to Emma?


Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough. Insomnia was published by HarperCollins on 31st March 2022 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow next year. I chose to read and review a free eARC of Insomnia but that has in no way influenced my review.

Sarah Pinborough, over the years, has become a bit of a go-to author for me. Her latest release, Insomnia, is the third of this author’s books I have read. Although I must admit (I am ashamed to admit!) that I haven’t as yet read Behind Her Eyes which is very well known for its WTF ending and has recently been made into a Netflix series (I haven’t watched the series either as I want to read the book first). However, I WILL be able to watch Insomnia when it hits our screens (which I understand it will be doing in the future) because oh boy, I HAVE read this incredibly compelling story.

Emma Averell is a successful divorce lawyer, has a devoted husband, two beautiful children, a luxurious house and a top of the range car. She’s also only a few days away from turning 40 which strikes fear into the hearts of many people but for Emma that fear is tenfold. Because Emma’s mother, Patricia, had a catastrophic breakdown on her 40th birthday almost killing Emma’s older sister. Patricia told Emma she has ‘bad blood’ too so she’s terrified history will repeat itself. When Emma starts suffering from insomnia she knows what’s happening. The same happened to her mother before that devastating night. All Emma needs to do is sleep and then everything will be fine. But no matter how hard she tries, no matter what remedies she takes, she just can’t sleep…

Insomnia is a tense and gripping tale which I read in two sittings. I found Emma an intriguing lead character. I was keen for everything to work out for her in the long run but the impending sense of doom the author conveys tells you that the Averell’s are in for a rough ride. A bone-shatteringly rough, incredibly bumpy ride indeed! I didn’t necessarily like Emma but I felt for her. I wanted her to find answers, I wanted her story to be different from her mother’s. Emma’s descent happens quickly over the course of 11 days, going from a switched on wife, mother and lawyer to someone who doubts themselves constantly, questioning her own actions and thoughts. She zones out for long periods of time making Emma the perfect unreliable narrator. Pinborough is an absolute master at writing an unreliable narrator as she skilfully proves within the pages of this book.

I absolutely fell in love with Emma and Robert’s youngest child, Will, who at the tender age of five is morphing from a fun-filled, bouncy kid to a quiet, nervous child. I thought making their older child, Chloe, a teenager on the cusp of being an adult herself was a really interesting move by the author as that meant there were three adults all repeatedly telling Emma she was losing her mind – Robert, Chloe and Emma’s older sister, Phoebe. When those that love you the most keep telling you you’re unstable, that something is wrong, surely they must be right?

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Insomnia is a dark tale which I devoured over the course of a day featuring a cast of fascinating characters. If you’ve read any Sarah Pinborough novels in the past then you’ll know to expect the unexpected. My advice, expect the unexpected 😂 The ending is both shocking and surprising. Aspects of it, I loved. The torrential rain beating down set the scene perfectly, the tension was so sharp and the fear I felt in my gut was 100% real. But there were things about the ending which I wasn’t so keen on. I don’t want to say too much for fear of putting my foot in it and saying something I shouldn’t but I will say the ending was very different, unique and not at all what I expected. Lots to love, a couple of teeny, tiny things…not so much. But all in all, a gripping tension filled read which I heartily recommend to fans of psychological thrillers, particularly those who are looking for something a little different.

I chose to read and review a free eARC of Insomnia. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough was published in the UK by HarperCollins on 31st March 2022 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow | amazon.co.ukWaterstonesFoylesBook Depositorybookshop.orgGoodreadsdamppebbles bookshop.org shop |

Sarah PinboroughSarah Pinborough is a New York Times bestselling and Sunday Times Number one and Internationally bestselling author who is published in over 30 territories worldwide. Having published more than 25 novels across various genres, her recent books include Behind Her Eyes, now a smash hit Netflix limited series, Dead To Her, now in development with Amazon Studios, and 13 Minutes and The Death House in development with Compelling Pictures. Sarah lives in the historic town of Stony Stratford, the home of the Cock and Bull story, with her dog Ted. Her next novel, Insomnia, is out in 2022.

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