Book Title: The Nightwalker
Author: Sebastian Fitzek
Translator: Jaime Lee Searle
Genres: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense Fiction
Date Read: 10/28/16
Pub Date (US): 02/07/16
3.5 STARS (rounded to 4 on Goodreads)
As a young man, Leon Nader suffered from insomnia. As a sleepwalker, he even turned to violence during his nocturnal excursions and had psychiatric treatment for his condition. Eventually, he was convinced he had been cured—but one day, years later, Leon’s wife disappears from their apartment under mysterious circumstances. Could it be that his illness has broken out again?
In order to find out how he behaves in his sleep, Leon fits a movement activated camera to his forehead—and when he looks at the video the next morning he makes a discovery that bursts the borders of his imagination. His nocturnal personality goes through a door that is totally unknown to him and descends into the darkness . . .
While this is a republication of a book originally published in 2011, I feel it has made a comeback at an extremely relevant time. This whole blurred reality between waking and sleeping theme seems to be all the rage in the upcoming psychological thrillers of the season, and for good reason; it’s a new spin on a consistent structure that allows for the author to take liberties where otherwise wouldn’t be an option. These type of books always mess with my head, as I never know whether it will stick to the traditional rules of the genre or branch out into the supernatural. You’ll have to read this one to find out for yourself just how it turns out, but needless to say it was a suspenseful, eery read that left me uber creeped out.
When I first found this one on NetGalley I was immediately drawn in by the cover. The color is gorgeous and the inception-like graphics had me wondering just what this story would end up being. I also felt for the most part nothing important was lost in the translation; this was originally written in German but flowed quite nicely in English as well. I was all set to give this book a solid 4 stars; it gave me all the creepy crawlies and had me holding my breath at all the right places, but the ending was a bit off for me. I think, as other reviewers have stated, that the explanation after what I considered “the ending” was too much and took away from what could have been a powerful finish. I did decide to still round up as this was a really different, intriguing read with a gorgeous cover.
If you are looking for a creepy, slightly different story and love a good thriller that has been translated into your native language (if that language be english), then give this a try. I actually had a really fun time reading this and think it would make an excellent movie. If you’re anything like me, you’ll definitely have a few nights of bizarre dreams while trying to figure out what is reality in this book. I’m very interested in comparing notes with others who read this one; feel free to shoot me a message to chat about it!
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy via NetGalley; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.