Hello and Happy Spring!

It’s been a very busy time for me personally since I last left my review of ‘really good actually’ – I’ve been mostly wedding planning (3 months to go to the big day, eek!), and I’ve also been out hiking, practicing for the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge that I’m undertaking with my work colleagues (co-workers) in July!

I’ve also been reading, on average about 5 books a month. I’ve been journalling my reading since January as I read, which has really helped me to understand the genres of books I’m enjoying the most and what I’m enjoying the least, and who my favourite authors may be.

One genre I’ve been reading a lot of recently is the THRILLER genre. I was super fortunate enough to receive thrillers for Christmas, and also the lovely people at Harper Collins reached out and asked me if I’d like some new Thriller proofs (of which, for transparency what I’m about to review is one of them, so ‘AD/PR PRODUCT’ applies to this review). Of course I typed back ‘YES PLEASE!’ at a rate of knots and I’m so grateful to them for offering to send me this one!


Honestly, when I received this book through the post, I read the bottom tagline ‘What is happening to Emma? Why can’t she sleep?’ and felt a little bit freaked out. If you didn’t know my name already, then HI! I’M EMMA! and I live in Yorkshire, about a 1 hour drive/50 miles away from Leeds. What you may not know is that every now and then I struggle with bouts of Insomnia, and when I received this book in the mail I’d had a few bouts of interrupted 1am wake ups that week so once I started reading the character, I did start to feel slightly unnerved!

“From the outside, Emma has the dream life – a loving husband, a beautiful house, two gorgeous children. But something is keeping Emma awake. Scratching her sanity at 1am.

She’s tried so hard to bury the past, to protect her family. But witching hour loves a secret – and Emma’s is the stuff of nightmares.”

As the front cover suggests, Sarah Pinborough is the author of the bestselling novel ‘Behind her eyes’, a psychological thriller about a dark three way love triangle that was snapped up by Netflix and which became the ‘must series’ to watch. Whilst I’d not seen the series or read the book, I knew that it would mean that ‘Insomnia’ would be equally dark and psychologically thrilling, which is my favourite kind of thriller. One that makes you question the protagonist and eventually your own perception on the story – page turning stuff!

Well, after reading this one, it’s super clear to me about why she’s an award winning author and her books are being snapped up for TV ( ‘Dead to her’ is being made for Amazon).

The story begins with a prologue of a car crash. We’re not sure who the character is living in this story, but it’s the first of many secrets.. for the driver who survives the crash drives off, leaving a family to fight for their life.

We then start chapter one. We’re told it’s ‘Twelve days until Birthday’, so we’re immediately of the understanding that the timeline for this book is the run up to a Birthday, and that the Birthday must be the source of the ‘main event’.

The story is told from the first person, and the first thoughts we read areThere’s someone in the house’. Pinborough is already so far in our heads in the first sentence. How many of us have been awoken to a noise in the night that makes you panic that someone has broken in? For sure when we lived in the city, my other half slept with a baseball bat under our bed for a reason. Midnight burglaries were rife and there were a few midnight attempts on my city property whilst I slept. As I write this I’ve just received a police notification about a house burglary in that neighbourhood overnight (I havent yet unsubscribed!). That wake up panic that someone has broken in is one I know well, as I’m sure many of you do also.

We dont know yet our characters name, but we know she is a career woman, has a husband called Robert (who is sound asleep, typical) a young son called Will, who she creeps in on to check and she finds awake playing dinosaurs, and Chloe, her teenage daughter who is also sound asleep. Later we discovered her name is Emma, she has trouble sleeping and she lives in Leeds.

As the story unfolds, we find Emma’s sleeping habits worsening as she approaches her 40th Birthday. We start to unravel the reason behind why this birthday is such a fear for Emma (it’s not just about turning forty!), but as Emma finds herself more and more sleep deprived, the psychological thriller element begins… can Emma trust her memory? Are her perceptions right? Is her family in danger? Is she the one putting them in danger? Is it happening? Is she going.. crazy????


OH MY WORD. This was thrilling with a capital T.

Taunting and twisty with a sprinkle of sci-fi, this book had me in its grasp. I RACED through it, totally captivated and desperate to know the answer behind all these secrets. It had my heart racing, and totally starting to fear my own bouts of insomnia (which fortunately have since ceased!).

The back story was really interesting, the characters well developed, the descriptions were fantastic in the imagery creation in my mind. I could easily picture Emma’s family home, her work, the other places she visits etc.

This book is 100% ready for television. I hope that like with ‘Behind her Eyes’, Netflix snap this book because honestly it is just psychological thriller perfection.

There was not a moment I didn’t believe, and it completely caught me off guard. I’m definitely going to read more of her books, and I recommend entirely to anyone looking for a seriously good psychological thriller.

A must read!


I’ve been drinking locally produced Cartwright and Butler English Breakfast Tea by the mug load recently. Cartwright and Butler begin in my home city of Hull back in the 1900s and are truly one of my favourite go to companies for biscuits and hampers. My local service station has an amazing selection, as do many garden centres, but you can also buy from their website if you fancy trying them out.

I found the English Breakfast tea to be *absolutely delicious*! It’s a really full bodied tea, each individual teabag has that luxury feeling with a little string and paper tag. The teabags themselves are perfect for the job, no loose tea leaves at the bottom of the cup and the blend is gorgeous.

Perfect for your morning cereal or bagel, but equally as delicious with a slice of cake. Highly recommend! If Cartwright and Butler aren’t stocked locally to you, click here to be taken straight to the product link. £4 for 30 bags.

I highly hope you’ve enjoyed my review today! Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this book/adding it to your TBR/any other thrillers you recommend.

Next week it’s my HEN DO(!) so I’ll be spending the weekend with a fantastic group of ladies. I’ve got many books to share with you so sign up to receive emails when my next post goes live to near miss a review.

As always you can find me on socials, I’m on goodreads and Instagram so feel free to give me a follow! I also have a Vinted account, so if youre in the UK check out my books for sale (this one is currently on there!). Click/tap here to see my latest items for sale!

Until the next Chapter,

Emma X0

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