Staub started her trilogy with the fateful backdrop of the horrors of 9/11 in Nightwatcher.  Now the second thriller featuring Allison Taylor, Sleepwalker, picks up her story ten years later.

Allison has married Mack MacKenna, her neighbor who’d lost his wife in the Twin Towers, and they have a lovely home in Westchester and three young children.

Allison has everything she’s always wanted, but the demands of three youngsters and a husband whose job keeps him away from home find her worn down at times. Mack’s chronic insomnia adds to the burden, until at her urging, he starts to take a sleeping pill that allows him to rest but brings back bouts of childhood sleepwalking. Things start to go missing their home; others are moved around. Allison tell herself this is simply due to Mack’s sleepwalking, but she harbors a fear it’s evidence of a far darker menace.

When the man in prison for the Nightwatcher murders commits suicide, Allison knows she should feel relieved. Then why does she have a huge sense of foreboding?

Then their next door neighbor is found by Allison brutally murdered in her own bed, wearing Allison’s nightgown, and killed with the same methodology as the previous murders. Suddenly Allison knows with certainty that the wrong man has been locked up in prison.

What happens next as more murders continue will have readers turning pages as fast as they can read. When a connection between the victims revolves around Mack, Allison must decide if she can trust the man she’s married or if she’s made the most horrific mistake of her life. Then the tension ratchets even higher when her children are kidnapped.

Staub brings back several characters from the first book in the trilogy, including Mack’s friend Ben and his wife, and the NYPD detective who helped clear the first case . . . or did he? She takes on the reality of survivor’s guilt and explores how it touches not only the survivor but those who surround them. And most chillingly, she illustrates the fallacy people have of the feeling of safety in one’s own home in today’s world of technology.

Staub’s third in the trilogy, Shadowkiller, premieres in February 2013. Before then, be prepared to follow Allison as she digs deeply to find the strength to face a killer once again.

 

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