Sleep, Savannah, Sleep by Alistair Cross is a standalone psychological thriller with some hints of supernatural (the supernatural elements only start in the second half of the book).
Jason Crandall, recently widowed, decided to start life anew in another part of the country. So he took his two kids (Brent, his almost 18-years-old son, and Amber, his small, cute, and smart daughter), packed his bag, and left Los Angeles to move to a small town called Shadow Springs, where he could work as a massage therapist, something that he hasn’t done in a long time.
Soon after arriving at Shadow Springs, he realized that, maybe, coming here was not such a great idea, after all. His first client’s husband, a very jealous bully, decided that Jason’s face is a pillow to be punched. One of his neighbors, a blind old woman, seemed to always see right through Jason, and managed to give him the willies every time he looked out the window.
And, last but not least, Brent was in a phase where nothing Jason did was right. Teenager stuff, but since now Jason was both mother and father to the kids, he really expected a bit more help from Brent. Help which would never come.
And just in case things were not interesting enough, Savannah Sturgess, a beautiful woman who seemed to be angling for him, disappeared, making everyone wonder whether she moved away or maybe something ungodly happened to her.
So when some weird visions start to haunt Jason’s dreams, he knows for sure that coming to Shadow Springs was a big mistake. But he can’t and won’t rest until he finds out what is going on in this small and weird town, and what exactly happened with Savannah.
The story captivated my attention right from the start. It really hooked me in. While initially, things are quiet and innocent enough, you get hints of bad things to happen from the very first pages. You just don’t know when the proverbial something will hit the fan, so you’re on edge the whole time.
When I got to the end of the book, when the big reveal happened, I was shocked. Although, now that I think about it, I did have a flash of an idea at some point about the whodunit, but then I dismissed it outright because I don’t remember to recently read books where the author quite did it this way.
The story is not only a psychological thriller, but also a crime mystery and an interesting ghost story. There is a bit of romance in the book, but it’s not overpowering, and it is very gentle and innocent (when you don’t count Savannah’s escapades, of course).
The characters in the book are real people living in a small town where secrets can never be kept for too long. Jason is a very complex character in the book. He is a father of two who is trying to make a new start in life, make a living, raise his children and fit in the new town. He definitely doesn’t have it easy right now.
Alistair Cross has a way with words and it shows. The narrative flows smoothly, and you don’t find many (if at all) spelling or grammatical errors in the book. It is a wonderful novel to read late at night with only a small light on next to you.
I enjoyed reading Sleep, Savannah, Sleep, and I hope that a sequel is in the works. Jason really deserves one.