While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft
Published by Bookouture on 16th November 2016
Amazon UK, Amazon US
You wake up to find the man beside you is dead.
He is not your husband. This is not your bed.
What do you do?
Tara Logan lives a quiet life with her husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer.
But her peace is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour Lee’s bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them.
And worse – he has been stabbed to death.
Convinced she didn’t kill Lee, Tara stays silent, fearing the truth will rip her family apart.
But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara soon realises that someone in her life knows what really happened to Lee. She must get to the truth before they do.
Tara made a mistake … but will one night cost her everything?
A gripping, shocking psychological thriller, with a twist that will take you by surprise.
I open my eyes and know immediately something is wrong. Nothing is familiar. The dark blinds, shutting out all but a tiny sliver of sunlight, are not mine, and neither is the black silk sheet covering my body, nor the too-soft pillow beneath my head.
This is not my bedroom.
With eyes still groggy from sleep, I rely on all my other senses to comprehend where I am, but I have no idea.
Something else is wrong.
I should be warmer than this – it was over eighty degrees yesterday evening, yet now I feel cold. And as I become more alert, it only takes a few seconds to work out why this is.
I am naked.
Forcing my eyes to focus, I squint into the darkness, and try to take in the rest of the bedroom. Everything is white and neat, deliberately minimal. Furniture I would not have chosen. Furniture that is both strange and familiar.
Someone is next to me.
‘Noah?’ I whisper. But I already know it’s not him. The shape under the sheet is not my husband’s.
Now I begin to panic because none of this makes sense. Slowly I lift the sheet, and take in the familiar dark hair and suntanned skin.
I know this man.
Gently I nudge him, wait for the awkward response, as I start to remember brief flashes of his face last night. The smile as he invited me inside.
‘Lee?’ Another gentle nudge, but harder this time.
On rare occasions I have seen Noah like this. Too intoxicated from celebrating something or other to wake up, unless I shout directly in his ear.
Flinging my legs over the side of the bed, I search for my clothes. My black skirt hangs over the radiator, my underwear scattered on the floor. I can’t remember what else I was wearing. I can’t remember anything other than turning up here.
I retrieve what I can and hastily dress. I don’t want him to see me undressed. But he already has. He must have. And when I walk to his side of the bed I know immediately something is wrong. Something else. Something worse than waking up naked in my neighbour’s bed.
He is dead. I know this already. No one with life in them can lie so motionless.
With heavy robotic movements, I pull back the sheet, preparing myself to call an ambulance. He is young, but he could still have had a heart attack or something similar. I have heard of this happening when people exert themselves. But no, I cannot allow myself to believe I slept with him. I wouldn’t do that to Noah. To Rosie and Spencer.
This I am prepared for. It is the river of blood which is the shock. The gaping slits across his body. The way his mouth forms an ‘o’ shape. The accusation in his wide‑open eyes.
I scream into the silence.