‘The day our child was conceived, someone else arrived. She was there as the cells fused, like a ghost.’
Richard and Lelia’s child is conceived in a moment of giggling chaos as they dress for a Christmas party. When they arrive, rudely late and still glowing, they barely register a slight, drab woman in the hall. Sylvie.
As their baby grows, so too does the presence of that barely noticeable figure. Slowly Richard finds himself seduced by Sylvie’s subtle, almost imperceptible charm. As he grows more ambivalent about the approaching birth of his child, Lelia finds herself haunted by painful secrets of her past. And Sylvie seems to be nowhere, yet everywhere. She’s as invisible as she wants to be, and that is the source of her power. Beware of mice.
How far can you trust even those you love? A story of compulsion, desire, darkness and betrayal, Sleep With Me moves towards a breathtaking climax. It confirms Joanna Briscoe as a major literary talent.
Sleep With Me (Bloomsbury), has been published in ten countries including the USA, and was extensively reviewed. It has been adapted as a screeplay by Andrew Davies for a drama due to be broadcast by ITV. A tv tie-in edition will be published by Bloomsbury.
Praise for "Sleep with Me"
‘Seductive, scary and frighteningly readable.’
- Julie Myerson
‘Dark secrets and infidelity are Joanna Briscoe’s speciality. … It is horribly, grippingly pleasurable…. Briscoe’s style is sensuously hypnotic and her attention to detail is faultless; rarely have I seen literary London so accurately represented. This is a classic summer page-turner, yet it is more than that. Like Sylvie, it is hard to get this book out of your head, even after the final chapter.’
‘Briscoe’s third novel offers a profound portrait of emotional as much as physical infidelity. … Psychological disintegration is played out against an impressively taut and sturdy structural backbone. … an acutely evoked love triangle…. Elegiac, beautiful, evocative prose… moving, rich and real….. The language is characteristically erotic, sensuous, precise…. Sleep with Me works in much the same way as an obsession…. you wish to escape, but have already become addicted.’
‘In its contrasts, the novel has it all: its climaxes are climactic, its jokes funny, its sex thrillingly sexy. Its conclusion, on the other hand, is intriguingly inconclusive. That only makes this clever, sexy novel all the more human and real’
‘This is a carefully orchestrated roman noir in which all sinners take equal blame. It reads like a dream… Mesmerising … be warned: there’s no putting it away afterwards. It gets right under your skin’
- Maureen Freely, Guardian
‘Tales of obsessive love rarely unravel so skilfully the tangle of drives and desires propelling the lover… This ingenious jigsaw of near misses, secret assignations and days revisited by one then another character is as carefully plotted as any thriller. To give any more away would be to spoil a literary novel that takes suspense very seriously indeed.’
- New Statesman
‘I loved it – it’s completely gripping, compelling and beautifully written. It is one of those books that you find yourself thinking about even when you are not reading it. That is one of the signs of a good book, I think – the characters come alive.’
- Mary Nightingale, The Times
‘Reminiscent of Julie Myerson and Zoë Heller novels: moody, and slightly sinister and full of hormones’
- Liz Jones, Evening Standard
‘If the hype for this novel is to be believed, we’re looking at the next Single White Female or Damage, and a few pages in, you can see why. Briscoe’s prose is sharp and to the point … Expect a wild and chilling climax’
‘Joanna Briscoe’s excellent third novel deals with erotic obsession and with lies … it is a book with a dark, wounded heart….Sleep with Me inhabits a profound ethical universe.’
- Roz Kaveney, Time Out
‘arresting and haunting… compelling. This well-structured psychological thriller – which has echoes of early Barbara Vine as well as the recent novels of Julie Myerson and Maggie O’Farrell… has a sensual power that echoes in the mind.’
- Sunday Telegraph
‘I was gripped by Briscoe’s creepy tale of sexual obsession’
- Tracey Macleod, Marie Claire
‘Briscoe brilliantly explores a trap far too many men seem to find themselves in’
‘Will keep you up at night … The love triangle is a common theme, but here it is handled with both ferocity and elegance’
- Erica Wagner, The Times
‘An engrossing tale of desire and betrayal, this is dark, modern, sexy stuff.’
- Mail on Sunday