Leon Nader suffers from insomnia; as a child sleepwalker, he had violent episodes and had to turn to psychiatric treatment for his condition. As he grows up, these symptoms subside and he is virtually cured. One day, when his wife suddenly disappears from their apartment, Leon is worried that his old illness has resurfaced. Desperate for answers, Leon attaches a camera to his forehead to track his movements as he sleeps. When he finds a chilling discovery when he watches the video in the morning, Leon is forced to fight through what is reality and what is unconscious to save his family, and himself, before it is too late….
The Nightwalker by Sebastian Fitzek blurs all lines between reality and the power of one’s dreams. During this psychological thriller, we watch Leon as he struggles to determine what is real and what is in his mind as he fights his sleep condition and struggles to find answers about his wife.
I feel like the best word to describe this book would be “disorienting”. Throughout the entirety of the plot, it is difficult to tell if Leon is awake and if what is happening is reality or if he is sleepwalking and trapped in a nightmare. Fitzek does an excellent job at blurring these lines and setting such an ominous tone. This one gave me some serious Inception vibes. What a fantastically creepy book.
Leon was a generally likable character and I found myself anxious throughout my reading as I connected to Leon’s plight. I found myself flipping through the pages to find the resolution; this one was very fast paced and I read it easily over the course of a few sittings. Some will struggle with the ending of this novel; I will not give away any spoilers but I must say that I really enjoyed the multiple twists.
This novel was originally published in German in 2011; I found that the translation flowed easily and did not affect my reading. The English release comes out TOMORROW, so if you want a seriously creeping and addicting read, check this one out!