Before I Go To Sleep, By S J Watson

Just another case of missing identity

Lesley McDowell
Sunday 22 January 2012 01:00
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SJ Watson's debut has been hailed as a "literary" thriller, for some reason. It has a bit of a Groundhog Day-type plot, in which amnesiac Christine has to reconstruct the realities of her life pretty much every day as she struggles to remember not just what happened to her but who she is. But it is written in a style more prosaic than literary, and those accustomed to thrillers will probably guess the true situation after the first few pages.

Written while Watson was on the Faber Academy writing course, it does have the feel of a constructed, ongoing assessed task, while the plot-required repetitions also operate as effective signposting for readers who can't keep track. But it's intriguing enough, for all that you can see the joins.

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