Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Scabious Press
Published: 4th January 2020
Reviewed: 14th January 2020
Astrid wants to build a new life, but her painful past drags her down. She's drawn to Mark, the troubled insomniac she meets in town, only she's worried about her safety. There's someone terrifying stalking the streets of Bristol and he's hot on her trail. Who is the Bristol Beast and what does he want with Astrid?
I was sucked into Astrid’s story from the very first page which starts with a dream she had as a child, and how a few days later that dream became reality. ‘Since then I’ve had many more prophetic dreams’ Astrid tells us, before revealing the finer details of her latest crazy dream. Like a lot of dreams, Astrid’s dream didn’t make a lot of sense but was utterly creepy and I wanted to find out how this weird and random dream would impact on Astrid in her ‘real life’.
Astrid works as a community carer, looking after people in their own homes. She is also a student learning EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which involves tapping certain parts of the body to release trapped emotions. Studying in the library, Astrid notices a man with intense green eyes looking at her. She is creeped out and leaves, but later when on a night out with her best friend (and flat mate) Becks, she bumps into him again. He explains he was staring because he was intrigued at what she was doing (tapping), and this time the pair hit it off.
Running alongside Astrid’s first-person narrative is the creepy third-person narrative of an unknown stalker. There have been several attacks in Bristol and when Becks is attacked but escapes, things start to get way too close to home. With the stalker having his own focalised perspective, this makes for one hell of a spine-tingling read - especially seeing as it’s Astrid the stalker seems to be interested in. Reading the two perspectives side by side, will make you grip onto your seat as your heart pounds, willing Astrid to make the right choices. But just who is this sinister stalker?
Sweet Dreams is packed with red herrings. No spoilers here, but nobody is above suspicion. Poor Astrid (or Azza as her friends call her) just who can she trust? Well you’re just gonna have to read it and find out! You definitely won’t be disappointed - what a read! And the ending is brilliant too!
Second novels are often the deciding book as to how good an author is, and Sweet Dreams does not disappoint. I absolutely love both of Jo Ullah’s books and can’t wait to read her next one!
Thank you to the author
for an Advance Review Copy of this book
in return for an honest and unbiased review
About the Author
Jo Ullah grew up in a small village in Dorset, where she was fed on a regular diet of horror and the supernatural by the inventive mind of her mother. Being dyslexic, reading and writing were always a difficult mountain just waiting to be scaled. Luckily the view from top is much better than it was from the ground. Jo lives in Bristol with her family and other creatures great and small, practising her writing, gardening and love of art.
Author’s website: https://www.joullah.com/