BOOK REVIEW: The Sleep Room

The Sleep RoomJames Richardson thinks he has bagged the job of a lifetime managing a new project that keeps disturbed mental patients constantly asleep. However, strange events cause him to question his own sanity – The Sleep Room is not the peaceful place it appears to be.



When promising psychiatrist, James Richardson, is offered the job opportunity of a lifetime, he is thrilled. Setting off to take up his post at Wyldehope Hall in deepest Suffolk, Richardson doesn’t look back.

One of his tasks is to manage a controversial project – a pioneering therapy in which extremely disturbed patients are kept asleep for months. As Richardson settles into his new life, he begins to sense something uncanny about the sleeping patients – six women, forsaken by society. Why is the trainee nurse so on edge when she spends nights alone with them? And what can it mean when all the sleepers start dreaming at the same time?

It’s not long before Richardson finds himself questioning everything he knows about the human mind as he attempts to uncover the shocking secrets of The Sleep Room.

Set sometime after World War II, The Sleep Room tells the story of psychiatrist James Richardson, who is offered a job at Wyldehope Hall, where esteemed fellow psychiatrist Hugh Maitland is carrying out a new therapy on disturbed patients – namely, keeping them asleep for months on end.

Richardson at first believes it an easy job and starts contemplation all the research papers that he will be able to get out of it. But soon, strange and eerie things start occurring – patients’ beds move, objects go missing and Richardson hears noises outside of his room. Richardson starts to believe that these incidents could be linked to the six women in the sleep room, but if he is indeed correct, even he couldn’t predict the appalling final sequence of events that occur.

The Sleep Room is a bit of a slow burner – it takes its time setting the scene, atmosphere and characters. We find out about each sleep room patient as the plot goes on, through various referral letters sent to Maitland.

A sense of strange goings on doesn’t happen straight away, and even then events build little by little. I didn’t mind this, as it drew you in, and I was excited to see how the story would play out.

However, I felt the ending was a bit rushed, which after a slow and atmospheric plot ruined the book a little for me.

Not a bad book, and still enjoyable to read on dark nights. However, a more thought out and less rushed ending would have made this book even better.

Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Darkphoenix1701

Edition info:

Author: F.R.Tallis
Pan MacMillian
372 Pages

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