A sleep researcher’s life unravels as she attempts to uncover a mystery, in this debut thriller from Stephanie Carty.
Christie works at London’s Somni Company to help others with sleep disorders. However, after taking part in a company research trial, she herself has been experiencing some behavioural and emotional problems—symptoms she strives to keep hidden in order to continue her important work.
A firefighter with disturbing guilt-induced dreams; a mother whose sleepwalking puts her and her child at risk; a young insomniac indulging in reckless activities—all people in need of Christie’s help. But when she suspects she’s being followed and her life begins to unravel, Christie vows to learn more about the Company’s secretive projects.
With her life becoming a waking nightmare, will Christie be able to decipher fact from fiction and save her own sanity?
Shattered starts right out of the gate in a fever dream like state immersing the reader into exactly what the main character, Christie is going through. As the story progresses everything becomes more clear to both the reader and the main character.Goodreads review
Buckle up for this highly enjoyable psychological thriller and enjoy the ride.
Read a brief snippet from the opening of ‘Shattered’ below:
The darkened one-way glass of Somni Company headquarters gives away no clue as to what goes on inside. Metallic panes reflect contorted versions of my face. Each storey is set back a little further from the one below, like the layers of sleep that are investigated inside. Sleep architecture is the focus of our research: all the components of sleep that form the solid building of a person. Unlike me for the last few months: a shattered-mirror version of myself.
I pause to clip my identity badge on my wrinkled blouse. The walk to work, curving along the Thames to Southbank, has cleared my brain fog but this relief is temporary. I push the rotating door. Add a smile to my face. Leave my northern vowels behind me. Now I’m only what my badge declares: Christie Langdale, Research Psychotherapist.
Receptionist Anja click-clacks at a keyboard with manicured nails. The water cooler next to her bubbles with pale pink liquid fortified with vitamins nobody asked for. Each wall holds a screen that flashes adverts for sleep-enhancing services. Hard chairs designed to prevent microsleeps line up below. Anja, with her fantasy curves, has a face that can no longer frown. All plastic.
‘Morning, Anja, are the night crew out yet?’
Anja lifts one finger and swishes it across to indicate no.
As I pass the front desk, she turns away from me and taps four digits: an internal call. This happens each morning since I returned to work from sick leave, as if she’s been told to inform somebody from the department that I’ve arrived.
Join Stephanie for the online luanch of her novel on Friday 3rd February, 2023. Book your ticket via eventbrite.co.uk
Purchase the paperback of ‘Shattered’ via Amazon from 3rd February. For a limited time the kindle edition can be pre-ordered for only 99p.
Stephanie Carty is a writer and Consultant Clinical Psychologist / NHS Head of Psychology in the UK. Her short fiction is widely published. She has been placed and shortlisted for many competitions including the Bristol Short Story Prize, Bath Short Story Award, Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and Bridport Prize. Her novella-in-flash Three Sisters of Stone won Best Novella in the Saboteur Awards 2019. Shattered is her debut novel.