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December 17, 2011 / John Sheridan

Review – Sleepless by Charlie Huston

(Amazon, Amazon UK, Book Depository UK)

Set in a world where a CJD type disease has infected the majority of the population leading to a plague of insomnia which last months until those infected enter the final few weeks known as “the suffering”. This has caused society to break down with rampant lawlessness and armed factions roaming the streets with the wealthy holded up in their compounds and car bombings in the streets. There is no cure but a drug named Dreamer offers some respite leading to it becoming the most sought after black market product and more valuable than oil or cocaine and being traded for in gold. Central character is an undercover police officer Parker Haas who has been recruited to search for illicit trade in Dreamer leaving his sleepless wife to look after their baby who they haven’t had tested for fear of what the results may be and neither the baby nor he are sleeping as well as they used to so what is to become of them if they too are to succumb? Edging deeper into his street character he uncovers links with the megarich Cager whose family control the patent & manufacture of Dreamer. Why would they be selling their own drug on the black market and how did they manage to develop the only effective drug so quickly in response to a newly discovered disease? Is there a conspiracy or it is just his own lack of sleep that is driving his paranoia. I’ve read a few Charlie Huston books now but this is my favourite one yet mainly due to the emotional impact that it carries in its closing pages.

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