Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sleepless Nights

Hey, everyone. Sorry about my negligence posting since Monday. I was totally wrapped up in reading Charlie Huston's latest, Sleepless. No, I'm not kidding. Other than my tax stuff, work, and a brief sitdown watching Black Sheep (the New Zealand flick), I've been reading like a madwoman!

I started Sleepless Monday afternoon after I finished up work. I finished last night around 11:30 (after I said I was going to bed no later than 10!). It's a wicked smart read and an intense book that I have to guess may just be a bit inspired by Huston's own fears of the future. I know it certainly struck a chord with me.

Parker Haas has signed on as an undercover agent whose job is to track down illegal trafficking on Dreamer. 10% of the population has now been infected with SLP, a prion that attacks the brain and prevents sleep, eventually causing a miserable decline into death. Dreamer is the one drug out there that can provide the thing SLP sufferers crave the most. It's not a cure, but it can bring some measure of temporary relief. And it's in short supply. The effects of SLP are felt worldwide and have changed everything. America has become a warzone and criminals are quickly taking over. Amidst this, the sleepless find solitude in an online game called Chasm Tide. Trade in game artifacts has become one of the most profitable businesses, aside from trade in Dreamer, that is. When Parker stumbles upon the murder of a group of these Chasm Tide traders, he unwittingly becomes the target of a deadly plot that puts himself, and his family at risk.

Huston's latest is an intricate tale of crime, conspiracies, and global disaster. But it's also the story of a man standing up for what he believes in and doing his best to protect his family in a world that has taken a terrible turn. Parker Haas is an admirable creation and a character that readers will want to stand by from beginning to end.

All of Huston's world building and character development in Sleepless combine to make this a standout read of 2010. From Jasper to Parker and all of the sleepless (and non) in between, Sleepless leaves its mark. And, true to its title, it will definitely leave you sleepless!

For more on Charlie Huston, visit his website at www.pulpnoir.com and for an excerpt of the book, visit the Random House Sleepless page.

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