The Sleeper

J. Robert Janes. Open Road/Mysterious-
Press.com, $14.99 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-5040-2218-7
Set in England in 1938, this standalone falls short of the high standard set by Janes’s St-Cyr and Kohler series (Clandestine, etc.). American David Ashby, a veteran of WWI who’s now a boarding school master, is haunted by his wartime experiences and fearful that another conflict, which England is ill prepared for, is looming. Meanwhile, Ashby harbors a big secret. After his German wife, Christina, and her father, Gen. Friedrich Otto von Hoffman, kept him from seeing his seven-year-old daughter, Karen, he kidnapped the girl and brought her to England. Ashby’s discovery of the nude corpse of Daisy Belamy, the barmaid he was seeing (and who knew nothing of Christina), shatters a short period of calm. An MI5 operative Ashby meets at the crime scene warns him that von Hoffman will activate a sleeper agent to track him down and return Karen to Germany. The search for the sleeper agent’s identity is unengaging, and Ashby lacks the depth Janes has invested in his other lead characters. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/26/2015
Release date: 12/01/2015
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