cover image The Little Sleep

The Little Sleep

Paul Tremblay. Morrow, $16.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-299577-3

South Boston PI Mark Genevich, the wisecracking, narcoleptic narrator of this enticingly offbeat if lumbering series opener from Tremblay (Survivor Song), is prone to hallucinations. After falling asleep while meeting Jennifer Times, a new client and contestant on a popular TV show, the inept Mark awakens convinced Jennifer has hired him to find the fingers somebody stole from her hand the day before. Scandalous photographs of her, left in an envelope on his desk, lead him to believe she’s the subject of blackmail. However, interviews with Jennifer and her father, a hotshot DA, indicate she’s neither his client nor the victim of a crime. Somebody, though, is determined to get their hands on those photographs and stop Mark from uncovering the startling mystery behind them. Tremblay deviously blurs the boundaries between the real and the imagined, as his unreliable narrator tries to fend off hired goons, avoid inopportune and sometimes dangerous naps, and muddle through his false recollections. The quirky Mark helps redeem the befuddled, sluggish plot. Tremblay puts a fresh spin on the detective genre. Agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management. (Jan.)