Tony's Reviews > Sleepless
by Charlie Huston
by Charlie Huston
Huston, Charlie. SLEEPLESS. (2010). ***. The novel is set in a dystopian world that now exists in L.A. The time is the year 2010, and we meet Parker Hass. He was educated as a philosophy major, but ended up joining the LAPD because he believed that he could truly help out his fellow citizens. He had an attitude, though, that ultimately led to his not being able to work with his fellow cops in a world that has run so low on fuel that they had to ride doubly, triply and even quadruply in a squad car. Nobody wanted Park in their vehicle. It’s not that he was a bad guy, he was just always right. The world is very different in Huston’s L.A. Energy sources are drying up; human bombs are becoming commonplace; gang wars are rife and gangs are taking over whole neighborhoods. What is totally new, however, is the appearance and rapid spread of a new pandemic called SLP – a disease that provokes sleeplessness in its victims and ultimately death within a year or so. Because Park has to become a lone cop, he is assigned to work undercover to stop trade in a new drug called Dreamer, a drug that gives sleepless victims what they crave: sleep. When Park finally locates the source of the drug, a large pharmaceutical company, he finds that the owner of the company, aside from reaping obscene profits, has a hidden agenda that involves the use of the sleepless victims himself. Park’s investigation singles him out as a menace to the powers that be, and an assassin is soon set on his tail. Add to this the fact that Park’s wife has become a victim of the disease and that his young daughter may be in line for contracting it too. This is a noir science fiction novel that delivers just enough believablility to keep the reader reading, but teetering on the edge of disbelief.
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