Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Little Sleep -- Paul Tremblay

If Philip K. Dick and Ross Macdonald had collaborated on a mystery novel, they might have come up with something like The Little Sleep. Mark Genevich is a p. i. in south Boston. As a result of a serious car wreck, he's disfigured. And he's narcoleptic. You might think that would be enough of a handicap for a p. i., but one of the symptoms of narcolepsy is cataplexy, brought on by stress. So imagine yourself confronted by, say, a guy with a gun. You slide off your chair to the floor and lie there, conscious but unable to move. Not a good situation. But it gets worse. Another symptom is hypnagogic hallucinations, so you're never sure if things have actually happened or if you just imagined them. Makes it tough to solve a case.

But Genevich has a case, and it's a big one. It involves photographs that someone brings to his office, photographs that someone else wants to get his hands on. And there's a mysterious "it" that Genevich is supposed to find. He doesn't know what "it" is because of the hallucinations, but it has to do with Genevich's father, who's been dead since Genevich was five. Digging into the past can be dangerous for a guy with normal sleep patterns. For Genevich, it's double tough.

I've never used the phrase "new noir" before, but I think I will now. The Little Sleep is new noir with panache. Coming in March, I think. Check it out.

1 comment:

bish8 said...

GREAT REVIEW. I GOTTA CHECK THIS ONE OUT. PHILLIP K. DICK MEETS RAYMOND CHANDLER ~ IT DOESN'T GET MUCH BETTER.