Author: Bonnie Rozanski
Publisher: Bonnie Rozanski
Copyright: September 2011
# of Pages: 239 (nook edition)
“You know, these new generation sleep drugs are pretty marvelous things, but they do have side effects, Henry. Have you noticed any side effects yourself?”
“Nope,” I said. “With Somnolux, I sleep like a baby.”
“No cookie crumbs, missing food, open refrigerators?”
“Nope. Why would I find that?”
“You haven’t heard of people getting up in the night, eating high calorie foods with no memory of having done it?”
Well, I never did find that missing box of Wheat Chex, but it had to be in the back of the cabinet somewhere. “Nope,” I said.
“Any sleepwalking?” he asked.
“Not that I’m aware of, anyway.”
“Getting in your car and driving away while you’re asleep?”
“I don’t have a car.”
Well, that one rang a bell. Just the other morning I woke up and found a strange woman in my bed. Apparently, if I were to believe her, we had met at a bar and come back and had lots of rough and kinky sex. Too bad I couldn’t remember a thing about it. “No,” I said.
I have chronic insomnia, and for a while my doctor had prescribed Ambien CR after nothing else seemed to work. And it worked, all right. I slept like a baby. Only I wrote insane posts on my personal blog. And I’d wake up and find empty cookie boxes or potato chip bags in my bedroom. My husband and sister had conversations with me, not knowing that I was asleep. Needless to say, my doctor, upon hearing these experiences, took me back off Ambien and I returned to the world of insomnia.
Henry Jackman wakes up and goes through the usual routine–shower, dress, etc.–and then goes into his living room only to find his lover Sherry Pollock lying on the floor, out cold. His living room looks like a tornado swept through it. He calls the ambulance, and goes to the hospital with her. Turns out she’s in a coma (later a persistive vegetative state). He’s having trouble sleeping, and manages to keep getting prescriptions for the hot new sleeping drug that Sherry discovered, Somnolux. He tries to get off it at various points during the story, but his rebound insomnia is unbearable and he keeps returning to Somnolux just to get a decent night’s sleep.
Detective Donna Sirken is in charge of the case, and she finds Jackman’s story to be implausible at best. The story is told alternately by Jackman and Sirken, which means each chapter has a little bit of overlap. This could get tedious in less skilled hands, but Rozanski makes it work.
There’s a nice little twist, which I’ll confess I didn’t see coming, and it tied off the story beautifully. I liked it. Good book.
A little nitpick: when we’re introduced to Pollock’s parents, her father alternately refers to his wife as Donna and Lillian. I’m assuming that at some point Rozanski changed the character’s name, but it’s a little distracting. I found myself reading through the text a few times to see if perhaps there was a wife and an ex-wife there, but it appears that Rozanski missed changing it in those couple of paragraphs.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the e-book from the author. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.