The Sleep Police

  • by Jay Bonansinga
  • Narrated by Paul Heitsch
  • 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Detective Frank Janus falls asleep, people die. Either a killer is playing mind games with him - or he's a killer himself. Now, as the body count rises, so do Frank's deep-rooted nightmares - his inexplicable blackouts - and the fear that he's become the number one suspect.

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The Thumb Sucker killer

My only previous experience from Jay Bonansinga, as many others I’m sure, is THE WALKING DEAD novels. If you read them, or heard the audio version, the work speaks for itself, it’s very good. I got offered to review this for ABR by Paul, the man behind the great site, not even knowing it was available. I snagged it up, ready to get started.

The story focuses on Frank Janus, a veteran homicide detective with a troubled passed. He grew up with a crazy mother who warned her children that the Sleep Police came for young boys who stayed up too late. Having lost their father early, Frank and his brother became accustomed to seeing a string of “uncles” come through their mother’s bedroom. One night Frank walked in on his mother sitting at the ended of the bed, mumbling to herself, with a dead body laying in her room. Mrs. Janus was committed to a psychiatric facility. This drove Frank Janus to pursue a career in law enforcement and he devoted his life to it, becoming destined to carry the badge.

Ten years ago, a young Detective Janus come across a case that would haunt his life for the following decade, The Thumb Sucker killer. The case went cold, but not before it really messed with Janus’s mind; causing blackouts and forcing him to start seeing a psychiatrist. Now in his late thirties, he’s walking into an all too familiar scene with his partner, Sully Deitz, with a woman curled in the fetal position, a thumb in her mouth. The Thumb Sucker was back, and Frank thought he might be breaking. While working the case, Janus comes across a videotape that sends his world spinning. It was the killer, confessing everything to Sully Deitz, even his name. He called himself…The Sleep Police. After a long talk with therapist, Dr. Pope, Janus starts investigating himself in hopes he’s wrong. Things get worse for Frank; he finds another tape, gets arrested, escapes, blacks-out again, and has to call his ex-wife.

The narration was great in this book, as was the audio quality. I was unfamiliar with Paul Heitsch prior to this book but, he brought the story to life. He fit the story perfectly with good voices, easily identifiable, and read at a good speed (this may seem silly but if you’ve ever heard a slow narrator, you’ll understand it can be a bit tedious). I hope I come across some more of his work soon.

Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.

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- AudioBook Reviewer "All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com"

Didn't keep me awake....

What did you like best about The Sleep Police? What did you like least?

I kind of liked the plot, but it wasn't really taken anywhere. The writing was passable but not fantastic. I didn't think the final scene between Frank & Dr Pope would ever end. It went on far too long and on the other hand he plot development lacked and comprised fragmented bits which for me never really came together that well.


If you’ve listened to books by Jay Bonansinga before, how does this one compare?

I doubt if I will invest in any more of his writings, unless I really become desperate.


What does Paul Heitsch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Paul Heitch did an admirable job and possibly improved this book's readability overall.


Could you see The Sleep Police being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Theo James looks just perfect for the role of Frank, while Donald Sutherland would make an excellent Dr Pope.


Any additional comments?

If your looking for an average suspense novel that has some good and some ordinary moments then this is for you.

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- Janie "I am an artist, living in Cairns, Queensland, Australia right next to the Great Barrier Reef. I listen to audiobooks everyday while making art and on into the night. I really like mysteries with a good serving of suspense on the side that keep you wondering right to the end. However, I won't say no to any entertaining and well written book which has been read by an excellent narrator."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-25-2014
  • Publisher: Crossroad Press