“The Sleeper” eBook was published in 2015 (December) and was written by J. Robert Janes (http://www.jrobertjanes.com). Mr. Janes has published seven novels.
I was offered a copy of the novel for review by the publisher. I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there are instances of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. This Mystery Thriller novel is set in England in the period just before World War II begins.
There are several characters in this novel, but the primary are David Ashby and Hilary Bowker-Brown. Abby is a veteran of World War I and now teaches at a boys boarding school. He has a failed marriage to Christina von Hoffman, the daughter of a Nazi general.
Christina had prevented Ashby from seeing their young daughter, Karen, who was being taught the Nazi ways by her grandfather Hoffman. Ashby makes a daring trip to Germany and kidnaps his daughter, bringing her back to England. Knowing that his estranged wife as well as Nazis agents will be searching for Karen, he hides her with friends in a small village along the Cornwall coast.
Bowker-Brown has bought property along the Cornwall coast which includes an old tin mine. She is trying to write a novel set in a mining area. She is fluent in German and French, so in an effort to make his daughter fit better into England, Ashby engages Bowker-Brown to teach Karen English.
The Germans, driven not only by the Hoffman’s but by Nazi pride, are committed to finding Karen and returning her to Germany. German intelligence, including a here to fore unknown ‘Sleeper’ agent are put on Karen’s trail.
A young woman who Ashby has been involved with is kidnaped, tortured and brutally murdered – Is it German agents or someone else? British MI5 and MI6 are both aware of what is going on and want Karen as bait to trap German agents. But they are competing with one another rather than cooperating. Christina is willing to do anything to get her daughter back. Many different characters come into play as the story unfolds.
This is a story with a few twists and turns. A combination of mystery and spy thriller. I did enjoy the 8+ hours I spent with the book, but it felt very muddled. The beginning, in particular, seemed very slow and confusing. I almost called a Rule of 50 on this book, but I am glad that I stayed with it. The book was a little confusing at times as points of view changed in the middle of a paragraph and it was not always clear from whose perspective the story was being told. That said, I give this novel a 3.9 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.
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