Sleep No More by Greg Iles

Stephen King said “should come with a red wrapper marked DANGER: HIGH EXPLOSIVES” about Greg Iles book Sleep No More. People magazine said: “Irresistible Pass-the-popcorn fun.” And somewhere in the middle is the truth.

There are three different types of books – fun books without a lot of literary merit and intelligent books that are, often, dry as toast and books that fall in the middle- well written prose with characters that jump off the page. Iles isn’t a bad writer and Sleep No More isn’t a bad book- but it’s not literature. I read the book in a day and a half, but I had to suspend all disbelief to do it because the premise of this book is ridiculously silly.

John Waters lives in the south with his wife and young daughter. The blurb on the back of the book would have you believe that he’s got all his ducks in a row- happy marriage, successful business, but that isn’t true. His business (oil dilling) and his marriage (his wife has been depressed for four years after the loss of their second child) are both floundering making John the perfect candidate for an infidelity. So, he cheats. Only he cheats with someone from his past and things get slightly more complicated than he might have expected.

It’s impossible to say much more about the plot without giving away the book’s central conceit- the one you’ll have to suspend disbelief for. The book is filled with illicit couplings- though none of them are very titillating, so you won’t be getting your thrills that way. The characters aren’t particularly sympathetic and the whole thing tidies up just the teensiest bit unbelievably. Still, if you want to haul a book to the beach this summer, this will be reliably entertaining so long as you don’t expect too much.

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