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The Innocent Sleep: A Novel Hardcover – February 18, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition edition (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805098720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805098723
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #923,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Five years ago in Tangiers, Harry and Robin’s son was killed when an earthquake demolished the building in which he lay sleeping. Harry gave three-year-old Dillon sleeping medication so that the couple could have a romantic celebration of Robin’s birthday, and the earthquake occurred while he was running down the street to retrieve her gift. Now, they’ve moved to Dublin, hoping a fresh start will salvage their relationship and relieve Harry’s immense burden of guilt. Instead, the wounds are freshly opened when Harry becomes convinced he’s spotted Dillon in Dublin, and he begins chasing leads to find him and determine the identity of the woman leading him by the hand. Is it possible that Dillon was kidnapped instead of killed, or is Harry suffering from grief-induced delusions? Karen Perry, pseudonym of Paul Perry and Karen Gillece, pulls the story deliciously taut by alternating perspectives that contrast Harry’s increasing obsession with Robin’s deteriorating trust. And the haunting, sometimes vague flashbacks to Tangiers create a sense of alluring, exotic danger. Readers drawn to the intense emotion and zero-sum conflict of Andre Dubus III’s House of Sand and Fog (1999) will love this one, as will those captivated by the missing-person intrigues in Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know (2007) and Lisa Scottoline’s Look Again (2009). --Christine Tran

Review

The narrative is full of surprises…a furious page-turner…from explosive start right through to outrageous end. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

"How good's the big twist? You won't see it coming." (Entertainment Weekly)

"Many psychological thrillers have been undeservedly compared to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, but this one really does have strong similarities…But Perry and Gillece's voice is their own, blended nicely, offering insights into a marriage affected by grief." (Shelf Awareness)

That powerful thing, a beautifully written mystery driven by its exploration of the characters' innermost hearts-- of the inexorable ripples that loss sends out, and the terrible damage people can do to those they love most. Both as a crime novel and as an emotional journey, it's gripping stuff. (Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of Broken Harbor and Faithful Place)

A truly remarkable novel. The Innocent Sleep is a pitch-perfect balance of driving plot and honest, complex human emotion. Written in a captivating, lyrical style and brilliantly structured, the story grips your heart from the first pages and simply never lets go. (Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of The Stone Monkey)

The Innocent Sleep kicks off with a gut punch of every parents' worst fear and never lets up. Part thriller, part introspective emotional novel, the book dives into what it feels like to survive the unthinkable, and then-- what if-- you could get it all back…Highly original and highly entertaining. (Ace Atkins, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked City and Devil's Garden)

"Gripping from its dramatic opening chapter, this tense, unpredictable novel blends a thriller with an intimate family story to produce a most compulsive read." (John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)

"Terrific…an unpredictable and unsettling familial drama that has drawn comparisons to the novels of Gillian Flynn and fellow Dubliner Tana French." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Deliciously taut…the haunting, sometimes vague flashbacks to Tangiers create a sense of alluring, exotic danger. Readers drawn to the intense emotion and zero-sum conflict of Andre Dubus III's House of Sand and Fog (1999) will love this one, as will those captivated by the missing-person intrigues in Laura Lippman's What the Dead Know (2007) and Lisa Scottoline's Look Again (2009)." (Booklist, Starred Review)

[The Innocent Sleep], with a premise that taps into the fears of every parent, is an entertaining thriller that fans of Tana French and Gillian Flynn will enjoy. (Library Journal)

"Smart…Deceit, infidelity, and surprising twists make this a satisfying debut." (Publishers Weekly)

Impossible to put down. This pulse pounding thriller is bristling with suspense--a fantastic debut. (John Hart, author of Iron House and The Last Child)

"Accomplished…A dark mystery about unimaginable loss and irrevocable choices…Perry delivers an intriguingly emotional and unconventional debut." (Kirkus Reviews)

Customer Reviews

After finishing it, I was wishing she had not because I was very unsatisfied with the ending.
Linda Stewart
There are unexpected twists and surprises throughout the book that kept me turning pages and never wanting to put it down.
Wilhelmina Zeitgeist
I won't say more about it than that so I don't ruin the enjoyment for those of you haven't read it yet and want to do so.
Michael Hickerson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mzglorybe VINE VOICE on January 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Innocent Sleep is not a feel-good story. If you're looking for a light, fast read to keep you entertained, look elsewhere. This is a serious and rather dark novel. It captivates the reader from the onset in its originality and exotic setting. Harry and Robin, Irish citizens, are both artists working in Morocco, parents of a 3-year old son, Dillon, and living in a flat above a book store. The novel opens in Tangiers, where an earthquake demolishes their home with their sleeping child inside. Robin was working late, and Harry thought he could step away for a few minutes to retrieve a gift for his wife's birthday from a friend's home close by. When he works his way back to his home, the entire building has been swallowed up by the earth, and his son presumed dead. Harry's guilt overwhelms him. Secretly, he holds out hope, when no one else does, that his son is still alive somewhere as Dillon's body was never recovered. Harry and Robin's lives, before and after the disaster, are explored in past and present from both of their points of view, a format I happen to like. In the aftermath of the disaster, they leave Morocco and settle back in Ireland, painfully adapting to life without Dillon. Then 5 years later, Harry swears he sees Dillon on the streets of Dublin, as he would look 5 years later... and here is where the tempo picks up and it gets really good. This is a powerful novel, not a thriller or suspenseful mystery, but an emotional journey one won't easily forget.

This about choices made and the consequences of making them. It is also a novel of profound love, marital and parental, and of infatuation, as well. It focuses on guilt and the psychological repercussions of choices made... what one must live with, or maybe even die with as a result.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Trudie Barreras VINE VOICE on January 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the first time since joining the Vine program that I have rated a book with this few stars. In general, I select the books I choose to read carefully, because at this point in my life, reading is primarily for spiritual growth and enrichment, information and understanding, not entertainment. I do not necessarily expect "happy endings", but I prefer what I consider valid resolution. Frankly, I didn't find this in Perry's novel.

This book is categorized as "mystery, thriller and suspense". If you are looking for a tale of desperation and real danger, you will have to wait for the last couple of chapters. After the event of the earthquake with which the story begins, all the rest of the conflict is purely psychological and internal within the two main characters, Harry and Robin. Their child Dillon has vanished in the quake during which the house they were occupying is totally demolished; Harry, guilty of having drugged the three-year-old to get him to sleep, has then nipped out on a ten-minute excursion to retrieve Robin's birthday present that he inadvertently left at their landlord's place - during which time the catastrophe happens. Since Dillon's body has not been found in the wreckage, Harry, hoping for redemption for his negligence, is obsessed with the idea that the boy has been "rescued and kidnapped". Everyone, including Robin, insists that his obsession is the result of guilt, and negates the valid evidence that Harry finds to support his belief.

This is a collaborative writing between a male and female author, and the voices alternate between Harry and Robin as each views the other from the perspective of personal guilt and grief.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Schwenk VINE VOICE on January 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Innocent Sleep captivated me with its premise and structure, but it ultimately disappointed me. To describe what disappointed me would be to give away too much information about the resolution of the story, so I will confine my comments accordingly.

I liked the use of dual first-person narrators. The husband and wife trade off chapters, giving us their inner perspective. If one purpose of fiction is to expand our ability to empathize, then the book succeeds. We get an inside look at a marriage that has withstood infidelities and has been tested to the breaking point by the loss of a child. We glimpse the genuine warmth, the tiny but damaging lies, and the huge disconnect between the partners. Having both a male and a female author (Karen Perry is a joint pseudonym) may have contributed to the psychological realism of the main characters.

While the main action of the story occurs over the course of a few weeks, each narrator uses flashbacks to several different times over the preceding decade, providing all the backstory as well as the “clues” to the book’s central mystery. The emerging story provides depth to our understanding of the couple, but it moves too slowly to be successful as a “thriller”.

Curiously, there is little of Dublin or Tangier about the book. Re-setting the book, say, to New York and Mexico would require changing only a handful of sentences.

To borrow Tana French’s description, the book is both a “crime novel” and an “emotional journey”. As a crime novel, it moves too slowly to be satisfying. As an emotional journey, the book succeeds, to a point, but it left me yearning for a different kind of resolution. And that, I fear, is all I can say without revealing too much.
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The Innocent Sleep: A Novel
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