This novel had been sat on my to be read pile for some time so I’m glad I finally read it. It’s definitely one to recommend; an edge-of-your seat thriller set in wartime London with plenty of plot twists to keep you guessing.
Sleeper by J D Fennell
Sixteen-year-old Will Starling is pulled from the sea with no memory of his past. In his blazer is a strange notebook with a bullet lodged inside it: a bullet meant for him. As London prepares for the Blitz, Will soon finds himself pursued by vicious agents and a ruthless killer known as the Pastor. All of them want Will’s notebook and will do anything to get it.
Sleeper is a fantastic gripping read set in World War 2 and featuring a brave hero, Will, who has lost his memory. The reader is shown the precursor to this memory loss and then follows Will on his journey desperately trying to rediscover who he really is. Fraught with danger and deception and villains at every corner, Sleeper is a roller-coaster ride through the streets of wartime London. At every turn Will loses those who want to help him to ruthless killers – in particular the evil Pastor; a quite horrible character! Will follows the only clue he has and ends up at a school for young Mi5 agents in training.
But even then he is not safe and only as he escapes yet another attack does Will find a true ally in the shape of Anna. With her help he begins to understand who he really is and the mission he must complete in order to save, not just himself and Anna, but the whole of London from the Nazis. I enjoyed the wide cast of characters and never knowing quite who was on Will’s side. Weaving history with magical realism and a spy thriller narrative, the story has plenty of fantastic action sequences. Sleeper has deservedly been nominated for the Amazing Book Awards and I wish the author every success with this fantastic debut novel.
Sleeper is published by the Dome Press. With thanks to The Dome Press for sending me this book to review.