Rozanski’s (Six Clicks Away, 2010, etc.) psychological thriller probes the dark side of insomnia drugs, including sleepwalking, nocturnal binge eating and blackouts.
Henry Jackman is a pharmacist whose life takes on a new twist when he begins dating an attractive, brilliant medical researcher who willingly provides him with Somnolux, a new insomnia drug, to help him sleep. The medication leaves him rested and alert each day, but he begins to realize he may be sleepwalking or experiencing blackouts along with other odd behaviors he continues to disregard. He awakens one morning to find his girlfriend bludgeoned and near death in his apartment, with no signs of forced entry. She survives in a vegetative state as Jackman’s life begins to follow a bizarre pattern. People keep appearing in his life who recognize him, but he knows nothing about them. He finds sexy underwear in his dresser drawers and, eventually, a woman in his bed he doesn’t recognize. He is pursued by Donna Sirken, a New York City homicide detective patterned after the classic trope of a hard-nosed, single-minded cop with a less than disciplined personal life. As Jackman continues to deny his symptoms and behaviors, she uncovers disturbing facts about him: women he is sleeping with, a jealous husband and a potential witness who ends up dead. When Jackman gives his sleeping girlfriend Somnolux and she awakens, a series of fast-moving events accelerate the action to a startling climax. Chapter narratives alternate between Jackman and Sirken, each replaying key events through the eyes of the other character and creating suspense. The length is a bit protracted, a strategy not necessary for this skilled author as the plot is intricate and the intensity sufficient to justify a “less is more” approach.
An absorbing thriller based on a real-life issue, with depth, suspense and intriguing psychological twists and turns.