Thank you so much to Ellen at Books Forward for the review copy of I Know Where You Sleep by Alan Orloff! The book published in February through Down & Out Press so pay attention if you enjoy private investigators and crime solving!
I don’t read a ton of private investigator novels but I love The Rockford Files. Any time I read a PI story I am picturing Jim, and when the author mentioned The Rockford Files not once, but TWICE in the press release interview, I said “OK sign me up!” I will elaborate on this at the end of the review as well but I have a guest post from Mr. Orloff coming on Thursday!
Here is the description from the rear cover:
“I know where you play,” rasps an ominous voice on the phone at Jessica Smith’s gym. “I know where you pray,” whispers the same voice at her church. The police are no help, so Jessica, tired of fleeing and unwilling to be cowed into hiding, turns to her last resort — P.I. Anderson West.
West dives into Jessica’s case, pro bono. With some overzealous help from his loose-cannon sister Carrie, he unearths a horde of suspicious men in Jessica’s life — vindictive ex-beaus, squirrelly co-workers, skittish boyfriend wannabes. But are any twisted enough to terrorize her?
After the stalker breaks into Jessica’s bedroom — “I know where you sleep” — and she goes missing, West must find her before the stalker does.
Anderson West seems to be a moderately successful P.I., running a firm with his otherwise unemployable sister as his office manager. When Jessica Smith starts getting progressively creepier and more frequent phone calls from a stalker, she turns to West for help. With perfect chapter length and easily flowing language, I managed to get sucked right into the story and finish the book in a day.
West is a likeable enough character. He is in decent shape for chasing and intimidating suspects when needed, but he seems to prefer a more intellectual approach. Carrie, his sister, drove me absolutely nuts as a vigilante type character who abuses Megan’s Law and breaks into people’s houses, getting West in trouble multiple times with various suspects. She was almost comically terrible and should probably have shown some gratitude that she’s still employed while risking her brother’s license on a daily basis. My favorite character might have been their mom, a selectively deaf momma-bear who keeps the family together.
The pacing of the book was perfect for me. There were plenty of suspects including a few red herrings, well spaced clues and investigation, some interrogations, and just enough action and truly suspicious activity that I always wanted to keep reading. One thing that drove the story was Jessica playing an unreliable victim – as readers we know that she’s hiding her past and won’t come clean about it, so we get to watch Carrie & West run down a bunch of false leads while the past catches up to the present.
The action heats up as this meshing of storylines occurs, and does get a little breakneck after the stalker breaks into Jessica’s house. I think that I would have liked to spend some time inside the stalker’s head but his viewpoint was not included. I did like how the reveal was done, even if the whole story got a little muddled at the end with a LOT of new information coming out. A good mystery crime reader might have guessed who the stalker was based off a clue or two but I definitely didn’t.
I would definitely recommend the book to any fans of P.I. novels, thrillers, crimes, and stalker type bad guys. I’m sure there are some girl-power type readers who will love Carrie too, but she just seemed perpetually ungrateful to her family and broke some pretty vulnerable laws. I will 100% recommend any book I am compelled to read in one day though, and I really do hope to see more of these characters in the future!
Last but not least I have a guest post coming up from the author!! It will post on Thursday so that everyone can be looking out for it! Alan Orloff talks about his time spent at citizen’s police academy, including a ride along and an incident with rifles! The guest post can now be viewed at https://onereadingnurse.com/2020/03/20/alone-under-the-lights-guest-post-by-author-alan-orloff/ ❤