Title: The Innocent Sleep
Author: Karen Perry
Narrators: Aaron Abano, Michelle Ferguson
Audiobook Length: 9 hours, 53 minutes
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 18 February 2014
Bottom Line: Suffers from overuse of plot twists and unreliable narrators
“Tangiers. Harry is preparing his wife’s birthday dinner while she is still at work and their son, Dillon, is upstairs asleep in bed. Harry suddenly remembers that he’s left Robin’s gift at the café in town. It’s only a five minute walk away and Dillon’s so tricky to put down for the night, so Harry decides to run out on his own and fetch the present.
Disaster strikes. An earthquake hits, buildings crumble, people scream and run. Harry fights his way through the crowd to his house, only to find it razed to the ground. Dillon is presumed dead, though his body is never found.
Five years later, Harry and Robin have settled into a new kind of life after relocating to their native Dublin. Their grief will always be with them, but lately it feels as if they’re ready for a new beginning. Harry’s career as an artist is taking off and Robin has just realized that she’s pregnant.
But when Harry gets a glimpse of Dillon on the crowded streets of Dublin, the past comes rushing back at both of them. Has Dillon been alive all these years? Or was what Harry saw just a figment of his guilt-ridden imagination? With razor-sharp writing, Karen Perry’s The Innocent Sleep delivers a fast-paced, ingeniously plotted thriller brimming with deception, doubt, and betrayal.”
Thoughts: As narrators, Aaron Abano and Michelle Ferguson provide pleasant auditory experiences. Their Irish lilts are soothing and still understandable, yet both cross over into passable American accents with ease. They provide emotional performances without letting those emotions overshadow the story. If anything, their reactions to the story improve the tiresome plot device of unreliable narrators by bringing them to life in a way that would be difficult via print.
As for the story, it follows the same process as all of the other recent psychological thrillers. Each switch in narrator provides more clues and increases the suspense. There is a major plot shift in which the story veers into another direction. Robin and Harry are severely flawed and harboring major secrets that ultimately impact the final confrontation. It is not a bad process; it is just now an overdone process that holds none of the same thrills or surprises as it once did. Readers now expect the twists and the big character reveals, to the point where readers meet their unveiling with none of the shock and awe that occurred when this type of narrative first became a hot trend. In that vein, The Innocent Sleep is no better or worse than its counterparts. Interesting, especially with setting of Tangier, and yet reliably twisty, it leaves readers with a sense of familiarity that inures them to any other emotional reaction.