Fiction - Crime
302 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In Dormir by Michael Golvach, a life of combat and brutality has left Private Investigator Payden Beck tired and embittered. He longs for a peaceful future away from law enforcement, so when Police Officer Bill Dooley asks for his help to locate his missing niece, Paydon turns him away. Shortly afterward, the thirteen-year-old niece, Chloe, appears at his door saying she will be dead if he turns her away. Payden discovers that Chloe is witness to the most horrific crime involving the Spanish Mafia, corrupt police officers, and members of her own family. He must bring them to justice before they find Chloe. Payden must use his years of expertise to track his enemies down but will it be enough? When a child's life is at risk, morality and legality sometimes have to be ignored. Meanwhile, the child's grandmother, who is a ghost from Paydon's past, appears which further complicates matters. How much is Payden willing to sacrifice to protect an innocent girl?

Dormir by Michael Golvach is a superb crime thriller that will have you hooked from the first scene. The action and suspense are continuous with amazing plot twists and turns. I found the areas of conflict throughout absolutely masterful; anything could happen and no character was safe. There are many strong sub-plots too that examine family dynamics and human behavior in general. Valerie was a fascinating character who battled between loyalty to her family and her own integrity. Chloe was my favorite character, she was strong, fearless, and very intelligent, willing to face her greatest fears to protect those she cared about. The psychological cat and mouse battles between Payden and his enemies were nail-biting. The dialogue, especially from Payden, was sharp and realistic. I adored the relationship between Payden and Chloe - it developed beautifully and the scene in the hospital was very emotional and hard to read. You will need plenty of tissues for the ending.

Lex Allen

Payden Beck has been a police officer, a police detective, and a private investigator. Now, after a lifetime of combating crime, he’s ready to stop fighting. When a young girl named Chloe—kin to his greatest adversary—tries to hire him, he gives her the sad news. But, when Chloe makes her plight clear, Payden knows he must take her case, even if it means confronting a police force on the take, the Spanish Mafia, and, perhaps worst of all, Chloe’s family. With life and death at stake, defeat is not an option.

I was excited to see Golvach’s contemporary crime novel, Dormir, on Reader’s Favorite review list; doubly so when I saw Payden Beck (he of “10-30” fame; the novel that introduced Payden to a worldwide audience) was the lead character. I’ve read several novels and stories by this multi-award-winning author and none have disappointed—au contraire. Golvach digs deeply into his character's psyche to bring out those traits of good and bad that everyone carries within. Payden isn’t an angel, far from it, but like most people he overcomes his inner devils with an innate sense of right and wrong, a strong belief that victory over evil requires fighting fire with fire, and no holds barred where self-sacrifice is a given.

Dormir is a fast-paced crime thriller and at the same time an innocently pure love story between an old man and a thirteen-year-old girl much wiser than her age. Few novels can create a strong emotional response that brings tears to my eyes. Michael Golvach has written a story that did and this isn’t the first time he’s done it. I first “met” Michael through his short story horror collection, Bloody Gullets, a fascinating psychological and bloody horror feast. He surprised me with his crime thrillers and impressed me with his versatility in crossing genres while always working in an emotionally charged undercurrent. I can’t wait for his next surprise.

Romuald Dzemo

Dormir: A Payden Beck Crime Thriller by Michael Golvach is a compelling crime thriller featuring an experienced, intelligent investigator and a young female protagonist, a victim of crime. Payden Beck is looking forward to a peaceful retirement after a long career as a police officer, detective and private investigator. When he is approached by a thirteen-year-old girl, he is dismissive and doesn’t see how much he can get involved. His initial reaction is to send her running back home. But then the words she speaks startle him: “My name is Chloe. I’m thirteen years old and, if you don’t help me, I’ll be dead within the week.” Chloe is not just anyone looking for help; in fact, she is related to one of Payden’s greatest enemies. What starts as a desperate request from a seemingly innocent girl takes Payden on a dangerous ride which will involve run-ins with the police, the Spanish mafia, and Chloe’s family. Can he protect her?

When I started reading Dormir, I immediately formed a strong impression of the author. In addition to the crisp prose and the gift for writing dialogues, the author introduces the premise immediately and in a way that is engaging. First, the encounter between Payden and William, and then Chloe’s empty room pricked my curiosity. Everything just gets better from this point on, with surprising plot points, intensive drama, and nonstop action. The characters are real and the developmental arc is ingeniously accomplished. Chloe might be a young girl, but she is smart, and Michael Golvach does an incredible job in portraying this part of the character in the way she talks and acts. I found myself rooting strongly for her. What I loved most about this novel is that the reader has no clue of what will happen next. The prose is impeccably good, the points of view well-written, the scenes vividly described, and the dialogues as engaging and as entertaining as any can be.

Grant Leishman

Dormir by Michael Golvach is a private-investigator novel in the style of “crime noir”. Payden Beck is an aging private investigator who has been slowly drinking himself to death for most of his life. A former policeman, Beck has never been the same since he lost the love of his life many years ago and today survives as a PI in a sleazy world of merciless gangsters and crooked cops. When thirteen-year-old Chloe, having heard her grandmother constantly criticizing Beck day in and day out, approaches him with a fantastic story about her uncles and father being involved in kidnapping, raping, and trafficking young girls like her, Beck decides that despite his chequered past, he is going to do everything he can to save this young girl’s life and give her the future she truly deserves, even if he must die in the process. With so much at stake, Payden Beck will find himself and his young charge in a fight for their lives, always trying desperately to stay one step ahead of those who seek to destroy them; the crooked cops, the Spanish Mafia, and most of all, Chloe’s kith and kin.

Dormir was in many ways a dark story to tell of ruthless men who seek money and power by trafficking young children for exploitation and sex. Author Michael Golvach has tapped into the “crime noir” genre perfectly with his terribly flawed “hero” in PI Payden Beck. There is much to dislike in this character but the author infused him with a caring heart, especially when it came to innocent children and young Chloe, which gave him the humanity he so desperately needed to be a realistic protagonist. The relationship the pair developed was absolutely the highlight of the story and the potential for misunderstanding issues, especially sexual ones, in the relationship was well handled by this author. The writing was fitting for the setting – its short, sharp, staccato sentences and dialogue made it reminiscent, for me anyway, of the writing style of Ed McBain. The action was fairly fast and furious without it being as graphic as it could possibly have been, which was definitely a blessing. This was an interesting read and one I can recommend.

Christopher Anderson

Michael Golvach in Dormir introduces us to Payden Beck, a private investigator, when a young girl, Chloe Dooley, wants to hire him to protect her from family members whom she has seen abusing young girls. Chloe wants to hire Payden Beck because of his past encounters with her Grandma Valarie, who has spoken about him, the way he works, and his willingness to go beyond the law to get things done. Follow this exciting story as Payden and Chloe try to stay alive, not only from Chloe's family but also from bent coppers. Because of the situation Payden and Chloe find themselves in, they don’t know who to turn to or who could be trusted to look after Chloe. Payden decides that he is the only one able to keep Chloe alive and to stop the abuse. Read this fascinating book and discover how things turn out.

Michael Golvach writes in a way that is very explicit and shocking as he reveals what one human being is capable of doing to another person who is unable to protect themselves. Dormir takes you into the depraved world of pedophiles and human traffickers preying on the lives of the innocent and vulnerable. As you read this book, it brings out emotions that are gut-wrenching and quite unthinkable to normal people that leave you, the reader, with a sense of hatred and loathing for the people who commit the acts that take place. This book is not for the squeamish but is written in a way that allows you to see the darker side of life. The descriptions of the feelings of a teenage girl with a need to be loved and willing to find that love by any means possible -- including betraying herself as a sex object -- reveals how mixed up a young teenager can be, and the author has the ability to reveal those emotions.