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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Sleeper is a skillful action thriller penned by T.J. Hawkins that digs into the arena of terrorists versus spy agencies and the strategies that these opposing camps employ. There are plenty of bad guys in this novel, and the protagonist, Tom Rivers, is impressive as the plot unfolds. He had an idyllic domestic life until a business trip to London changed all of that. The two purported clients he met drugged him and he woke up to realize that the life he had been living was only a façade. In reality, he is a highly-trained secret agent with his memory placed in sleeper mode until his services are needed. The time has finally arrived as Britain’s national security is under grave threat from a terrorist cell that has developed a weapon capable of leveling the capital. The harmonious life that Tom once knew is disrupted as he is thrown into a war that never ends.
The storyline might appear familiar, as I am willing to bet you have seen films where the action hero begins as a next-door neighbor who has no idea of who he is until a crucial mission requires his services. The difference with Sleeper is that T.J. Hawkins managed to intensify the level of his plot as the story progresses. By making his protagonist rise to fulfill a risky but important purpose, Hawkins provides solid elements of suspense that evoke genuine character transformation. It has a story arc that takes the action thriller genre seriously and is not merely the display of a hero and his driving force. This is the type of spy craft that everyone will find thrilling and entertaining.