THE SLEEPING POLICEMEN by Dale Bailey & Jack Slay Jr. Urbana, IL; Golden Gryphon Press; 2006. 1st edition hardcover.
High in the Smokey Mountains, in an instant of gut-wrenching horror, five lives are about to change forever.
For Nick Laymon, that night begins like any other evening during his four years at Ransom College — with cold beer in the company of his closest friends, Finny Durant and Reed Tucker, followed by the sweet midnight promise of the girl he's always dreamed of, Sue Thompson. It will end nine hours later, when Nick and his friends run down a lone pedestrian on a stretch of deserted mountain highway.
In the folds of the dead man's coat, Nick finds two items: a sheaf of hundred dollar bills and a mysterious key. The cash ignites ambitions Nick has barely dared admit before this moment. The key will lead him to a bus station locker and the homemade video tape that waits inside it.
And the video tape, with its graphic depiction of the rape and murder of a missing teenage girl, will plunge them all into a nightmare.
In the hours that follow, Nick Laymon and his friends will find themselves under pressure from all quarters. From the private detective who claims to represent the father of the missing girl. From the state trooper who knows about the man they left for dead along that stretch of fog-shrouded pavement. And from a shadowy underworld figure known as the Pachyderm, who wants his money and his video back — and who is willing to go to any length to get them.
Most of all, however, these hours will bring Nick and his companions face to face with the limits of friendship. As his life unravels around him, Nick Laymon will be forced to reckon with his own dark potential. And in the explosive climax, he will face the most crucial choices of his life: What kind of man does he want to be? And what kind of price is he willing to pay?
Inexperienced young people battle both criminals and their own flawed instincts in this disturbing lesson about greed, excess, and cultural corruption.
Cover art by John Picacio.
Fine in fine dj.