Reviews of Dark Fiction

The Little Sleep by Paul Tremblay

Mark Genevich is a private investigator with narcolepsy. What a great premise, right? THE LITTLE SLEEP delivers on that premise!

Crime noir, (indicated by that title), with a twist! For once, it’s a P.I. who does NOT have a drinking problem. However, the problem he DOES have is narcolepsy and throughout this novel we learn all about it and its effects. Catalepsy which sounds terrifying, is just one of the symptoms:

“a medical condition characterized by a trance or seizure with a loss of sensation and consciousness accompanied by rigidity of the body.”

How does a man, dealing with falling asleep, falling into a waking comas, (which is what catalepsy sounds like to me), hypnagogic hallucinations, (more on that later), solve mysteries? You’ll have to read this to find out!

Not going to lie, at first Mark Genevich got on my nerves. Why does he call his mom “Ellen? Why is he smoking when he could fall asleep at any moment? As the story progressed though, he grew on me. How could he possibly solve a mystery when he fell asleep WHILE the person hiring him was in his office? How can he solve a mystery when he’s not even sure that person existed, (enter the hypnagogic hallucinations, which occur just before he falls asleep)? How can he solve anything when he can’t even drive? All of these questions are answered with a great deal of sarcasm and self-deprecation.

What was really surprising though, was Genevich’s effectiveness. Despite all of these problems holding him back, it turned out that he had a steely backbone. This man is not going to go down without a fight. (Unless, of course, he falls asleep.)

THE LITTLE SLEEP was quite an entertaining read! Genevich was a unique character with depth, and I’m sure some will come out of this read hating the guy’s guts. But I thought he was funny and interesting, and in the end? Much more compelling than the mystery itself. For this reason, I will definitely be moving on to the next book in the series: NO SLEEP TILL WONDERLAND. I’m already looking forward to meeting Mark again in the future.


Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!

The Little Sleep Book Cover The Little Sleep
Mark Genevich #1
Paul Tremblay
Crime Noir
William Morrow

The Bram Stoker Award–winning author of Survivor Song and The Cabin at the End of the World “slices, dices, and spins the neo-noir in his own strange way” in his “fast, smart, and completely satisfying”* debut novel featuring a narcoleptic detective from Southie.- *Stewart O’Nan

The Little Sleep is Paul Tremblay’s nod to Raymond Chandler starring a PI who nods off. Mark Genevich is a South Boston private detective who happens to have a severe form of narcolepsy, which includes hypnagogic hallucinations, like waking dreams. Unsurprisingly, his practice is not exactly booming.

Then one day the daughter of an ambitious district attorney and a contestant on the reality talent show American Star named Jennifer Times comes to him for help—or does she? A man has stolen her fingers, she claims, and she’d like Genevich to get them back. When the PI wakes up from what must surely be a hallucination, the only evidence that his client may have been real is a manila envelope on his desk. Inside are revealing photos of Jennifer. Is Genevich dealing with a blackmailer or an exhibitionist? And where is the mysterious young lady, who hopefully still has her fingers attached?

The detective has no choice but to plunge into what proves to be a bad dream of a case, with twists and turns even his subconscious could not anticipate. Chloroforming the hardboiled crime genre then shaking it awake and spinning it around, Paul Tremblay delivers a wholly original, wildly imaginative, gleefully entertaining noir mystery—guaranteed to keep you up all night, even if Mark Genevich won’t be joining you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.