In the midst of a crippling hangover, Sean Coleman witnesses something horrific: an inexplicable suicide. Unfortunately, Sean is anything but the town hero, so his report of the incident is not welcomed, though his brother-in-law, the police chief, does conduct a cursory investigation.
Despite his previous less-than-ideal run-ins with the law, however, Sean knows what he saw, and he’s determined to find out what happened. With some help from Toby–a kid who’s taken a shine to him–he heads out to do just that. But once he leaves town, a dangerous man shows up looking for him.
While mystery is intriguing, the characters make From a Dead Sleep a truly engaging read. From the flawed main character to the big-fish-in-a-small-pond police chief, the people brought to life in the small town of Winston, Colorado, by John Daly will keep you moving from page to page.
Check out a quick excerpt from the third chapter:
From behind his desk, Lumbergh could hear Coltraine wildly scream out, “Jefferson! Jefferson! He stole ma’ truck! He kidnapped me!”
Lumbergh’s eyes widened and his fists clenched. He was nearly tempted to immediately dash out into the hallway and launch a verbal assault on Sean—the man who seemed hell-bent on extending as much complication into life as possible. He fought the urge, deciding to give Jefferson a chance to prove himself. Lumbergh rested his elbows on the top of his desk and buried his face in his right hand while using his left to reach into his pocket for a stick of gum.
“Here we go,” he whispered under his breath.
“Is Lumbergh in his office?” Sean asked loudly, more in the form of a statement than a question.
With his chest bloated, Sean didn’t intend on stopping at the lobby. He kept walking, making a beeline for Lumbergh’s door.
“Not so fast!” Jefferson ordered in a much-practiced tone that was impressive in its authoritativeness. He held his arm up like a tollgate, blocking Sean’s path.
Sean stopped and glared at him in subtle surprise before lowering his eyebrows. “Jefferson, get out of my way!”
With Sean momentarily distracted, Coltraine made a move to quickly try and shuffle around his large body in hopes of getting to Lumbergh’s office first. Without taking his eyes off Jefferson, however, Sean grabbed the back of Coltraine’s flannel shirt collar and held him in place. Coltraine let out a gagging noise as his top button pressed right up against his Adam’s apple.
“There’s a policy in this office, Sean,” stated Jefferson. “Complaints come to me. They don’t go straight to the chief. He’s a busy man.”
So far, Lumbergh liked what he was hearing. He continued to listen from his chair, leaning forward with his fingers forming a temple across the top of his desk. His mouth grounded a wad of Trident. He expected his men to deal with adversity, and there wasn’t a better test of adversity than Sean Coleman.
“Busy doing what?” Sean ranted. “Signing autographs? This is important, dammit! If I needed someone to get me out of a parking ticket, then I’d come to you! This is big time, Jeffrey!”
Jefferson held his ground, taking exception to being referred to as “Jeffrey.” He hated the nickname that Sean had given him, and Sean knew it.
“Big time? Oh really?” sneered Jefferson. “Just like when Emma at the laundromat was a big time drug dealer, or when you thought that kid down at the gas station was a big time international terrorist!”
Lumbergh held his fist in the air, and then retracted his elbow with an excited whisper. “Yes!” Jefferson was earning his pay that day.
Sean’s right lower eyelid began to twitch as he glared right through Jefferson. His face turned red with anger, and his teeth sunk into his lower lip.
“Ya thought that young fella at the gas station was a dang terrorist?” Milo asked with enlightened eyes and some pep to his voice. His cheeks turned red and a half-second later he howled out in piercing laughter. “I hadn’t heard that one! A terrorist of all things! Can ya imagine?”
Sean paid no attention to Milo. His pupils shrank and all he saw was fire. Jefferson had grown nearly eight inches taller since his high school days, but in Sean’s eyes he was still the same mope, the same timid and awkward kid who Sean used to terrorize in gym class. Who was he to be telling Sean off?
The longer Sean’s intense glare lasted, the tighter Jefferson’s stomach cramped; Sean could see it on the officer’s face. Jefferson paled, and Sean knew he was thinking of those distant memories of being on the receiving end of wedgies and pink-bellies—at Sean’s hands. If the two men were anywhere else but the police station, Sean figured Jefferson might have immediately run in the opposite direction, also much like the old days; it was an effective tactic he’d used to escape Sean Coleman’s bullying back in high school.
Sean saw the resolve slip over Jefferson’s face. Sean was on his turf now. Jefferson had the backup and the authority, and Sean knew that Jefferson’s boss was likely listening. The officer needed to hang tough. It wasn’t every day that someone had the opportunity to put Sean Coleman in his place.
Sean wondered if he’d try it.
From a Dead Sleep is available in hardcover and paperback through the BQB online store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers. The eBook is available through Kindle, Nook, and other major retailers.