Title: Sleeping on the Job
Author: Missouri Dalton
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages/Word Count: 118 pages
Rating: 3 Stars
Blurb: At sixteen, Simon Murphy was an accomplished jewel thief, at eighteen he was released from a boy’s reform school and these days, he’s a detective with Chicago’s Night Shift. When a familiar killer strikes again, Simon is forced to confront his past, his mob boss father, and the brother he hasn’t seen in years. Of course, on the Night Shift, Simon also contends with ghosts, vampires and other things that go bump in the night. Add angry boyfriends in the mix, and Simon’s going to need all the help he can get.
Review: Sleeping on the Job follows Simon Murphy, a paranormal with the power to sense auras, who also suffers from narcolepsy. We first meet him at sixteen, when he’s playing around on the wrong side of the law. But who can blame him? His father is one of the top crime mobsters in Chicago, so Simon comes by it honestly.
Most of the story takes place when Simon is a little older. He’s joined the police force and is assigned to the case of a serial killer who carves numbers into his victims. When his best friend Jace becomes a victim, Simon becomes too close to the case and is pulled, but he can’t seem to let the case go.
The blurb for this book really had my juices flowing. Who wouldn’t want to read about paranormal, mob son, ass-kicking, man-on-man oriented detectives? And, overall, I wasn’t disappointed. The story was intriguing and, especially towards the end, the action really picked up and the story line flowed really well. Simon’s witty humor had me laughing at times, and the author certainly knows how to create villains very well. I HATED Simon’s father.
However, there were a few things that made this a difficult read for me:
- I had a difficult time following the POV at the beginning. The chapters have a lot of section breaks where the POV shifts. The latter portion of the book remains in Simon’s POV, and that’s when the storyline tightens, and I really got into the story.
- There were several conflicts generated in the story, and we hopped from one to the next, but there was no real connection between them. Working on the serial killer case, Simon has a vested interest in bringing justice since his best friend was murdered. When he’s pulled from the case, he’s assigned to a new job and that one never really fleshed out or connected back to the original case.
- There were family dynamics which also came into play, but it wasn’t until much later in the book that I understood the significance of that particular storyline.
- The conclusion wraps everything up concisely, so we aren’t left with any loose ends, but I was left with a sense of having been carried on a ride that sped up right to the end and then came to a screeching halt.
- Finally, and this isn’t a problem, just an observation, there was very little sex. Perhaps I shouldn’t have expected scads of erotic romance, but there were no real love interests fully developed. Yes, Simon had a love interest, and that thread is brought to a conclusion, but we don’t spend enough time with him and his lover to feel their connection.
Sleeping on the Job is a story that probably falls more into the category of gay fiction, with a dusting of eroticism. It would be well-classified as an action-mystery and could have been told just as well without the paranormal aspect.
This was a really difficult book to rate. On the one hand, there were the issues listed above that didn’t work for me. But I’m only one reader and had different expectations based on the blurb. There were twists and turns I wished the story had taken, but again, that was my experience with the book. Other people may have an entirely different opinion.
You can buy Sleeping on the Job here: