Praying for Sleep

Praying for Sleep

3.8 20
by Jeffery Deaver
     
 

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On a savage, storm-lashed night, Michael Hrubek - a dangerously paranoid schizophrenic - escapes from a mental hospital for the criminally insane by impersonating a dead man. He's on a mission - to find Lis Atcheson, the woman whose testimony identified him as the gruesome Indian Leap State Park murderer. He'll stalk her all the way home, where she waits in the cool…  See more details below

Overview

On a savage, storm-lashed night, Michael Hrubek - a dangerously paranoid schizophrenic - escapes from a mental hospital for the criminally insane by impersonating a dead man. He's on a mission - to find Lis Atcheson, the woman whose testimony identified him as the gruesome Indian Leap State Park murderer. He'll stalk her all the way home, where she waits in the cool autumn night...surrounded by her past. For Lis, the chief witness at Hrubek's trial, is a woman obsessed with the past. Living in the remote New England house that was her family's summer retreat, she is struggling to put her life back together after a period of terrible turmoil - just as Michael Hrubek sets out on his harrowing quest. Racing to intercept him are his psychiatrist, Richard Kohler, a brilliant doctor - but one with his own secrets to protect; Trenton Heck, a professional dog tracker, with an uncanny skill for picking up a trail and a desperate need for the reward money offered for Hrubek's return; and Lis's husband, Owen Atcheson, a man of uncommon intelligence and determination - who must hunt Hrubek down before he can destroy his wife. Yet Michael's madness is inextricably entwined with his genius - and he proves a far greater adversary than any of his pursuers anticipated. For though his mind is tormented by his eerie delusions of betrayal and revenge, he is crystal clear on one point: he knows Lis Atcheson better than she knows herself, and as he hunts her he is bringing a terrible secret into the light of day. As primal as the night itself, Praying for Sleep is an astonishing stay-up-all-night read, which delivers a climax you'll never forget. It is a brilliant work of terror, taut and intricate, subtle and original - the breakout book of a seasoned and skillful writer.

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Editorial Reviews

Stephen King
Compulsively readable.
James Patterson
A nightmarish 24 hours [of] harrowing suspense.
Robert Crais
Delivers a nerve-snapping climax that will keep you huddled in your chair.
San Jose Mercury News
There is no thriller writer today like Jeffery Deaver.
People
A master of ticking-bomb suspense.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Deaver writes...thrillers that would challenge even the most enthusiastic roller-coaster rider.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While flash floods sweep New England, escaped schizophrenic Michael Hrubek leads pursuers on a perilous chase as he seeks to confront Lisbonne Atcheson, whose testimony clinched his conviction as the Indian Leap State Park murderer. The premise is hackneyed, the plot somewhat formulaic, but Deaver's ( Hard News ) knack for pacing and misdirection enliven this entertaining thriller. At the center of the drama is the complex Hrubek, a terrifying figure with problems big enough to match his 300-pound frame. At times he recognizes and is painfully frustrated by his tenuous grip on reality; at others, he is racked with guilt over having assassinated President Lincoln. On Hrubek's trail are his therapist, Dr. Richard Kohler; professional tracker Trenton Heck and his prize bloodhound Emil; the police; and Lisbonne's attorney husband Owen, a seasoned hunter and combat veteran. What really happened at Indian Leap is revealed in a climax that brings everyone together at Lisbonne's newly inherited estate in remote, storm-battered Ridgeton. Although Deaver's prose is sometimes careless, his characters are colorful and believable, and his careful plotting delivers palpable suspense and a clever surprise ending. 50,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; paperback to Signet; Literary Guild selection. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Deaver has published both general fiction and, under a pseudonym, some Edgar Award-winning mysteries, but the publisher sees this book as his breakout title. The antihero is a 28-year-old man who escapes from a hospital for the criminally insane. The 75,000-copy first printing speaks volumes.
Ray Olson
Big, bearish Michael Hrubek springs himself from the funny farm by replacing a dead inmate's corpse with his own in the hospital's reusable body bag. That's cause for considerable alarm on the part of Lis Atcheson, who fingered Michael for the murder and rape that sent him downriver in the first place. Semicompetent hospital head Dr. Adler wants to make Michael's escape as hush-hush as possible, though, so he just hires an out-of-work cop to tail the loony. Not that Lis' husband isn't also on Michael's trail, likewise Michael's shrink, who's convinced Michael's really harmless. Thinking that he's John Wilkes Booth in search of Dr. Mudd after assassinating Lincoln, Michael's certainly balmy enough, but he holds no candle to such of his obvious forebears as Norman Bates in "Psycho II" in terms of menace. And menace is what Deaver's tepid exercise needs--bad! Viking's hefty first printing indicates someone there thinks this thing'll fly, and the publisher will probably prod strong initial sales. Fans of the psycho-thriller are advised to wait for Thomas Harris' promised third Hannibal Lecter opus.
From the Publisher
“Scary, smart, and compulsively readable.”—Stephen King

“Superior…nightmarish…twists, turns, and harrowing suspense.”—James Patterson

“Delivers a nerve-snapping climax that will keep you huddled in your chair.”—Robert Crais

“Total terror has its day…harrowing…undeniably throat lutching.”—Kirkus Reviews

“An entertaining thriller…palpable suspense and a clever surprise ending.”—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451203052
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/2001
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
279,308
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Stephen King
Compulsively readable.
Robert Crais
Delivers a nerve-snapping climax that will keep you huddled in your chair.
From the Publisher
"Scary, smart, and compulsively readable."—Stephen King

"An entertaining thriller...palpable suspense."—Publishers Weekly

"Nightmarish...harrowing suspense."—James Paterson

"Undeniably throat-clutching."—Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

Jeffery Deaver is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty novels, including The Bone Collector and A Maiden's Grave. He has been nominated for seven Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America and is a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Readers Award for Best Short Story of the Year.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Washington, D.C.
Date of Birth:
May 6, 1950
Place of Birth:
Chicago, Illinois
Education:
B.A., University of Missouri; Juris Doctor, cum laude, Fordham University School of Law
Website:
http://www.jefferydeaver.com/

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Praying for Sleep 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
mrsboone4 More than 1 year ago
Jampacked with twists and turns, always coming up with something new. It seemed to drag a little in a couple of spots, but all in all was a great thriller! Mr. Deaver developed all of the key players in the book, to the fullest extent. I think the book would have been fine, without all of the extra information.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been reading Deaver for over 20yrs. This one sneaked by me. This book rates with his "A Maiden's Grave". SUPERB!! What an ending. This is one book u cannot put down until u come to the end. Deaver is a master. I'm so glad I discovered him. I can read him anytime and have read sme of his books more than once. Bravo, Jeffery Deaver!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeffery Deaver is a master at suspense and will keep you on the edge of your seat from page 1.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent story, suspenseful plot, unexpected ending! FABULOUS!!!!!
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BeckyJoBM More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. It kept me turning the pages, not wanting to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
champgraz More than 1 year ago
This book was a bore throughout but did have a good ending. You just have to struggle for a while.
phester More than 1 year ago
I bought this book years ago through a book club. It made me a lifetime fan of Jeffrey Deaver. The ending was a total shock. I am still telling people about this book today. I actually kept it all these years and read it occasionally even though I know the surprise ending. My husband does not like to read. He likes audio books. If I can not find the audio for him then I will actually read the book to him. I do not want him to miss the pleasure of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book took 292 pages to awaken me from a stupor. I was totally bored with this non stop drab, nothing happened that even made me raise my eyebrows until around page 300. I was a bit shocked that Deaver wrote this book. It lacked everything that makes his Rhyme novels so good. It offered nothing of interest. You just keep reading hoping for something to happen to spark some interest but nothing does. I usually just fly right through his books they are so good but this just never took off for me. I love how he writes his Lincoln Rhyme books and a few of his other stand alones were top notch so I gave this a 3 but it is really deserving of a 2. You will not be praying for sleep when you read this book, in fact you will have no trouble sleeping - a perfect cure for a bout of insomnia.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just read that this book was a sleeper. You people are right, how can this book be put on the shelf at Deaver's home than on the bookshelves in Barnes and Noble. It did get a little monotonous for a coupl pages, where all they day was chase after the guy, but the plot line was basic and Mr. Deaver streched it out over 400 pages and did not let the reader down. The character developments are great in this book and the reader really gets inside the head of Michael Hrubeck and Lis and Owen Attechson. You begin to feel close to them, feel sorrow for them and then hate towards Owen. The endings is one of the best I have ever read in any book and it actually made me gasp and that does not usually happen when I am reading a book. The letter that confused and baffled people through the whole came together in the end and closed the book off. Mr. Deaver never lets the reader down in any of his books and this one is no exception. PRAYING FOR SLEEP is one of the best psychological thrillers around, and it was hard to put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read half of the book, and Nothing was happening! They kept chasing the crazy guy, that escaped the mental institution.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book. It was very suspenseful and the ending was unbelievable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a sleeper - where has it been? It's hard to imagine that Mr. Deaver wrote this prior to his other now famous blockbusters. In my opinion this one is at the top of his list. Deaver has a knack for keeping you anticipated and excited through the entire novel. Give us more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have ever read, I can read it again and again. The ending is the best I have ever read. Jeffery Deaver is my Favourite author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great read...kept me on the edge from beginning to end. The New England storm added the perfect touch of environmental gloom to twenty four hours of undeniable dread. Each character was engrossing in his/her own right.