The Little Sleep
Holt, Mar 3 2009, $14.00
Eight years ago around the time he received his private investigators license, Mark Genevich was in a car accident. His friend George died and though he survived, he has suffered from narcolepsy ever since. That sleep disorder could prove too big a handicap for a sleuth, but the Southie has few clients and never does field work; his jobs are internet research.
Legs that stretch from Maine to South Boston arrive at his office. Jennifer Times, a contestant on a TV reality talent show and the daughter of Suffolk County DA Billy Times, wants Mark to uncover who stole her fingers; she leaves him with racy photos taken of her. When he awakens, he finds a note and the portfolio; so he goes to see her. She denies hiring him. Since Billy was a close friend of his late father, Mark visits the DA who insists the pictures are not his daughter. Soon afterward a frightened Brendan Sullivan, who lives in the same Cape Cod town as Mark’s widowed mom and was best buddies with his late dad Tim and Billy, calls to ask if he found what he was hired to find and to make sure he does not mention the pictures to anyone. Mark realizes Brendan not Jennifer is his client. He goes to see him, but fails to reach the man as the cops claim fiftyish Brendan committed suicide. The case is not closed as Mark’s home and office are trashed probably by Thumper and Thunder, goons of the DA.
This is an enjoyable Noir mindful of Insomnia while satirizing Chandler’s the Big Sleep. Mark’s little sleep that leaves him confusing realty with hallucinatory dreams makes the tale starting with his mixing up who the client is and his reality that he might have caused the death of Brendan. Though smoking and narcolepsy seems a dangerous combination, fans will enjoy this offbeat private investigative tale of a detective suffering from his own private South Boston.