The brutal murder of Sarah Ford and the disappearance of her six-year-old daughter, Alice, shattered the rural serenity of Julia Havilland's childhood. But these are not the only scars that have resolutely refused to heal. Shortly afterwards, Colonel Mitchell Havilland sacrificed himself on a Falklands hillside in an act of characteristic - but baffling - heroism. When Julia comes home from China fifteen years later, it is to a place of ghosts. Whilst she awaits the outcome of the enquiry that seems destined to end her short but spectacular career in military intelligence, Julia is drawn back across the landscape of the past, to find that it is not just the tortured image of her much-loved father that returns to haunt her. Everything she has ever believed in and lived for has suddenly been called into question, and unless she confronts her demons, she will not survive. For there have been other deaths, and the dead will not sleep...At once a race-against-the-clock thriller and a complex psychological drama where the memories of the past conflict with knowledge of the present, The Sleep of the Dead is a stunning read on any level and more than confirms Tom Bradby as one of this country's foremost thriller writers.
Praise for Shadow Dancer: 'Quite exceptional...Tom Bradby succeeds in creating real characters. Far too many novels take refuge in cliche and caricature - Bradby refuses to. The language, the tension, the fear - all are portrayed vividly and correctly...A taut, compelling story of love and torn loyalties' Daily Telegraph 'A remarkable first novel...Bradby handles the tension with skill to produce a gripping tale' The Times 'The best book on the northern conflict since Harry's Game...An excellent read on any level. It scores heavily as a thriller and as an accurate unblinking look at what is happening right now' Irish Independent
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(178mm x 107mm x 32mm)
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Julia Havilland is the daughter of a war hero, and a distinguished army officer in her own right. But following an accident in China, when she blames her colleagues for the death of an agent she had recruited, Julia is obliged to return to her childhood home to await the outcome of an investigation. Once there, the past begins to exert its troubling influence, as Julia recalls in ever more vivid detail the tangle of events and relationships which culminated in the murder of a neighbour and her infant daughter. In a series of flashbacks, Julia recalls her own dead father's involvement with the murdered woman and child. Understanding how she idolized him, Julia starts to question whether his courage, confidence and apparent honesty were merely a front for something darker and more brutal. According to published reports, he died bravely, sacrificing himself to bring a wounded man to safety, but the officer investigating Julia's conduct in China soon discovers that this account may have been a convenient cover for quite a different set of events. Bradby succeeds in creating an atmosphere in which neither his characters nor his readers can be certain which is the true version of events. As well as being a competent thriller, therefore, this novel is also a psychological drama, and ultimately a romance which explores the issues of trust and self-knowledge. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Tom Bradby
Tom Bradby has for the last eight years been a political and foreign reporter for ITN, covering Ireland and South East Asia, and is now their royal correspondent. He is the author of three acclaimed novels, Shadow Dancer, The Sleep of the Dead and The Master of Rain and The White Russian. He lives in England with his wife and three children.