Sweet Dreams by Aaron Patterson (Mark Appleton Thriller #1)

Sweet Dreams by Aaron Patterson is a book I read earlier this year while on holiday visiting my parents abroad. It’s been a few months since I actually read it, but I do remember it making a strong impression on me.

The first book in the Mark Appleton Thriller series, follows Mark, a regular guy with a good job in the true American style, who loses his wife and kid in a senseless bombing that happens just the time they enter the supermarket. Mark is also injured, but he does escape his family’s fate. In a single freak moment Mark’s life literally crumbles to dust.

After about a year, when it seems that Mark is starting to pull his life together again, a company called WJA (The World Justice Association) contacts him with the news that his family’s death was no accident, which  turns his life upside down once again.

Enter Kirk Watson, a Detroid PD detective, who finds himself smack in the middle of all this, without even realizing. He is dealing with several seemingly different issues, including the poisoning of inmates in a prison, which leads to their deaths and his own abduction, which all leads to the same WJA company that contacted Mark about his family. For all intents and purposes WJA is not the good company that Mark is lead to believe – afterall they did abduct Kirk and kept him hidden for literally one year.

The more I read, the more interesting the story got. Every time you think you have it all figured out, there is something else that puts a damper on your own beliefs – and keeps you on your toes every step of the way.

I’m trying to remember at least a dull moment in the book, but I really can’t remember any. If anything, the book is way too full of action and suspense, leaving you with a feeling that you’ve just finished a long, exhausting, but rewarding marathon.

Now I got to admit, a few times the story did turned to something begged suspension of disbelief (for example when Kirk is kidnapped and held prisoner in a remote location for one year, after which he is literally released without any harm or explanation, it did leave me scratching my head a bit), but overall the story is fully fleshed out and quite intriguing in a way that manages to keep the attention and leaves you wondering what will happen next – and who the bad guys are anyway.

The book starts out like a typical action thriller. Then it morphs into a detective novel and eventually – without even realizing – you’re sitting smack in the middle of a sci-fi thriller. Let me tell you, I found lots of WOW moments when reading this book and every time I put it down I needed some time to process it all. It’s not that it’s a heavy book by any means, but the pure adrenalin running through its pages and the many things that happen every step of the way need some time to get processed in the brain.

And this is a good thing for anyone who loves to read an intense, action packed novel. If you’re more into slower going cozies, this novel might not be for you. But if you love reading fast paced novels – and watching the typical action Hollywood movies, you’ll love this book. I know I did…

Oh and the ending…let’s just say it’s another twist that I bet you’ll never see coming.

One nitpicking I had with the book was the bad editing. Seriously this author should choose his editor more carefully in the future. I’m not a grammar nazi, but even I noticed the lack of good editing a few times and it did bother me a bit. However if you can get past that, you’ll be rewarded with a story that will make you think about it long after you’ve finished the book. I know I still do – and I read the novel back in June, earlier this year.

Will I pick up the next two books in the Mark Appleton thriller series? You bet I will! Afterall I’m curious to see what adventures will Mark get into next time and I definitely want to know more about this shadow company, WJA.

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  1. I love plots that keep you on your ties. This book sounds just what I’d like to read. However, with the drawback of bad editing, I would be twitching all the way through. Maybe I’ll give it a try.

  2. Cool concept for a site! I tend to read all the books by the same author if I like the first, so knowing about sequels and specially the order I need to read in is very useful.
    I´ll follow you on FB so I can keep in touch with your blog. 🙂

  3. Thank you for all the reviews … This is not a book for me but I love dropping by to see the reviews.

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