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Sleepless City: A Nick Ryan Novel


Sleepless City: A Nick Ryan Novel

Reed Farrel Coleman is a highly decorated author with a slew of literary awards to his name and a firm grasp of the noir side of the thriller genre. His latest winning effort introduces readers to a fascinating new protagonist.

When people are in trouble, they call 911. But when the police are in trouble, they call Nick Ryan. SLEEPLESS CITY is appropriately set in New York City, the city that never sleeps. Nick may be feared and respected, but he lives in the extremely unpopular shadow of his father, an infamous whistleblower against the NYPD. He went overseas to fight with special forces to escape some of the blowback. Nick’s brother, Sean, has wallowed in alcohol and self-pity with his middling law enforcement career.

"SLEEPLESS CITY is packed with suspense and nonstop thrills sure to please those who enjoy realistic, noir-like thrillers. I could not put this book down and became immediately attached to Nick Ryan..."

Nick’s strength is in undercover work, and the book opens with his involvement in a large fentanyl bust. He later comes to the aid of a young Black man who is being beaten by cops during a rally protesting police violence against Black youths in the city. The publicity that Nick receives, as well as his background, puts him on the radar of some important and influential people who have a special assignment for him.

Nick, who recently found out he has a child with a now-married woman he was involved with prior to his military service, takes it upon himself to eliminate a serial pedophile who seemingly escaped justice during a high-profile court case. He has resources all around NYC and brings this newly freed criminal to the basement of a safe house in Brooklyn with the intention of executing him in the name of true justice. Instead, Nick is shocked when a third man shows up and does the deed in front of him. He is then ushered to a car, where two guys who look like fellow cops take him on a ride to the South Bronx.

In a warehouse, Nick meets with an anonymous man resembling a lawyer who he ends up calling Joe. Joe is representing another higher authority and wants Nick to work for them. He refuses at first but eventually comes around and agrees to assist them on a case as long as he can do it his way. He is promised total carte blanche and anything he requires to complete his mission.

Nick must get to a man who is currently a prisoner at a penitentiary in eastern Long Island: Aaron Lister, who is known as the new Bernie Madoff. He previously was called in to help “clean up” a serious situation involving a police officer who happened to be the son of an NYPD bigwig who was connected to another explosive killing of an innocent Black youth, which could burn down the entire city. Nick proves his worth by taking care of the problem in controversial fashion. He also finds himself on the radar of a hungry young Brooklyn journalist, Calista Barrows, who is eager to make a name for herself.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg as SLEEPLESS CITY is packed with suspense and nonstop thrills sure to please those who enjoy realistic, noir-like thrillers. I could not put this book down and became immediately attached to Nick Ryan --- a larger-than-life but still very human character and loyal citizen of the greatest city in the world. There are few writers outside of Reed Farrel Coleman who could have conceived of such an individual, and I am eager to see where this saga takes us next.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on July 15, 2023

Sleepless City: A Nick Ryan Novel
by Reed Farrel Coleman

  • Publication Date: July 11, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1982627476
  • ISBN-13: 9781982627478