Dylan Klein, a bush league insurance investigator, returns to his old Brooklyn neighborhood for his mother’s funeral. Alienated from his family and by the rituals of his faith, unable to reach the grief he knows is there, Klein sets out on a journey fraught with treason, murder, and betrayal.
Klein and his close friend, ex-New York City Police detective Johnny MacClough, stumble through an odyssey fueled by the winds of change: winds themselves created by a thawing in the Cold War. Klein and MacClough are buffeted as the two super powers struggle to erase some potentially embarrassing loose ends left dangling since WWII. Another player, a “wanna-be” power, injects poison into the brew in an attempt to snag the loose ends for its own purposes: political blackmail or, maybe, just revenge.
Ultimately, however, Life Goes Sleeping is not a spy/thriller, but rather a hardboiled detective novel rooted in the traditions of the 30’s and 40’s. Klein is a man trading water for his life. When one of his clients is brutally murdered, he is forced to learn how to swim or drown. Johnny MacClough is both his lifeguard and his instructor. These men are too preoccupied with the small picture – namely, their own survival – to worry about politics and matters of state. For them, the puzzle pieces multiply. The game keeps getting more complex, but someone’s neglected to send them a rule book.