Sleepytime: A Mercy Johnson Novel by Reita Pendry
Sleepy LeBlanc suffers from a sleep disorder, narcolepsy, which causes him to sleep at the wrong times and in the wrong places. When he falls asleep in the men’s dressing room of a department store, surrounded by clothing with price tags still on, he is arrested and charged with burglary. His uptown lawyer refuses to explain his condition at his trial, and he is wrongly convicted.
In prison, he is assigned to the work crew. The crew boss allows him to sleep on the prison bus. One day he is awakened by a guard, who tells him that the crew boss has been murdered and the prisoners have all escaped. So begins his worst nightmare—the FBI agent assigned to investigate the prison guard’s murder believes Sleepy knows about the crime.
He is trying to make a career leap, and to use Sleepy to get up the ladder. If he can solve the prison guard’s murder, he can relocate out of the southern region, and get closer to his home in New York city.
Once the escaped prisoners are caught, they set about to silence Sleepy. The code of silence is enforced with threats against Sleepy’s family, and with attempts to burn his cell and poison him. Sleepy is ensnared in the political ambitions of the FBI agent and the fears of the prison gang of a murder prosecution. Sleepy’s best friend in prison, his ex-wife, and a young prison psychologist work to save him. His sleep disorder proves to be both a curse and a tool to gain his freedom.
Reita Pendry was born in the mountains of North Carolina and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law and worked for three years in Winston-Salem before moving to the District of Columbia. She practiced law in Washington, D.C. for twenty-five years. For twenty of those years, she was a criminal defense attorney. She now lives and works in Charlotte, where her family resides. She is the author of another Mercy Johnson novel, China White.