The Sleeping Dead by Richard Farren Barber

The Sleeping Dead - Richard Farren Barber

 

During a job interview, Jackson Smith notices that one of his interviewees is acting strangely. Not long afterwards he witnesses the man taking his own life. Whilst waiting for the police, he becomes aware of inner voices telling him to join the others who have committed suicide. He flees the building and makes for home where he feels sure he will find the answers to what is going on.

 

This novella had some nice unsettling moments, the reasons for the mass suicides is never explained which, whilst disturbing was also a bit frustrating. The writing portrays a sense of isolation and hopelessness which the open ending does little to alter.

 

Jackson's character never really drew me in and ultimately I wasn't as invested in what happened to him. The other character is one he 'rescues' from the company building and again I didn't feel much emotional connection to them. It was an interesting premise with some effectively chilling scenes but stronger characterisation was needed to make it a better read.