War on Terror veteran, Eric Caine, is found wandering the streets of Miami with no memory of the car accident that left him there. Alone and suffering from PTSD, Eric is on a one-way road to self-destruction. Then a chance meeting at a bar begins a series of events that helps Eric start anew. When his new job relocates him to Venezuela–the land of his childhood–things, however, take an ominous turn as a catastrophic event threatens the stability of the country. Now Eric must escape an elite team of CIA assassins as he tries to uncover an international conspiracy in which nothing is what it seems.
Henry gives an overview of the book:
There’s no better way to get to know a city than to walk its streets. A place will reveal its soul through its sights, sounds and smells, and eventually, it’ll teach you its rhythm. Yet, in a place where there are about 52 violent deaths a day, one needs to take a few safety measures.
First, I have to dress inconspicuously; no flashy clothes with flashier labels. Then, I place some of my money in my wallet, some in my front pocket and some in my left sock. I wear cheap, plastic shades and no watch. My smartphone is a gamble, but I can’t do without it. And then I’m off to face the city of my birth.
It feels hotter and looks dirtier than I remember. The noise of heavy traffic, along with dozens of motorcycle messengers masterfully zigzagging between cars, feels like running into a wall of sound. My allergies have struck back with a vengeance ever since I woke up this morning. I rest my hopes in that they’ll subside once I get re-acclimated. I know that’s not true, but the thought comforts me.
My first stop is a local arepera in the nearby neighborhood of Altamira, where I have a culinary orgasm eating a reina pepiada–basically fried corn dough filled with a mixture of avocado and chicken salad–along with a “negrito,” an espresso that would give most Americans arrhythmia. I savor these familiar flavors while Oscar Deleon sings Salsa from a small boom box that has seen better days. Then I head to the subway.
El Metro de Caracas is a world unto itself: Efficient, safe, modern, and clean. To me, it has always represented the untapped potential of this country. It’s like traveling in a utopic version of my homeland. Even so, my Venezuelan street-sense kicks into full gear with surprising ease. Paranoia is a way of living in this town; you either keep your wits about you or you’ll end up paying for it, and right now there’s a guy who’s making my “Spider-sense” tingle.
The man looks to be in his early forties, medium height and roaming eyes. He’s been following me since I left the restaurant. The fact that he’s wearing a cheap leather jacket in the middle of summer is my first clue that something’s just not right. The guy must be armed and probably not working alone.
Looking like I do, I can’t imagine what he thinks he could possibly steal from me. Perhaps my years living in the US gives off a gringo vibe he hopes will translate into dollars. Whatever the case might be, he’ll wait for me to exit the station to make his move.
There’s only one stop from Altamira to Chacao, where Corso has its headquarters, but I decide to remain on the train. I take out my phone and feign checking something on it. In truth, I’m using its camera to take a closer look at my assailant without him knowing. I even turn the sound off to take a picture of him. You never know.
On the next stop, I exit the car discreetly holding my house keys in my fist. They stick out of my fingers like makeshift spikes ready to strike. Fortunately, the train heading back the other direction is already there. I rush to it and watch the reflection of my would-be mugger in the car’s window. He’s definitely tailing me. Once inside the train, I turn around and look at my pursuer straight in the eyes. The guy stops dead in his tracks, so obviously he knows that I’m on to him. The door slides closed between us and I’m gone. Welcome home.
Sleeper’s Run is an action, political thriller that uses the current political landscape in Venezuela as an integral part of its plot. Although written in English, this is the first book in its genre written by a Hispanic author, with a Venezuelan protagonist, representing a South America free of the clichés.
Henry Mosquera is a writer and artist born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. He attended the University of Miami, Florida, where he obtained a double major in Graphic Design and Film. He enjoys researching his novels, including gaining first-hand knowledge of some of his...