Wow. I loved this book. Really loved it. I have a feeling When All the World Sleeps will end up being on my top picks of the year list.
In this riveting story Daniel is the town freak. He has done horrible things and his excuse is that he was sleep walking when he did them. Bel is a local sheriff who feels Daniel has gotten away with his crimes by faking this disorder. Despite that Bel has always been a little interested in Daniel. He was the older kid Bel had a crush on growing up. A bizarre meeting in town late one night makes Bel realize that there may be more truth to Daniel's story than they all know. This leads to Bel taking steps to get to know Daniel and then that leads these two men into a fascinating relationship.
I already mentioned how much I loved When All the World Sleeps. A big part of that was due to how much I loved these characters. Daniel was such a broken and tragic young man. I immediately was drawn into the horror of the life he is being forced to live. You cannot help but be drawn to him. First with pity and then with admiration. While Daniel is the one who first draws you in, you quickly realize Bel is quite a personality himself. His ability to put aside his prejudices to give another person a chance is just the tip of the caring person he turns out to be. I read this thinking "Everyone should have someone in their life that loves them as much as Bel does".
The story is full of twists and turns and is dark in places. It was fast faced and I was never sure what was going to happen next. Despite that, it took the time to develop the men's personalities and relationship. When All the World Sleeps looks at complicated emotional issues and doesn't shy away from showing the pain that goes with them. But, it is also a story of redemption and love and courage. Yes the author's put us through some heartache but it was well worth it to get to the beautiful end.
Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.
Like the rest of Logan, local cop Joe Belman doesn’t believe Daniel’s absurd defense. But when Bel saves Daniel from a retaliatory fire, he discovers that Daniel might not be what everyone thinks: killer, liar, tweaker, freak. Bel agrees to control Daniel at night—for the sake of the other townsfolk. Daniel’s fascinating, but Bel’s not going there.
Yet as he’s drawn further into Daniel’s dark world, Bel finds that he likes being in charge. And submitting to Bel gives Daniel the only peace he’s ever known. But Daniel’s demons won’t leave him alone, and he’ll need Bel’s help to slay them once and for all—assuming Bel is willing to risk everything to stand by him.