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Literature / Sweet Dreams

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Sweet Dreams is a 2008 thriller novel from Aaron Patterson.

Protagonist Mark Appleton is living the idyllic life; he has a decent job, a caring wife and a beautiful daughter. However, Mark loses everything to an "accident", killing his wife and child. Eventually Mark decides to find out what happens, and discovers that it was no accident...

The second subplot is about Kirk Weston, a cynical cop with little respect for authority; he is part of a team investigating a massacre at a prison. However, Kirk is soon faced with far more trouble than that...


Not to be confused with the 1983 album/song by Eurythmics, or the 1985 biopic film about Patsy Cline.

Sweet Dreams contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Isis.
  • All Just a Dream: Actually played STRAIGHT. It turns out that the vast majority of Mark's story was all a dream and that his wife and child are perfectly fine. It's as insulting as it sounds.
  • Anti-Hero: Kirk, and the WJA as a whole. They have killed many terrorists and murderers, yet are extremely self-righteous and are willing to keep innocent people in inhumane conditions.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Geoff just so happens to be in the right place at the right time to help Kirk. When it's revealed that he's actually Tripp Maddock, and that he's a hitman, it becomes even more contrived and unlikely. How did he know where Kirk would be?
  • Idiot Ball: Geoff and Karjanski, to the point where they start acting against their goals. They threaten to kill Jenkins if he doesn't destroy files that would incriminate the WJA, despite the fact they want to incriminate the WJA and it's the cornerstone of their plan. The overall plan of Geoff is totally nonsensical; Karjanski tasks him with killing Kirk (why exactly they would kill the one person who it actively trying to stop the WJA is another mystery), so he follows Kirk around, aiding him, and then decides to capture him. He could have simply shot him when he first met him in the UAE.
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  • I Have Your Wife: Geoff takes Mark's wife and child hostage. Oddly, he doesn't tell this to Mark or make any demands, making it kinda pointless.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kirk Weston is arrogant, rude, entitled and just generally a dick, but he does do his best to save K and Sam.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Subverted; Solomon says this word for word, but he's only Mark's adoptive father.
  • Red Herring: Kirk and Geoff believe that Captain Jacobson may have something to do with the prison poisoning cover up. He doesn't.
  • Sequel Hook: Karjanski escapes at the end.
  • Unfortunate Names: Following the recent conflict in Iraq and Syria, "Isis" isn't a very appropriate name.
  • What an Idiot!: The guards transporting Kirk come up with the plan of cutting his hand restraints before moving him. What did they even expect that would do?
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  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Not a person, but a concept; when Mark joins the WJA, he's told about about the four classes of operative. There's the avenger class, which is made up of people whose families were killed; this is so bizarrely specific it makes you wonder how it could apply to anyone else other than Mark. Next is Co-Op class; instead of being agents that work in a team of two, it's actually about stealth and working in the shadows, making the name an odd non-sequitur. Next is D-class, who are trained in heavy weapons and the like. Finally, there's sniper class. There's no way the name could be stupidly obtuse in this one, right? Wrong; it's apparently the best of the best, those who have been trained in all forms of combat. Where exactly they got the name from is a mystery for the ages. And, after this page of exposition, it's only mentioned once more in the entire book; when somebody is noted to be a class-d sniper, totally contradicting everything we've been told about the system.

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