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Publisher's Summary

When a Russian defector is assassinated in a sleepy English seaside town, Group Fifteen agents John Milton and Michael Pope find themselves in a rush to uncover the culprits and bring them to justice.  

Their investigation leads them to Moscow and a confrontation with Directorate S, the agency responsible for seeding Russian sleeper agents around the world. When lies and double crossing mean that no-one is what they seem, the two agents - alone and without backup - struggle to achieve their goals under the most dangerous of circumstances.  

Set one week before the opening of The Cleaner, this compulsive thriller turns back the clock to Milton as a barely functioning alcoholic, still tormented by the ghosts of the men and women he has killed in the service of his country. Milton must fight his own demons as well as the Russian assassin sent to eliminate him. Will he be able to complete his mission and escape with his life?

©2018 Mark Dawson (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 10-20-18

A younger John Milton

Those who follow this excellent espionage series will quickly realize that Sleepers goes back into a period of a younger John Milton's life before he left the Group 15 espionage agency. Up until this novel the Milton series was in chronological order of John Milton's life. The author explains why if a short afterward. I wish he had brought back Beatrix Rose also, Although now long dead she remains my favorite Mark Dawson character.

I seemed to me that the last several novels in the John Milton series while quite good were not up to Dawson's prior standards. This one definitely is. Narrator David Thorpe was excellent as usual.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Big fan of the series

If you hadn't started this series this may be a good place to start. it is a prequel that filled in a few blanks. It takes place a very short time before the first book in the series. It is, also, a very good book on it's own. The action is great but I really enjoy being in the head of people who are elite at what they do. I could not reccomend this series more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Margaret
  • Blacksburg, VA, United States
  • 11-20-18

Great Story!

I love to read and listen to Mark Dawson’s series about John Milton. He is a complicated person which gives him the humanness of all of us. We may not be special agents, but we all as humans have our faults to bear. I have read all of this series and it’s great to see how John begins his defection from the group. Keep it going can’t wait to read the next one.

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Not loud enough

Not loud enough the reader is amazing just doesn’t seem to be mixed at a loud enough level

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Another Exciting Read

Milton is as fantastic as always. Read this in one day because I couldn’t put it down. John Milton never disappoint me or let me down. Highly recommended.


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Mark Dawson's Latest Triumph

Mark Dawson has written a believable and vibrant tale based on the backstory of his John Milton character; not an easy feat to achieve after having written 12 previous novels. This story does not disappoint.

Dawson's gift, especially in the military, suspense, thriller, espionage genres, is creating characters that bring relevance and relatable human traits. Every component of a Dawson story adds value while avoiding gratuitous elements only for their shock value. His stories live.

Dawson's research and knowledge of his subject carry throughout all of his works; Sleepers included. I now measure all other writers in these genres by Mark Dawson's rule. There are a few who measure-up, but not many. Dawson has raised the bar for my reading pleasure.

David Thorpe's delivery is perfection, providing the personality and voice masterfully to all of the characters, and yes, David Thorpe is John Milton for me.

I suggest you read some (if not all) of the John Milton stories before you read Sleepers. Why? Because in hindsight, since I have read all of the Milton stories, Sleepers has engaged my heart more profoundly with my love of the Milton character, and drama. It brilliantly supports the meaning of his life--in the now.

P.S. John Milton stories are not just for male readers. As a woman, I appreciate the heart Mark Dawson successfully delivers within the suspense and intrigue of his stories and their characters. (I know, what a female thing to say! And I'm proud of it.)

Congratulations to Mark Dawson. I picked up Sleepers, and couldn't stop reading until the last word in your After Word!

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  • Tony Swinton
  • 10-18-18

Classic Milton

It was nice to get some back story of million before the cleaner
I wanted to listen in one sitting but listened in two days
The narration is excellent and no Spoilers it's a good story with plenty of action and could be listened to before the cleaner and deserves to be a best seller

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs H
  • 10-28-18

Another great “John Milton” classic

Great story. If you are a fan and have read all the books, this is just perfect to read. Loved it - thank you

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 11-20-18

Great book, John Milton never surprises us!

Another Book from the John Milton series exceptionally well narrated by David Thorpe.. just when we think John can’t do another story Mark Dawson finds one which is topical, well researched & believable, keep them coming loads of life in John still.!

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  • Fizz Assist
  • 11-13-18

No more please!

Just couldn't get into this Milton book.
I have really enjoyed many of the previous John Milton books but just could not get into this one.
I found the story to be slow and lacklustre. Even Thorpe's voice has begun to grate on me.

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  • Andy
  • 11-13-18

Excellent as usual

Great story, surprises and theatre, Milton at the beginning, can’t wait for the next one

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  • J Croft
  • 11-12-18

Usually love Milton but...

This was always going to be odd. A prequel is usually blighted by the reader’s prior knowledge and this was no exception. The story telling was laboured, the characters were somewhat confusing (who was who), and the whole thing seemed to go, well, not exactly nowhere, but not quite as far as I would have liked. Just a blip in the road, hopefully.

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  • Kathy
  • 11-11-18

Sleepers

Good forerunner for the rest of the John Milton stories lets hope we have many more Milton stories from Mark Dawson.

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  • Linda
  • 11-10-18

Not too keen on prequels

as I'd prefer that any story just continued. However as I like this Mark Dawson series, the John Milton character and David Thorpe's excellent narration I found it easy to bury my prejudices and just enjoy !

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  • Anne
  • 11-07-18

As usual I enjoyed another intriguing mystery.<br /><br /><br /><br />

I really do not know why I enjoyed another of these stories but enjoy everyone more than the one before. The stories are interesting, and narrative is so 4easy
to listen too. Thank you both so much. Carry on the good work. x

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  • Julia J
  • 10-31-18

Another Milton Winner

Recent realities mirror Mark Dawson's New Milton thriller taking our hero into a story of past spies and issues of trust.
Superb.