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Jonathan Dunsky

In That Sleep of Death (Adam Lapid Mysteries #8) - Audiobook

In That Sleep of Death (Adam Lapid Mysteries #8) - Audiobook

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Book Description:

Not even murder can keep this secret buried.

Israel, 1952 – A man lies dead in a city park, his head bashed in. No witnesses. No clues.

It seems like an impossible case. The police have given up. But private investigator Adam Lapid is determined to catch the killer.

Hired to investigate the murder, Adam begins digging into the victim’s life. He learns the dead man was a Holocaust survivor, and that he may have had knowledge of a terrible crime that happened in pre-WWII Poland. A crime that is still claiming victims in Israel more than a decade later. 

To solve the mystery, Adam must use all his wits and courage. And he must work quickly. Because the killer is already hunting for the next victim.

Unabridged audiobook. In That Sleep of Death is book 8 in the Adam Lapid series

 

Unabridged audiobook 11 hours and 33 minutes
Author Jonathan Dunsky
Narrator Dallin Bradford
Publication Date May 16, 2024
ISBN 9789657795514
Publisher Lion Cub Publishing

Chapter 1 Look Inside

Chapter 1:

The first time I saw him was on a night with bad dreams. I woke up screaming, my body drenched in sweat, my heart thumping in terror. I'd kicked the winter blanket to the floor, and my violent tossing and turning had twisted the sheet off the bottom of the mattress.

My room was stifling, the air stale and heavy. It felt like a prison cell. I couldn't bear to stay there a second longer.
I threw on some clothes and exited the apartment without bothering to wash my face or dry the sweat off my skin. My shirt clung to my back like a parasite.

Outside, not a soul stirred. Hamaccabi Street
was empty and silent. No lights shone in any of the apartments. Everyone was asleep. My watch said it was a little after three.

It was March 19, 1952, and the air had a cold bite. I buttoned up my coat, raised the collar, and blew hot air on my palms.

On the corner of Hamaccabi and King George, I stopped to light a cigarette, and that was when I saw him. A tall, slender figure walking on the opposite side of King George. He wore dark slacks and a black jacket and... it couldn't be. I had to blink twice to make sure, but there
was no mistake. The man was wearing army boots. The cuffs of his slacks were tucked into them.

He walked at an unhurried, plodding pace. His arms swung like slow metronomes at his sides. His head was lowered, his back slightly stooped, his eyes aimed at the sidewalk in front of him. As though he were carrying a heavy burden or was weary to the bone.

And why wouldn't he be? It was the middle of the night. He should be in his bed, tucked under the covers, dreaming of bette times. Yet here he was, just like me, a solitary walker on the nighttime streets of Tel Aviv.

Was he also driven from his bed by nightmares? Did his bedroom feel as suffocating as mine?

I did not know his name, had never seen him before, yet I felt a strange kinship toward him, this night wanderer.

For an instant, I was about to call out, to announce my presence, but something held my tongue.

Would he want my companionship? Was I even sure I wanted his? Wasn't our presence, mine and his separately, on the street at this ungodly hour proof that we were lonely creatures by habit or circumstance? It would be rude to impose myself upon him.

So as he trod the sidewalk north, I took the opposite south. And so, with each step, the distance between us widened, so that when I turned to gaze behind me a minute or so later, I could see no sign of him.

***

The following night, rousted out of bed by another savage nightmare, I walked toward the sea. Gradually, as I approached, the slap of incoming waves grew from a whisper to a roar. I stood on the promenade and gazed westward at the Mediterranean, a roiling endless surface silvered by the full moon.

I thought about the home I'd once had. The country that had expelled me to a near certain death. Hungary was a wound that could never heal, a betrayal that could never be forgiven. And a lesson on what it meant to be a Jew in a foreign land.

A movement down on the beach broke my reverie. I squinted, unsure if what I was seeing was real or merely a trick of moonlight and shadow. But no. I wasn't mistaken. There he was. The solitary walker I had seen the previous night.

His black hair and dark clothes blended with the night. If not for the paleness of his face and the swinging of his arms, I would not have been able to make him out. From where I stood, I couldn't tell whether he was wearing army boots or regular black shoes.

He strode right on the waterline. Sea foam licked at his feet. He didn't seem to notice or care. He did not gaze up at the moon, did not pause to appreciate the untamed beauty of the sea. He simply trudged onward, toward what I could not imagine.

There was an intentness to his gait. A grim, laborious purposefulness. As though his walking was not a means to an end but an end in and of itself. Again, I had the urge to call out to him, to perhaps share with him the reason for my nightly sojourn, and inquire as to his. But
as on the previous night, I held my peace and did not disturb his. Though looking at him, I was far from sure that peace was the state he was in.

But the real reason I kept my silence was that the man, or the manner of his walk, prodded at a memory that lay buried just beneath my consciousness. Whatever the elusive memory was, my reaction to its proximity was unmistakable. My throat constricted, and a vise tightened around my heart. Breathing through my mouth
to ease the anxiety that coursed through me, I kept my eyes on the man as he slogged north on the damp sand, leaving footprints that were soon claimed by the sea.

***

Three nights later, I was once more banished from my apartment in the middle of the night. My sleep was often plagued by night terrors, but the past week, my dreams had been particularly horrific. Part reality, part imagination, the images I saw, the voices that howled in
my head, were intensely brutal. I could feel them chasing me down the stairs and into the dark street below.

The night was cold and damp. It had rained earlier, and the sidewalks were slick and glistening. A sharp wind curled around me, probing the defenses of my clothes, nipping at my skin through every crevice and opening.

Allenby Street, normally bustling and loud, stretched empty and forlorn, as though Tel Aviv were a ghost town and not a lively new city in a vibrant new country.

I walked past Moghrabi Theater, looming like an abandoned pagan temple, past shuttered storefronts and vacant bus stops, pausing for a moment to peek into
Greta's Café, now dark and empty.

The thudding of my shoes on the sidewalk was the only sound. I moved from darkness to light and back again as I entered and exited the pools of illumination cast by streetlights. My thoughts made a similar dance, waltzing from the mundane to the dejected. Mostly, I wondered what had brought on the increased venom of my nightmares and when they would return to a more manageable level of toxicity.

I was at the corner of Allenby and Maze when I nearly ran into the man.

He had rounded the corner in total silence, or perhaps my ruminations had simply deafened me. I had to jump back to avoid colliding with him.

"Hey, I'm sorry," I said, heart stuttering due to the near collision. "I didn't see you."

The man gave no indication that he had heard me. He did not stop; his step did not falter. He simply walked on at that same steady, leaden pace. Each foot rose slowly, as though pulled against its will, before coming down with a dull thump. It was the walk of a man who
was going nowhere.

Tonight the man's slacks were gray. But the boots were the same. I had been right: they were army boots. Black and scuffed and creased. I noticed the heels showed advanced signs of wear. These boots had
seen many miles. Judging by the glimpse I had gotten of the man's face, it was clear the same could be said of him.

Was he sleepwalking? Or was he as enveloped in thought as I had been a moment ago? Was that the reason he hadn't heard or seen me?
Or maybe he had and simply chose not to display any awareness of my presence. A man walking alone at this hour might resent any attempt to intrude upon his solitude.

He smelled of old and fresh sweat, which made me think he had been walking for a long while. His clothes were simple but did not look old, not like his boots. I stood for a while watching him put one foot in front of the other as he continued up Allenby Street.

Not once did the rhythm of his march shift. Not once did the angle of his head change. There was a mindlessness to his gait, as though he were an automaton, driven by gears and cogs instead of human emotions and desires.

As I watched his back recede, I couldn't shake off the image of his face. It clung to the forefront of my mind like an indelible memory.

Long and lean and pale, with sharp cheekbones and furrows across his forehead too deep for a man in his late twenties. But it was his mouth and eyes that imprinted his features upon my brain. His mouth with his lips pulled back and his teeth tightly clenched, as though he were barring a scream. His eyes haunted and tortured yet strangely flat and distant. They were the eyes and mouth of a man not merely gripped by a nightmare but living one.

I stared at him until he turned a corner and disappeared from view. Only then did I notice the cold that had seeped into my bones.

***

I looked for him the next night, scouring the streets near my apartment—Allenby, King George, Sheinkin, Balfour—but did not see him. Finally, I went home, chiding myself for my foolishness.

Why was I sacrificing hours of sleep seeking this man whom I did not know? This did not stop me from repeating the exercise the following night. This time I headed to the beach, where I had seen him the second time. I stood and gazed at the sand being pummeled by the waves, huddled in my coat against the salty wind that whipped around me. I stayed there for a long time, an hour at least, but the man did not show.

The third night, I widened my search, going all the way to the Yarkon River to the north and Jaffa Road to the south. I walked for over three hours, increasingly questioning my sanity, but propelled onward by an undefined need to see the man again. As I walked, I
imagined our meeting. Questions I would ask him, the conversation we would have, the sound of his voice, his accent. I had a suspicion that I would be disappointed when such an encounter actually took place, but I could not say why I felt so.
As the eastern sky grayed with the onset of dawn, I gave up and headed home. I crashed on my bed and slept fitfully in my clothes until noon.

After midnight that night, I went in search of him again, this time venturing deep into Jaffa. I walked empty roads lined with crumbling buildings, past alleyways where the shadows were thick and menacing, down shabby streets where the sidewalks were as narrow as an afterthought.

These could be dangerous streets at night, so I kept a
hand in my pocket where my knife nestled, but this precaution did not prevent me from berating myself for my recklessness.

As I pounded the pavement, I imagined the man was at this moment traversing another part of the city, his army boots beating a somber rhythm that harmonized with mine.

Did he feel that I was seeking him out? Did he sense that he was not alone? Or was he as oblivious of my existence as he'd seemed the time we'd almost
collided? Would our paths cross again, or were we now two moons orbiting the same planet but never sharing the same space? Was our chance meeting a onetime occurrence? And why did this possibility sadden me so?

At three o'clock, my back throbbing and feet aching, I ended my search and started for home. I was angry at myself for the time and energy I'd expended on this inexplicable quest. I vowed that this was the last time, that I would not sacrifice another minute of sleep looking for this stranger.

Yet, when I got to the corner of Allenby and Maze, where I had nearly run into the man, I veered from my intended route and hooked a right. I knew what I was doing. I was hoping against hope that on this final attempt I would stumble upon him again, even as I was going home.

From Maze, I turned north to Yohanan Hasandlar
and decided to cut through Sheinkin Garden on the way back to King George.

The boots protruded from behind a hedgerow. From their position, I could tell that their owner was lying flat on his back.

I ran forward, and there he lay. His head tilted leftward, his washed-out green eyes gazing directly at me with an eerie blankness.

His mouth hung open and slack, his face strangely serene. He appeared to be genuinely at peace.

As long as you disregarded his caved-in skull and the halo of blood surrounding his head.

***

I swore under my breath, then cast a quick look around.
Nothing stirred. The murderer was gone. Crouching next to the dead man in the army boots, I ran my eyes over his body. There did not seem to be any injuries apart from the massive one to his head.

Not that there needed to be. The one to the head was all it took.

I touched my fingers to the man's throat and felt no pulse. Not that I expected any. Only dead men don't blink.

Using my handkerchief, I reached into the dead man's pocket and retrieved his identification card. Now I finally had his name, Emmanuel Feldbaum, and an address in the northern town of Afula, quite a distance from Tel Aviv. I committed both to memory before returning the identification card to its place, wondering what Feldbaum had been doing here, so far from home.

I searched the other pockets and found no wallet, which
suggested a robbery. A robbery might also explain the positioning of the body. Hit a man on the back of the head and he will usually fall forward on his face. But Feldbaum's body was supine, not prone.

Why the discrepancy? Because the mugger had turned him over to gain easier access to his pockets. But why would a mugger lurk here, in Sheinkin Garden, in the middle of the night?

In hopes of catching the odd night owl alone with no witnesses around, that's why. I smiled at my own foolishness. What was I doing, going through this man's pockets? His death was a police matter now. It was no business of mine.

And yet...

My eyes landed on Feldbaum's face. An oddly personal sadness came over me, and I couldn't tell why. This man was a stranger to me. He and I had no connection to one another apart from our nocturnal excursions. But here I was, with an acute sense of grief as though he and I had shared some fate.

I rose to my feet and did a quick grid search around the body. Nothing but dry leaves and crumpled cigarette butts and blood. It hadn't rained in a couple of days, and the earth here was hard and dry, not conducive to footprints. However, two shallow drag marks trailed a meter or so from Feldbaum's boots, indicating that the killer had dragged the body to better hide it behind the hedgerow.

But there was nothing that pointed to the killer's identity. Nothing to indicate where he had gone after the crime. At least nothing that I could see in the dim glow of moonlight.

There was nothing I could do for Emmanuel Feldbaum. I hoped the police would find justice for him.

I walked to the nearest pay phone, thumbed a coin into the machine, and called the police. I told them that I had come upon the body of a man in Sheinkin Garden and that it appeared the man had been murdered. When the officer asked for my name, I cradled the receiver.

The civic thing to do would have been to give my identity, wait for the police where I'd found the body, and tell them everything I knew about Emmanuel Feldbaum.

But what did I really know? Nothing that could shed light on who killed him. And I knew that anyone who finds a body is treated as a suspect. And in these circumstances, me crossing a gloomy public garden in the wee hours of the morning, the initial suspicion would be even greater.

I had some contacts in the police, including a few detectives, but I did not think that would help me much. Especially if I told the police that I had seen Feldbaum several times over the past week, always late at night. In that case, I would become the subject of an intense investigation. My life would be scrutinized, and I did not want that. Some of the things I did, including how I made a part of my living, were not entirely within the boundaries of the law. Inviting the police to examine my affairs could have highly negative consequences.

So after I ended the call, I made my way home. I removed my shoes and clothes and got into the shower. I closed my eyes and leaned my head against the wall and let the hot spray sting my shoulders and back. The water sluiced the sweat off my skin and the tension out of my body, but it did not remove the image of Emmanuel
Feldbaum from my mind. Feldbaum with his eyes dead and open, his skull breached, and his worn-out boots in which he would never walk another step.

- End of Chapter 1 -

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Customer Reviews

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C
Customer
In That Sleep of Death

As with all of Jonathan's books, this one grabbed me from the very beginning and kept me guessing until the very end! A thoroughly enjoyable read!

F
Fredericka
Riveting.

I love this series and this book might just be my favorite. It is so well-written, weaving history, suspense, and terror making it difficult to put down. The attention to detail is remarkable and the plot compelling, gripping and grounded in Israel. The characters are extremely interesting and complicated. Adam Lapid is a tireless detective who is so easy to admire. I highly recommend this book to the reader who loves the combination of history and mystery.

P
Pat OConnor
"Waiting to Exhale"

Jonathan Dunsky, you did it again! Created a drama that left me holding my breath; hesitant to go to bed, and anxious to wake and continue my addiction... Every one of your books transports me to a land I've never been to, to meet a man who charms me, intrigues me, and has me crying then rooting out loud. 'In that sleep of death' Emmanuel and all characters around him become so alive, and then! mystery solved... But is it?! And Batya... For Shame!!! And the ending.... Jonathan, you are a gift!! Thank you!

C
Carolyn McGehee
Waiting

I’m waiting for it to become available. Excited to see what you have in store for us!