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Special Sleeper Agents Evolved

T.J. Hawkins Author Interview

Sleepers follows a man who discovers he is an agent for MI5 and now must save Britain from a psychopath terrorist set to destroy the country. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for the book came from realising that I was really fortunate with the genes that I have inherited from my father. After 5 years of not seeing a dentist, I thought it was about time that I had a check-up. As the dentist examined my teeth, to my surprise, she then muttered a blasphemous expletive under her breath. She couldn’t believe that I hadn’t got a single filling in my mouth and still didn’t need one. I’m in my mid 50’s by the way and have a really really sweet tooth! A month later, I went to see the doctor over a very minor matter and he looked genuinely surprised to see me. I hadn’t seen him since I registered with his practice many years before. My father is 99 years old by the way, and he told me the other day that felt like he was 79 not 99! So, then the idea of special sleeper agents evolved.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

As the main villain has an Islamist extremist background, I thought it was really important to include positive Muslim characters in the book as well. I also wanted to explore other aspects, such as how someone could be drawn into a life as a terrorist. I tried to make sure that this didn’t slow down the pace of the story too much but still (hopefully) adding some depth to the character.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’ve started on the sequel, which I’m really enjoying. The protagonist is female by the way and if you’ve read ‘Sleeper’ then you’ll know who that is! Expect outrageous behaviour from Baqri and his terrorist cell, by the way.

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Tom Rivers is a middle aged professional. He has a wife and two daughters. His life is comfortable, if somewhat unremarkable. But he has a secret, that even he doesn’t know about. During a business trip to London he discovers that he is instead, a genetically superior and highly trained MI5 agent who has been kept in a sleeper state for the past twenty five years and is now expected to save his country from catastrophe.

A terrorist cell has developed a weapon so devastating that it could send Britain back to the Dark Ages and, at the same time, cost thousands of innocent lives. Their leader, a charismatic and extrovert psychopath, has carefully planned his attack on the capital with America in mind as his next target. Except, there was one element he hadn’t predicted – Tom Rivers as his nemesis. The game of cat and mouse races across London as Tom and his team try to stop the terrorists in time and before the threat of nuclear war becomes a reality. But there are also other sinister forces at work, operating from the shadows.

Who can be trusted?

Sleeper is a real page-turner – a gripping and engaging thriller that delivers plenty of surprises along the way. Exciting, believable and action packed with characters that truly engage.


Sleeper, by T.J. Hawkins, is a suspenseful thriller action that follows the life of Tom Rivers, an MI5 agent put into a hypnotic ‘sleep’ to be activated when the right time arises. After twenty-five years in this state, his time to awaken and take on his destiny has arrived. With a terrorist planning to destroy Britain and the United States, Tom must embrace his abilities and catch the terrorist threatening humanity.

I was enthralled from the very beginning. Hawkins captures the reader at every page, feeding our desires for a unique plotline, heart-pounding suspense, and an exciting thriller. It is clear from each chapter that the author has carefully thought out the information he feeds to the reader and how this will be interpreted by the reader. This is crucially important given the delicate political and social themes he brings up.

I commend Hawkins for acknowledging the power he holds as an author and ensuring he does not promote negative stigma around religious faith, thoroughly considering the words he is using. Hawkin’s shaping and subsequent development of Tom’s character are sublime. In a matter of pages, Mr. Rivers goes from hypnotic sleep to awake, and not once does it feel implausible. Each tiny shift in character allows the reader to fully appreciate the stark contrast between ordinary architect and exemplary agent and begin to delve into the exciting challenges the plotline may indeed encounter. We are in suspense from the very beginning and never disappointed throughout.

From an ethical standpoint, there may be some criticism of the use of agents and the perceived creation of ‘Lebensborn’ Esq individuals, especially considering the ending’s implications. However, rather than supporting violence upon violence and genetic modification, Hawkin shapes some valid, albeit rather upsetting realities: this is “the war that never ends.” And this brings out a haunting realization that hangs across the readers as they edge towards the ending, urging them to read further and, once finished, wish that there was more.

Sleeper is a riveting technothriller and mystery that pulls readers in from the opening pages and keeps them on edge till the end. The suspense that the author can create feels realistic and has your heart pounding with each new twist and turn of the plot, waiting to see the outcome.

Pages: 333 | ASIN : B0B3ZC2YVH

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