Thursday, December 8, 2016

Promotional Post: Lay Your Sleeping Head by Michael Nava #Review #Giveaway

Author: Michael Nava
Book: Lay Your Sleeping Head
Formerly: The Little Death
Publisher: Korima Press
Publication date for ebook: January 2017
Publication for paperback: November 30, 2016
Length: 276 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


Lay Your Sleeping Head is a complete revision of the first novel in the Henry Rios series which was originally published in 1986 as The Little Death. Henry Rios is a gay criminal defense lawyer battling burn-out and alcoholism. He meets Hugh Paris, the junkie scion of a wealthy San Francisco family who is trying to put his life back on track. The two men fall in love and have a brief, but intense affair. When Hugh is discovered dead of a drug overdose, Rios believes he was murdered and launches an investigation that reveals long-buried secrets and a decades’ old cover-up.


Lay Your Sleeping Head is a re-release and rewrite of Michael Nava's 1986 story The Little Death. Having not read the original I can't compare the two or even know what changes were made. That said, here's my review:

If this book, book one, is a testament of this series we're in for a heck of a ride. This is a very good mystery. You won't be disappointed there. A lot of that has to do with plot of course, but also the realistic nature the author has done to flesh out these characters. Add the descriptive and well thought out dialog and you absolutely have a wonderful crime drama.

I absolutely wouldn't classify Henry and Hugh's relationship as love. But it was definitely a lustful obsession on both sides. They were each other's drug of choice. Often times obsession is confused as love.

Hugh's death (not a spoiler, it's in the blurb) ignites something in Henry. And where it's gritty and raw throughout the story, his death adds a serious darkness and angst to it. Henry is not a saint. He has a lot of issues of his own and I think that the fact that neither Henry or Hugh were put together very well was the reason they never would have lasted; even if Hugh lived.

There's zero simplicity to this. It's not cut & dry, it will keep you thinking and prey on your emotional state in order to sway you. It's a tricky beast.

It's an exciting and very emotional story. There's great angst and depth to this story and the characters. Great read.

About Michael Nava

Michael Nava is the author of an acclaimed series of seven novels featuring gay, Latino criminal defense lawyer Henry Rios which won six Lambda Literary Awards.  In 2000, he was awarded the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in LGBT literature.  The New York Times review of the last Rios novel called him “one of our best.” His most recent novel, The City of Palaces, was published in 2014 by the University of Wisconsin Press.  The City of Palaces was a finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for best gay novel and was awarded the 2014 International Latino Literary Award for best novel. His new novel Lay Your Sleeping Head, a reimagining of the first Henry Rios novel published 30 years ago, will appear in fall 2016 from K√≥rima Press.


Michael Nava will gift one person a signed paperback copy
of Lay Your Sleeping Head.
This contest is international!

Contest will end on December 15th
Thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I think a good mystery keeps me guessing until the end. Thanks for the chance.

  2. I like a mystery with a twist at the end.

  3. I read this book when it was still "A Little Death" and I owned that one in paperback; congrats on the re-release by the way. As for good mystery, for me it will be the one that has good investigation (even if the main characters are not police/detective), good 'villain' and motive, and of course a number of red herrings to keep me guessing until the end :)

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