The Sleepwalker (novel)
|Genre||Children's, Thriller, Spy novel|
|Publisher||Hodder and Stoughton|
7 February 2008
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Mad Dogs|
|Followed by||Dark Sun|
The Sleepwalker is the ninth novel in the CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore. It was released in February 2008. The book features Lauren Adams and Jake Parker in the lead roles, investigating an airline crash that a mentally disturbed boy called Fahim claims was caused by his father. Meanwhile, James Adams has a subplot doing work experience with Kerry Chang at a fast food restaurant. This is the first CHERUB book to feature Lauren in the lead role, with James' story as a subplot.
A plane crashes over the Atlantic, killing all 345 passengers on board, including the wife, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren of former CHERUB chairman Dr. Terrence "Mac" McAfferty. A distressed 12-year-old boy, Fahim Bin Hassam, calls the air crash investigation hotline and attempts to implicate his father Hassam, but gives into his fear before he can relay any significant information.
Lauren and fellow agent Jake Parker are sent on a mission to befriend Fahim and discover the truth behind the plane crash. Mac becomes the acting mission controller, trying to find out if the deaths of his family were accidental or acts of terrorism. Lauren plants audio devices all over the Bin Hassam house, but when Hassam discovers one, he thinks that his cleaning lady was responsible and tortures her to the brink of death. Fahim feels guilty about this and admits to his father about how it was Lauren and Jake. Hassam takes Fahim to his brother's house to arrange his escape from the United Kingdom, but Fahim throws antiseptic in his father's eyes in an attempt to flee. Hassam chases him across a golf course, but when an armed tactical response team threaten to shoot him, Hassam takes his own son hostage with a knife to his throat. But just in time as a team of CHERUB agents arrive including Lauren, Jake, Rat, Dave Moss, former karate champion Jake McEwen, Kerry Chang, Gabrielle O Brian, Dana, Bruce and finally the twins Callum and Connor.
Jake attacks Hassam from behind and saves Fahim. Hassam, unwilling to spend the rest of his life in prison, claims to be armed and is promptly shot dead. After all of the trouble is cleared, it is discovered that the plane crashed due to faulty parts which Hassam and his brother Asif sold to company constructing the plane. Asif is arrested for his complicity in the conspiracy. Fahim is taken in to start life at CHERUB, but when a camcorder shows that he sleepwalks every night and talks out loud about all of the things he has done, CHERUB chairwoman Zara Asker states that it is too dangerous to send him on missions because he might blow his cover. Instead, Fahim is adopted by Mac. As Mac departs CHERUB, he shows Lauren a farewell message written by his grandson moments before the crash.
Meanwhile, James has been assigned work experience with his friend Kerry at the Deluxe Chicken restaurant. They are invited to a club by their co-worker Gemma and her boyfriend Danny. James, Dana and Kerry go and have a good time, but James discovers Danny pushing Gemma about and fights with him. On the last day of their work experience Gemma shows up with a black eye. Outside, James meets Danny, who tries to goad James into attacking him by assaulting Gemma. Kerry, enraged, grabs a baseball bat and brutally beats Danny. The police are called but arrest James, who is holding the bat as they arrive. Zara uses her status to free James from prison and punishes Kerry and James with punishment laps and decorating service.