Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery Deaver

Daniel Pell is a contemporary Charles Manson. A petty criminal with a history of antisocial behavior and obsession with controlling other people, he had a group of women living with him in a quasi cult in central California. Eight years ago, he and another man viciously slaughtered a family for no apparent reason, though the three women in his "Family" were absolved of any part in the deaths.

Now, present day, Pell has escaped and Kathryn Dance, the famed interrogator and kinesic analyst and her team, must find out where he is and why he's staying near the prison he escaped from. She brings together the three women, now leading normal lives, to help her find out where Pell is and what he's up to. Pell, for his part, and a young woman he has manipulated to help him, tries to outguess the police and fulfill his mission, as he learns that Kathryn Dance is perhaps his most dangerous opponent.

The Sleeping Doll once again reminds me why Deaver is one of my all time favorite mystery writers. His books are tightly crafted and full of twists and turns. These plot twists aren't far fetched and contrived, but examples of masterful suspense writing. I enjoyed Dance as a new leading lady and will definitely be looking for more books in this series. I also enjoyed the "people" specialty of kinesic analyst. It is a nice contrast to the evidence driven Rhyme. 4 stars

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