This book is based on a character introduced in the last Lincoln Rhyme book. I really liked Catherine Dance and hope he writes more books about her. She is not only smart, good at her job, but also likable. Everytime I thought I had this book figured out it changed courses on me. It will keep you interested throughout and in some places you just won't be able to put it down.
I got hooked on Deaver since "A Maiden's Grave." He is, in my opinion, an exceptional author, especially for his prowess with "plot twists." Such a gift for a modern author is refreshing. This time he focusses not on Lincoln Rhyme, but on Kathryn Dance, who is just as gifted in uncovering truth through observation as Deaver. JB
First Line: The interrogation began like any other.
Special Agent Kathryn Dance, interrogator and kinesics expert with the California Bureau of Investigation, is given the opportunity to interrogate convicted killer Daniel "Son of Manson" Pell. Pell has become the prime suspect in a newly unearthed crime, and the Bureau needs all the information he can give them. All hell breaks loose at the prison where the interrogation is taking place, and Pell manages to escape. It's up to Dance to put all the clues together before the body count begins to rise.
Although this is a plot-driven thriller, there was enough information about Dance's character to keep me interested. She's a widow, has two children, and quite the routine to keep herself grounded and her family running smoothly.
The information Deaver gives about kinesics (body language) is very interesting and easy to apply to real life, although sometimes too much of the detail was repeated. It was fascinating to follow along with Dance and her rather unorthodox line of thinking ("A to B to X") to see if I could figure out Pell's next moves before he actually made them. I also appreciated the fact that the author didn't fall prey to a line of jeopardy that it would have been all too easy to insert into the plot.
As a thriller, this is definitely a cut above, and I have the next Kathryn Dance book, Roadside Crosses on my bookshelves.
Kim W. (Kim1264) - reviewed Sleeping Doll (Kathryn Dance, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
Loved this book!! It kept me on the edge of my seat and I could NOT put it down. Left me thinking about it for months after I read it. I have been waiting for the sequel to it, wondering if there was even going to be a sequel, and I am happy to know there is one on the way. I can't wait to read it!
If you love Kathryn Dance, you'll love this book, too! There were twists and turns in this book that I didn't think about that kept me reading. I couldn't put it down. A good read for a flight or a vacation.
An unqualified five + stars for this book! This is the way a mystery should be written! It keeps you wondering, guessing and not knowing what the author will come up with next! Wonderfully written! This would make a terrific movie!!! Loved it!
i could not put this book down once i got into it! great author, and i'm looking forward to continuing the journey with other Katheryn Dance novels. This is the first of them, and i'm excited about the rest! Monterey CA is one of my favorite places to visit, so reading about the scenery and the area was great, that just added to the story! i love all the twists and turns of Jeffery Deaver.
There can be no doubt Deaver is a master of plot twists. In the past, his novels have kept me guessing throughout the story. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line he became known as a "plot twist writer", and started adding more and more to each story. In "The Sleeping Doll", I'm afraid he's gone so far as to almost seem a parody of himself. There are so many plot twists in the story that the only plot twist would be if what LOOKED LIKE was going to happen actually DID.
Let me say it like this (and none of this happens in the book so I'm not giving anything away, but it happens LIKE this): The victim is home helpless as the killer sneaks into her house...he raises a knife to kill her...BUT the victim knew the killer was coming so it's actually a cop dressed as her waiting to stop the killer...BUT the killer knew the victim would be ready for him, so he waited outside while sending in a flunky to do the actual murder...BUT the FBI knew he'd do this so they waited outside to catch him...BUT he figured someone would be watching so he... You get the idea.
Books like "The Vanishing Man" and of course, "The Bone Collector" showcase Deaver's style at his best. His two short story collections are perfect examples of suspense fiction. But lately it seems like his editors have been wanting him to focus more on the twists, and now the entire story is nothing more than one after the other.
The last five minutes of "The Sixth Sense" took your breath away because of the plot twist ending you should have seen coming but never did. If the whole movie had been that same way, you'd have walked out of the theater in frustration because nothing at all is as it seems at any point in time during the story as the rules keep changing every few minutes. That's the same way "The Sleeping Doll" plays out. While there were a few moments that I honestly didn't see coming and found pleasantly surprising, most of the things happening in the book lost their impact after the first few chapters as you realized everything you THOUGHT was going to happen, actually wasn't.
I'm sure Deaver will trim things back a little for his next story. But even with all the twists in this one, it still makes for a good novel. It's by no means bad...just not at the same level as his previous books.
I TRULY recommend Deaver's books to anyone who loves good mysteries. His characters are so well developed and relatable to the regular person on the street. Kathyrn Dance is a great character and exciting as she unravels the case before her. Deaver is addicting,take my word for it.
I love Jeffery Deaver, and for the most part, this book was typical Deaver- a good plot, with lots of twists and suspense. However, I think that the book was about 50 pages too long, and think that it was a bit overthought.
Kathryn Dance, Michael O'Neill and Winston Kellogg form a triad to bring down cult leader, Daniel Pell, who has escaped from prison. Kathryn Dance is a kinesics specialist which is basically someone who reads body language to solve crimes which is interesting in limited use but Dance had to mentally comment on every single movement and facial expression that everyone made. This was very disruptive to the flow of the story and got very irritating very quickly. I kept thinking "yeah, yeah you're reading body language, so what, get on with it already!" Here's hoping that the second book in the series (Roadside Crosses) skips all this kinesics junk.
I will say that I enjoyed reading Daniel Pell's accounts. He's a total freak and a psychopath but a genius and his thinking processes were fascinating - more so than Kathryn's and that unfortunately says a whole lot about series potential. Yeah when a one time character is more interesting than the heroine, yup definitely gonna be a problem.
I finally got real interested when "The Sleeping Doll" was finally introduced at page 449. Then I honestly couldn't put the book done. I will read Roadside Crosses but if it reads like this one, I will be done with this series. After all, 500+ pages is a lot to slog through again and again with little return.
Linda V. reviewed Sleeping Doll (Kathryn Dance, Bk 1) on
This was a great read. Good characters and a few twists that I did not see coming. This was the first Kathryn Dance novel I have read and I am hooked. I believe Jeffrey Deaver is now in my list of favorite authors.
This is a VERY LONG thriller. It moves quickly, has tons of twists and turns but at almost 600 pages, it takes a while! I will be looking for the next in the series as the characters are well written and the thrills are unexpected.
I don't believe the category of 'kinesics', oh I'm sure it exists but I don't go along with it, this book is 500+ pages and all it is about is chasing a serial killer that escaped and then it just gets repetitive page after page after page, I mean they can't catch him in less than 500+ ages? Give me a break!
Deaver hit a home run with this book, well written, kept the reader wondering what was going to happen next. It has been awhile since I read a good mystery book, most are written like there is a deadline to meet. You will love reading this book
Fascinating lesson in "Kinesics" (body language) and interrogation. Kathryn Dance studies the behavior and demeanor of her subjects while interrogating them and sometimes comes across a subject that is almost too wiley for her to pin down. Daniel Pell, cult leader/serial killer, is on the loose and it's up to Kathryn to guess what his next moves will be.
Pell, meanwhile, is outraged that Dance is impervious to his spell and is actually "reading" him! When he escapes from jail, he is hell bent on getting rid of anyone who may know about his future plans and his long list includes Dance.
Special Agent Kathry Dancer is sent to question convicted murder Daniel Pell. Something goes terribly wrong and suddenly the man known as Son of Manson is loose and on a killing spree in beautiful Monterey County. Katherine and her collegues must do every thing they can to find the killer and his accomplise while he uses his twisted, brillant mind to extract revenge. The book reads easily, the story is fascinating and there is a shocking surprise or two at the end. Worth the read. The only caveat I found is that the author is British and refers to San Quentin Prison as The Q when we natives all know that the correct reference is simply Q.