Saturday, January 5, 2008

Book Review: Dead Sleep



Author: Greg Iles

Pages: 372

Genre: Fiction/Suspense

Personal Rating: 2/5

From the back cover:
Jordan Glass, a photojournalist on a well-earned vacation, wanders into a Hong Kong art museum and is puzzled to find fellow patrons eyeing her with curiosity. Minutes later, she stumbles upon a gallery containing a one-artist exhibition called "The Sleeping Women," a mysterious series of paintings that has caused a sensation in the world of modern art. Collectors have come to believe that the canvases depict female nudes not in sleep but in death, and they command millions at auction. When Jordan approaches the last work in the series, she freezes. The face in the painting seems to be her own.

This unsettling event hurls her back into a nightmare she has fought desperately to put behind her-for, in fact, the face in the painting belongs not to Jordan but to her twin sister, murdered one year ago. At the urging of the FBI, Jordan becomes both hunter and hunted in a duel with the anonymous artist, a gifted murderer who knows the secret history of Jordan's family, and truths that even she has never had the courage to face.


This book was described as a page turner but I have to admit I was disappointed. It had such a promising idea. A series of female nude painting of women who could be sleeping, but more probably are dead, surface in the art world. They are seen by Jordan Glass, who is shocked because one of the paintings is of her twin sister who disappeared 13 months prior. She rushes back to the US and is miraculously able to join forces with the FBI to hunt down the person or persons who are committing these crimes and making these paintings.

The book had many good parts, unique characters and very interesting plot ideas. What I found so disappointing was waiting for it to become a page turner. I would be reading and think “finally, here were go…” and for a few pages it would get intense. Then it would drag, drag, drag. “Ok, Here is where it must get going for good”. Then drag, drag, drag. This isn’t done in a good suspenseful way in my opinion. I just felt it was annoying. The book had enough potential with it’s idea that you should have been able to read it in one night. It took me several days.

One aspect that does surface throughout the book are three (well two) questions that the forensic psychiatrist tells Jordan Glass he usually ask everyone.

  1. What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
  2. What moment are you proudest of in your life?
  3. What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you?
Questions 1 & 3 haunted Jordan Glass through the entire novel.

I really liked 24 hours which was also written by Greg Iles so I’m conflicted about trying another novel by him. Suggestions or your input on others he was written would be helpful.

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