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Publisher's Summary

Ten years ago in California, Daniel Pell, a self-styled Charles Manson, was sentenced to life in prison for murdering an entire family: husband, wife, and two children, plus one of his young male followers. He is brought to Salinas, California, to interview with Kathryn Dance after he is implicated in yet another killing.

Things go terribly wrong during an interview break, and Pell, after badly injuring Dance's fellow California Bureau of Investigation agent and murdering several bystanders, escapes. The murder was just one of his many schemes to allow him to travel outside of his high-security prison - and to continue to kill on the outside.

It's up to Dance, aided by her CBI partners, a Monterey County detective, and a brilliant FBI agent specializing in cult mentality, to stop him before he kills again. Hungry on his trail, Dance enlists three of Pell's former female followers, now raising families and leading normal lives, as well as the one surviving family member from the initial killing. Only eight years old at the time, she was asleep in her bed and obscured by her toys and stuffed animals, prompting the press to call her "The Sleeping Doll". Now 18, this girl may have essential clues about Pell.

©2007 Jeffery Deaver. All rights reserved; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Deaver digs into his bottomless bag of unexpected twists and turns, keeping readers wide-eyed with surprise, and leaving them looking forward to more of the perspicacious Dance." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Okay, just okay

This was a book that wasn't painful to listen to, but it didn't make you really care if you finished listening to it or not. Quite frankly, I completed listening to it only because I paid for it, not because I enjoyed it. Which was too bad, because I love Jeffrey Deaver generally.

This book was scattered on what it tried to accomplish. I couldn't care about the characters because as soon as the book would start to make me care, the character would suddenly drop out of the picture. For example, the 'romantic' interest apparently had a problem with his relationship with Catherine Dance. I don't know what it was, because it was never stated and he just dropped out of sight. He returned in the last few paragraphs as an after thought, apparently just for a beer.

The main villan was into gratuitous violence, but I can't even say that I found him scary. He was boring.

And suddenly having a character jump from being a good guy to becoming a bad guy without any warning, without any clues to make you think or wonder, just a few mediocre pages on 'oh, yeah, the good guy was an evil doer', made me feel that even the writer didn't have any real interest in this book.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Paige
  • Glen Ellyn, IL
  • 07-15-07

A decent listen

I've listened to a couple of Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme novels and have always found them better to read than to listen to. I enjoyed The Sleeping Doll more than his previous books and he did a good job of fleshing out the main characters. There were times I thought the story was tedious - the constant references to other people's body language got on my nerves (I get it - she's an expert in kinesics and I don't need an explanation for every gesture a character makes). I also though the story grew tedious at times when the author would wallow in the details of everything the characters were doing (she went home, she cooked dinner, etc.) and it seemed to slow the action. Overall, not my favorite audiobook but certainly not my least favorite either. I would call it average.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jesse
  • Creston, NC USA
  • 07-26-07

Like he said...

Not better than the Rhyme novels and the reader, as stated by a previous reviewer, is just so soft voiced that it's hard to understand or follow and it tended to bore me. Oh, did I mention that the story is boring as well? The "monster" is pathetic and the police work shoddy all around. This guy keeps escaping from public places in stolen cars when an ABP would have rounded him up in short order. And the kinesics based element is way overdone. Ok for interogation but analyzing everything and everyone you come into contact with is just too much.

Sorry didn't like and won't buy another with this reader or this protagonist. 2 stars only.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Justin
  • Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
  • 07-16-07

.....zzzzz but but but

Jeffery Deaver is a good writer, of that I have no doubt...BUT... I could not listen to this reader at all.... the soft soft monotone is soooo soothing that it forced me, for the first time ever, to give up on a book in the first three chapters. A friend has told me the story is pretty good...but listen to the sample to make sure you can handle the ""voice"" though.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Acttion but no mystery

I was very disappointed in this book, especially since I have come to expect thrilling mysteries with many twists and turns of plot from Jeffrey Deaver.

The story line was highly predictable, there was little or no mystery, no real forensics, and, while there was action, the action fell flat most of the time. Definitely NOT up to Deaver's usual standards. All in all it was boring, terminally boring.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Outstanding Suspense and Mystery

Deaver is known for extraordinary procedural detail, twists and character development. I loved this book, particularly because it surprised me at several points. The suspense is also first rate.

The heroine, Katherine Dance is an investigator for the California Buereau of Investigations specializing inbinterrogation and kinesics (or body language). Deaver does a great job revealing her expertise without becoming tedious. In fact I found it fascinating.

The reader is Anne Twomy who does an excellent job.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Sleeping DOll

While I love the Catherine Dance character, I thought this book was a bit slow paced, compared to the Lincoln Rime books I have come to know and love. I like the intricate details and the fine plotting of Jeffrey Deaver's other books much better. o

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Frederick
  • Irvine, CA, United States
  • 07-03-07

Read It or Listen To It

This is the first Kathryn Dance book, a character introduced in in a previous Lincoln Rhyme novel. She is an expert at kinesics — body language. She is employed by a state version of the FBI specializing in interrogation and interviewing witnesses and suspects. When a dangerous killer escapes after a jailhouse interview by Dance, she is drawn into the distorted and insane world of a cult killer, Daniel Pell. Pell was called Son of Manson by the prosecutor. On so many levels the book "works." It works because it draws you into a world not your own and makes you care about the characters and wonder what is around the corner that only a turn of the page will reveal. I have only one misgiving about the book. It would have worked as well, perhaps better, had it ended a hundred pages before it did. There was a perfect ending diluted by yet several more unnecessary plot twists. This is a minor flaw in my humble opinion. On the whole, read it, listen to it and enjoy!

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • CBDC
  • Washington, DC USA
  • 06-23-11

Dance is not Rhyme

I truly enjoy the Jeffrey Deaver books with the quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhymes. His mind is brilliant and the forensic analysis, reconstruction of the crime scene, and attention to detail convincing. Kathryn Dance is a kinesics expert. She looks at the subtleties of body language to interview and analyze suspects and witnesses. I don't find the discipline as convincing. The narrative is gripping, but near the end there are various surprises that come out of nowhere and it's not at all clear while Deaver decided to tack them on. I'll read/listen to other Deaver novels with Lincoln Rhymes and Amanda Sachs - but not with Kathryn Dance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michele
  • Fresno, CA, United States
  • 09-07-07

Kind of spread out...

I haven't followed this character set...and it was easy to pick up the thread. But, the story line was all over the place and there was really no "thriller" attachment to who did what, or why. It was interesting listening, but I wouldn't walk far to get another book in this series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful