I picked up The Sleeping Doll purely on impulse a couple of weeks ago from the library when I was picking up another book. This was a fantastic read and one that kept me on the edge of my seat. I give it an A-.
When Special Agent Kathryn Dance- a brilliant interrogator and kinesics expert with the CBI- is sent to question the convicted killer Daniel "Son of Manson" Pell as a suspenct in a newly unearthed crime, she feels both trepidation and electrifying intrigue. Pell is serving a life sentence for the brutal murders of the wealthy Croyton family in Carmel years earlier- a crime mirroring those perpetrated by Charles Manson in the 1960s. But Pell and his cult members were sloppy: Not only were they apprehended, they even left behind a survivor- the youngest of the Croyton daughters, who, because she was in bed hidden by her toys that terrible night, was dubbed the Sleeping Doll.
But the girl never spoke about that night, nor did the crime's mastermind. Indeed, Pell has long been both reticent and unrepentant about the crime. And so with the murderer transported from the Capitola superprison to an interrogation room in the Monerey County Courthouse, Dance sees an opportunity to pry a confession from him for the recent murder- and to learn more about the depraved mind of this career criminal who considers himself a master of control, a dark Svengali, forcing people to do what they otherwise would never conceive of doing. In an electrifying psychologica jousting match, Dance calls up all her skills as an interrogator and kinesics- body language- expert to get to the truth behind Daniel Pell.
But when Dance's plan goes terribly wrong and Pell escapes, leaving behind a trail of dead and injured, she finds herself in charge, of her first-ever manhunt. But far from simply fleeing, Pell turns on his pursuers- and other inccoecnts- for reasons Dance and her colleagues can't discern. As the idyllic Monterey Pennisula is paralyzed by the elusive killer, Dance turns to the past to find the truth about what Daniel Pell is really up to. She tracks down the now teenage Sleeping Doll to learn what really happened that night, and she arranges a reunion of the three women who were in his cult at the time of the killings. The lies of the past and the evasions of the present boil up under the relentless probing of Kathryn Dance, but will the truth about Daniel Pell emerge in time to stop him from killing again?
This book had a ton of twists and turns that kept me guessing the entire time. I had a difficult time putting it down, which to me, is always a great sign of a fantastic book. I loved the main character, Kathryn, and was really rooting for her. Pell is a scary villian, and one who is quite powerful as well. I thought Mr. Deaver did a great job with the research of cults which is something I am always intrigued by. I guess the whole idea of people completely losing control of themselves to the power of someone else is quite scary and a bit unbelieveable to me, but I enjoy reading about it. If you haven't tried Jeffrey Deaver, I highly suggest you read his books. This one is part of a series but I don't think I missed out on anything by not reading the other ones first. The next one that I want to read Roadside Crosses which I have heard great things about on various blogs.
I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend. I am sad that it is almost coming to an end, but I am not going to think about it. (Denial is a powerful thing!!!) Happy Reading everyone!!!