Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: Sleep No More by Iris Johansen

Sleep No More by Iris Johansen
St. Martin's Press
October 2012
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages

First line: The kill should be ridiculously easy.

From the inside cover: One woman held captive for decades...Another one freed by the truth...

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan knows what it's like to be haunted by the past.  For years after her daughter Bonnie was stolen from her, she fought for closure.  But now as she's striving to begin anew, she can't shake the feeling that something terrible is about to happen—or maybe already has.  When her mother, Sandra, asks for help in finding a missing friend named Beth Avery, Eve is sure that she's hiding something.  It’s odd that Sandra would get involved at all, and the fact that she adamantly refuses to go to the police for help reinforces Eve’s suspicions that something is very wrong.

Eve learns that Beth has been locked away in a mental hospital for years, which makes it even harder to understand how she could have disappeared. As Sandra reluctantly reveals small pieces of the truth about Beth's identity, Eve is shocked to discover that their lives are strangely entwined, and Beth's disappearance now puts them all in grave danger.
Desperate, Eve enlists a secret weapon to pick up Beth's trail:  rogue profiler, Kendra Michaels. With an uncanny ability to detect clues and solve puzzles, Kendra begins to uncover the bizarre circumstances of Beth's escape from what should have been the safety of her hospital room. Beth is on the run, and as her mind clears--detoxing from the drugs that have held her prisoner--she begins to see the threads of a twisted plot within the powerful Avery family, threatening to destroy Beth and anyone else who might jeopardize the high-stakes game that is already in play.

My thoughts: This is the latest in Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan series and I was so glad to see that we had not seen the last of Eve Duncan. Last year, Iris Johansen released a trilogy that answered the question, 'What happened to Eve's daughter Bonnie? - a question the readers have been wanting to know since the first book. Now that we had that answer, I was afraid that would be the end for Eve as this had been a driving force in her life. But, Eve is back and better than ever!

In Sleep No More, Eve's mother Sandra wants Joe to look into a missing person, Beth Avery. Eve is immediately suspicious, especially as Sandra is a bit cagey with details at first. Once the real reason why Sandra is worried about Beth comes out, Eve is shocked...and decides she will help Joe find out what happened to Beth. Beth had been locked away in a mental institution since she was seventeen and has somehow managed to escape. As we find out more, we realize she is the daughter of a powerful family - her father is in politics and her paternal grandmother seems to rule with an iron fist. It is what Sandra tells Eve about Beth that pushes Eve into the search. And the search isn't without a crazy killer and lots of secrets. People who happen to be in on why Beth was in the mental institution in the first place start dropping like flies, one by one. The big question is who is behind all of this?

Needing all the help they can get, Eve and Joe enlist the help of profiler Kendra Michaels, who is a character from a book Iris Johansen co-wrote with her son, Roy, called Close Your Eyes. Kendra is an interesting character and without giving away too many details, she possesses a unique quality of having hyper-alert senses - something that Eve and Joe know will help them. 

This is another great thriller by Iris Johansen and I was hooked from the beginning. There is a lot of action, with plenty of twists and turns so that you don't want to put the book down. Both Beth and Kendra are strong female characters and I look forward to seeing how their relationships with Eve develop in future books as I don't think we've seen the last of either of them. I also love that even though we know what happened to Bonnie, she still appears when Eve needs her - I find this to be comforting for Eve. 

My only disappointment with this book is that we don't see much of Eve working on skulls. In the beginning of the book, she is working on one, but once Sandra appears with her request, the skull gets pushed to the wayside. I love the forensic sculpting that Eve does - I find it fascinating and I think this skill is what defines Eve. I hope that in future books, that will again be a main part of the story-line.

I haven't read any of the books that Iris Johansen has co-written with her son, Roy, but I can definitely say I will be picking up Close Your Eyes and the prequel With Open Eyes soon. Have you read either of these? How do you feel when authors have characters cross-over into other series? Does it work or have you found it to be a stretch for the feel of the series?

(I borrowed this book from the library.)

Books in this series:
  1. The Face of Deception              10.  Killer Dreams
  2. The Killing Game                         11.  Stalemate
  3. The Search                                     12.  Pandora's Daughter
  4. Body of Lies                                   13.  Quicksand
  5. No One to Trust                            14.  Blood Game
  6. Dead Aim                                        15.  Eight Days to Live
  7. Fatal Tide                                        16.  Chasing the Night
  8. Blind Alley                                     17.  Sleep No More
  9. Countdown                                    18.  Taking Eve - due out 2013


  1. I love Kendra's book and was excited to see her and Eve working together. I just finished Sleep No More yesterday. I am kind of hoping that in the future that all 3 of them end up working together.

    1. I really need to get Kendra's book - I found her to be such a fascinating character! And I would love if all three women worked together...add in Catherine Ling and that would be quite the team!

  2. I've never read this author. I like reading a thriller now and then so I will have to check out this series.

    1. What thriller are you reading now? This is one of my favorite series - you should definitely check it out!

  3. I am glad to see Eve back too! Glad you enjoyed this book. I have read the books written with her son and have enjoyed them. Just got Close Your Eyes today. I don't mind character cross-overs.

    1. I don't mind cross-over characters if they fit the feel of the book. I really need to try the books she's written with her son - they look pretty good!


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