Greg Iles lives up to the promise of his previous bestseller, 24 Hours
, with a new thriller that showcases his ability to deliver top-level suspense as well as multidimensional characterization. When Jordan Glass, a world-renowned photojournalist, happens on an exhibit of a series of paintings known as "The Sleeping Women," she is stunned to discover that one of the models--a nude who, like the other women in the paintings, looks dead rather than asleep--is her mirror image. But Jordan knows the face in the painting isn't her; it's her twin sister, Jane, who disappeared from her New Orleans home more than a year ago, and is presumed to have been murdered by a serial killer who's been snatching women off the streets of the Crescent City for at least that long. None of the bodies of the missing women have turned up, but their faces match the models in the other Sleeping Women paintings. A veteran FBI agent named John Kaiser brings Jordan into the Bureau's hunt for the anonymous artist, who may also know something about the disappearance of Jordan's father in Vietnam almost 30 years before.
This is a taut, well-crafted thriller with a nice secondary love story that's woven into the action without slowing it down. Jordan is a fascinating, many-sided character who's a little too tough to be wholly believable, but that's a minor quibble. While winning well-deserved new fans for Iles, Dead Sleep will keep his readers awake until the very last page. --Jane Adams
From Publishers Weekly
Iles continues to amaze with his incredible range, this time around crafting a complex serial killer novel with the intimacy of a smalltown cozy and the punch of a techno-thriller. As different from Spandau Phoenix and 24 Hours as possible, it scores with surefooted plotting, a diverse cast of characters and perfectly calibrated suspense. An anonymous painter's series of candidly posed nudes called The Sleeping Woman bursts on the art scene, each painting selling in the million-dollar range overnight amid rumors that the models are not sleeping but dead. Beautiful, burned-out war photographer Jordan Glass chances into a show and recognizes the subject of a painting as her identical twin, Jane, who was kidnapped near her New Orleans home and never found. Jordan contacts the FBI agent who handled her sister's case, thereby setting in motion a hunt that ties the paintings to the disappearance of at least 11 New Orleans women. Persuading the FBI task force to add her to the team, Jordan tags along to Tulane University, where evidence points to art department head Roger Wheaton, who has a peculiar terminal illness, and his brilliant but disturbed graduate students. Meanwhile, Jordan falls for damaged FBI agent John Kaiser, and together they link her sister's case to a French expat art collector from Vietnam who knew Jordan's war photographer father who disappeared in Cambodia. Are all the women really dead? Is Jordan's father alive and involved? Is there more than one killer? Iles keeps the reader guessing right up to the double surprise ending, delivering the perfect final payoff his readers expect.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.