Author: Greg Iles
Dead Sleep by Greg Iles was quite similar to another Greg Iles book I’ve read, Blood Memory. Both books feature women who are tangentially related to an ongoing serial murder investigation. The women end up becoming very involved in the investigation, traveling with law enforcement, conducting interviews, and even doing face to face confrontations with the bad guys.
The whole concepts are preposterous, but I found this book to be slightly less ridiculous than Blood Memory. The story goes that a bunch of paintings of sleeping or dead women are selling for millions of dollars. However, the women that the paintings have based on have all disappeared from the New Orleans area. Our protagonist, Jordan Glass, is the identical twin sister of one of the women who has disappeared. Jordan is a photographer who is also very sexy and single, and the FBI decides to use her in interviews with potential suspects to see if any of them are rattled or slip up and show recognition for the familiar face.
Along with Jordan Glass is FBI agent John Kaiser, who once again shows a weakness for putting civilian women in dangerous situations. Here, Jordan does a few dangerous things like going for walks around New Orleans with only one person doing security with her. However, she doesn’t do as much of the dangerous stuff that the protagonist of Blood Memory did which was one of the main reasons I did not like that book.
There are several twists involved in this book that had me shaking my head in disbelief throughout the story. The biggest one involved a prediction by Jordan that was ruled out by the FBI but eventually revealed to be the truth. Without giving it away, I’ll just say it was the type of ridiculous thing that I would expect to see in a lifetime movie (or in a much better M. Night Shymalan movie that came out in 2016). Also, there is a big reveal at the end by a character that lives on an island nation that also felt unnecessary. In fact the entire character and story line involving that character could have been removed and the book improved.
The part of the book I enjoyed the most was when the main group of suspects was introduced. Each one is profiled by the FBI, given an interview and their art was discussed as well. I guessed incorrectly on who the killer was (my guess was that it was all of the students working together), but the mystery element of this had me interested enough to try to figure it out moving forward. The climactic showdown between Jordan and the killer had a great use of exploiting a character’s weakness to gain the advantage.