The Sleeping Doll: Book summary and reviews of The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery Deaver

The Sleeping Doll

A Novel

By Jeffery Deaver

The Sleeping Doll
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2007,
    448 pages.

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Book Summary

When Special Agent Kathryn Dance -- a brilliant interrogator and kinesics expert with the California Bureau of Investigation -- is sent to question the convicted killer Daniel "Son of Manson" Pell as a suspect 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 Monterey 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 psychological 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 innocents -- for reasons Dance and her colleagues can't discern.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The book sags in its long middle, but towards the end 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." - PW.

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Cloggie Downunder
Excellent Deaver
The Sleeping Doll is the first of Jeffrey Deaver’s Kathryn Dance series. Special Agent Kathryn Dance, a brilliant interrogator and kinesics expert with the California Bureau of Investigation, made a brief appearance in the Lincoln Rhyme novel The Cold Moon. When Kathryn interrogates convicted murderer and cult leader, Daniel Pell, about a newly-discovered crime, she hopes to also learn more about the mass murder for which he was jailed. That case involved the murder of a wealthy family, leaving behind a survivor: the Sleeping Doll of the title. When Pell escapes after the interrogation, Dance finds herself in charge of the ensuing manhunt. What follows is a fast-paced tale with plenty of twists: feints and betrayals abound. Along the way, Dance deals with a clever and charismatic cult leader, his followers and ex-followers, a tenacious author is search of a story, a brave teenager, a less-than-supportive boss, shifts in her own family’s dynamics, a possible love-interest and an FBI expert. Also featured are plastic surgery, disguise, car chases, near misses, gunfights, car-jacking, explosions, murder, theft and a surfeit of liars: this novel has it all. The kinesics angle is interesting without being overdone. Lincoln Rhyme even makes a token appearance. I’d forgotten what a good read a Jeffrey Deaver novel can be: lots of “I didn’t see that coming” moments. I’m looking forward to reading the next Kathryn Dance, Roadside Crosses.

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Author Information

Jeffery Deaver Author Biography

Jerry Bauer

Jeffery Deaver is the author of twenty-seven suspense novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Vanished Man, The Stone Monkey, The Blue Nowhere, The Empty Chair, The Devil's Teardrop, and The Coffin Dancer, as well as Edge, Roadside Crosses, The Bone Collector, Speaking in Tongues and Garden of Beasts . As William Jefferies, he is the author of Shallow Graves, Bloody River Blues, and Hell's Kitchen. He is a five-time Edgar Award nominee, an Anthony Award nominee, and a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader's Award for Best Short Story of the Year. His books are sold in more than 150 countries and translated into 25 languages. Deaver was born in Chicago, attended the University of Missouri, and received a law degree from Fordham University in New York.

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