SLEEP NO MORE – Iris Johansen
St. Martin's Press
Atlanta, Georgia; Santa Barbara and Monterey, California – Present Day
Forensic Sculptor Eve Duncan just spoke to her mother, Sandra, who's on her way to Eve's cabin this very minute to see Eve's lover, Atlanta police detective Joe Quinn. Sandra is in a panic and thinks Joe is the only person who can help her. Eve isn't worried; it's probably just another parking ticket that Sandra wants Joe to help her get out of. But when her flighty mother arrives, she tells Eve a story that is as unbelievable as it is horrific, sending Eve's world into a spin once again. Sandra has never been the perfect mother; when Eve was growing up in an Atlanta slum, she was usually the one taking care of things, holding everything together in spite of her mother's penchant for drugs and men. Now, Sandra is telling Eve that she has a sister. A child born nearly two years before Eve, when Sandra was only fourteen years old. And according to Sandra, her sister has disappeared from a mental hospital somewhere in California, and she wants Joe to help find her.
Thus, it isn't long before both Joe and Eve are flying to California. But first, Joe convinces Eve to stop off in San Diego where Kendra Michaels lives. Kendra is a "sometime" FBI profiler who does wonders with crime solving and finding clues. Blind for first twenty years of her life, Kendra developed extraordinary extra-sensory skills that are in high demand with law enforcement across the country. (See CLOSE YOUR EYES, July 2012).
While working the case, Joe and Eve learn that her sister, Beth Avery, is the daughter of the powerful and politically connected Avery family. They also suspect that Beth has been drugged and kept against her will in the Seahaven Behavioral Health Center since she was seventeen. Now, somehow she's escaped the mental hospital and has vanished. When Eve arrives at the hospital she discovers that all is not right, and both she and Kendra can feel the presence of secrets on the third floor where Beth was kept. In a race against an unknown killer, or killers, they search the grounds and confidential files. When they finally locate Beth, she's miles away from Seahaven and only minutes from becoming a dead woman.
Taut and suspenseful, SLEEP NO MORE is a classic Iris Johansen novel. Eve is once again caught up in a killer's web as he rushes to eliminate both her and her sister, Beth, with Joe hard on their heels, trying to protect them both. My only problem with this novel is the lack of research. Travel in California is not a straight line as most would assume, given our geography, but somehow these characters drive from the San Jose area to Santa Barbara in less than one hour—a feat that even the best superhero cannot accomplish! (I've taken this jaunt many times and the trip is minimal at 5 hours—and that is speeding in gridlocked traffic and up and around mountains!) The incorrect time sequence led to a lot of confusion on my part as to the location of the principal characters, followed by a lot of page turning to see that I read those times and locations correctly, which is annoying when you are caught up in the story. That observance aside, however, Eve and Joe finally get their killer, and find Eve's sister. And of course, our story begs for another, which I am definitely looking forward to reading!
SLEEP NO MORE and a list of all the Eve Duncan books can be found on the author's website, www.irisjohansen.com .
SLEEP NO MORE is scary and suspenseful, and perfect for all mystery lovers!