• The Sleeping Doll

  • A Novel
  • By: Jeffery Deaver
  • Narrated by: Anne Twomey
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (1,449 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ten years ago in California, Daniel Pell, a self-styled Charles Manson, was sentenced to life in prison for murdering an entire family: husband, wife, and two children, plus one of his young male followers. He is brought to Salinas, California, to interview with Kathryn Dance after he is implicated in yet another killing.

Things go terribly wrong during an interview break, and Pell, after badly injuring Dance's fellow California Bureau of Investigation agent and murdering several bystanders, escapes. The murder was just one of his many schemes to allow him to travel outside of his high-security prison - and to continue to kill on the outside.

It's up to Dance, aided by her CBI partners, a Monterey County detective, and a brilliant FBI agent specializing in cult mentality, to stop him before he kills again. Hungry on his trail, Dance enlists three of Pell's former female followers, now raising families and leading normal lives, as well as the one surviving family member from the initial killing. Only eight years old at the time, she was asleep in her bed and obscured by her toys and stuffed animals, prompting the press to call her "The Sleeping Doll". Now 18, this girl may have essential clues about Pell.

©2007 Jeffery Deaver. All rights reserved (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"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." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Sleeping Doll

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    499
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  • 3 Stars
    252
  • 2 Stars
    63
  • 1 Stars
    49
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    292
  • 3 Stars
    89
  • 2 Stars
    24
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    15
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    330
  • 4 Stars
    280
  • 3 Stars
    114
  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
    18

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A decent listen

I've listened to a couple of Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme novels and have always found them better to read than to listen to. I enjoyed The Sleeping Doll more than his previous books and he did a good job of fleshing out the main characters. There were times I thought the story was tedious - the constant references to other people's body language got on my nerves (I get it - she's an expert in kinesics and I don't need an explanation for every gesture a character makes). I also though the story grew tedious at times when the author would wallow in the details of everything the characters were doing (she went home, she cooked dinner, etc.) and it seemed to slow the action. Overall, not my favorite audiobook but certainly not my least favorite either. I would call it average.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Okay, just okay

This was a book that wasn't painful to listen to, but it didn't make you really care if you finished listening to it or not. Quite frankly, I completed listening to it only because I paid for it, not because I enjoyed it. Which was too bad, because I love Jeffrey Deaver generally.

This book was scattered on what it tried to accomplish. I couldn't care about the characters because as soon as the book would start to make me care, the character would suddenly drop out of the picture. For example, the 'romantic' interest apparently had a problem with his relationship with Catherine Dance. I don't know what it was, because it was never stated and he just dropped out of sight. He returned in the last few paragraphs as an after thought, apparently just for a beer.

The main villan was into gratuitous violence, but I can't even say that I found him scary. He was boring.

And suddenly having a character jump from being a good guy to becoming a bad guy without any warning, without any clues to make you think or wonder, just a few mediocre pages on 'oh, yeah, the good guy was an evil doer', made me feel that even the writer didn't have any real interest in this book.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Read It or Listen To It

This is the first Kathryn Dance book, a character introduced in in a previous Lincoln Rhyme novel. She is an expert at kinesics — body language. She is employed by a state version of the FBI specializing in interrogation and interviewing witnesses and suspects. When a dangerous killer escapes after a jailhouse interview by Dance, she is drawn into the distorted and insane world of a cult killer, Daniel Pell. Pell was called Son of Manson by the prosecutor. On so many levels the book "works." It works because it draws you into a world not your own and makes you care about the characters and wonder what is around the corner that only a turn of the page will reveal. I have only one misgiving about the book. It would have worked as well, perhaps better, had it ended a hundred pages before it did. There was a perfect ending diluted by yet several more unnecessary plot twists. This is a minor flaw in my humble opinion. On the whole, read it, listen to it and enjoy!

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Acttion but no mystery

I was very disappointed in this book, especially since I have come to expect thrilling mysteries with many twists and turns of plot from Jeffrey Deaver.

The story line was highly predictable, there was little or no mystery, no real forensics, and, while there was action, the action fell flat most of the time. Definitely NOT up to Deaver's usual standards. All in all it was boring, terminally boring.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Like he said...

Not better than the Rhyme novels and the reader, as stated by a previous reviewer, is just so soft voiced that it's hard to understand or follow and it tended to bore me. Oh, did I mention that the story is boring as well? The "monster" is pathetic and the police work shoddy all around. This guy keeps escaping from public places in stolen cars when an ABP would have rounded him up in short order. And the kinesics based element is way overdone. Ok for interogation but analyzing everything and everyone you come into contact with is just too much.

Sorry didn't like and won't buy another with this reader or this protagonist. 2 stars only.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

.....zzzzz but but but

Jeffery Deaver is a good writer, of that I have no doubt...BUT... I could not listen to this reader at all.... the soft soft monotone is soooo soothing that it forced me, for the first time ever, to give up on a book in the first three chapters. A friend has told me the story is pretty good...but listen to the sample to make sure you can handle the ""voice"" though.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding Suspense and Mystery

Deaver is known for extraordinary procedural detail, twists and character development. I loved this book, particularly because it surprised me at several points. The suspense is also first rate.

The heroine, Katherine Dance is an investigator for the California Buereau of Investigations specializing inbinterrogation and kinesics (or body language). Deaver does a great job revealing her expertise without becoming tedious. In fact I found it fascinating.

The reader is Anne Twomy who does an excellent job.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Fairly Good

I had some problems listening to it through the boring parts but the strange turn around ending made it all worth it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ed
  • 08-01-07

Deaver twists and turns

I really enjoy the Lincoln Rhymes novels written by Deaver and was intrigued with this spinoff featuring human lie detector Katherine Dance. If you're a Deaver fan, this book will not disappoint. If you like to sleuth along with the author, this proves difficult with this book because Deaver leaves out stuff that he reveals only when he's tying loose ends together and dropping another twist bomb. I'm looking forward to another Dance listen and hopeful that it will earn five stars.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Sleeping Doll

Pure junk. Reads more like my elderly mother's Harlequin romance books than a mystery/thriller. What a waste of time and money.

5 people found this helpful