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