‘The Sleeping Doll’ is the first novel in Jeffery Deaver’s Katherine Dance series. Katherine Dance is a Special Agent with the California Bureau of Investigation and an expert in kinesics, the science of interpreting behaviour.
Daniel Pell has been in prison for murder for many years. He was dubbed ‘Son of Manson’ because he set up a ‘family’ of young women who he controlled and sent out to steal to support the family. He was caught after murdering a family, all except a young girl who was in bed at the time – known as the Sleeping Doll. New evidence has recently come to light implicating Pell in another murder and Dance is excited at the opportunity to interview him.
But things go terribly wrong. The interview is set to take place at the couthouse rather than the prison and Pell is able to escape, killing several law enforcement officers in the process. This places Katherine Dance in charge of her first manhunt.
She trawls through Pell’s past to try to determine what he will do. She reunites three women who were members of Pell’s family and tracks down the now teenage Sleeping Doll so that she can find out more about Pell.
As leads come in she finds herself one step behind Pell several times until at last their paths dramatically converge.
I enjoyed the plot of this book but found the early stages incredibly difficult to read. The descriptions of Dance’s interview techniques were overdone and tedious. Once we got past that the story was finally able to move on with the tedium only occasionally revisited.
The characters in the story were excellent. I particularly loved Katherine Dance around who the book revolved and look forward to finding out more about her in future novels.
This is the first Jeffery Deaver novel that I’ve read. My plan is to read the Katherine Dance series and I hope that there is not too much over explaining in the next one – ‘Roadside Crosses’.