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Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006, 06:12 pm
Reading List: Dead Sleep

Read: Dead Sleep, Greg Iles.

Greg Iles is a shockingly good thriller writer, considering that I’d never heard of him before I got stuck in an airport somewhere and picked him up at random. Dead Sleep is by no means his best work (check out his WWII thrillers, which I read a couple of last year), but it’s still got some nice twists and turns to it. The premise? A woman recognizes her missing twin in one of the paintings in a mysterious exhibition, and reopens the case to try to track her down. The main character doesn’t suffer from Lara-Croft-ism as many thriller heroines do; yes, she’s smart and tough and cool, but she’s still believable. Well, for a thriller heroine, anyhow. While the final plot revelations seemed quite contrived, I loved the final confrontation in which she beats the bad guys with science, not fisticuffs.

You know, I think this was one of those books that’s more fun to read than write about. Thinking back, it really was implausible, particularly when the book took a turn from “hunting a serial killer” to parlor mystery at an unexpected point. But Iles is a good enough writer that you won’t notice the more jarring moments until you think about this book harder than it was probably meant to be thought about. Yes, it’s brain candy, but it’s well-done brain candy - and that counts for a lot.