Iris Johansen keeps her readers happy with her newest Eve Duncan novel, SLEEP NO MORE. The story opens when a young woman, Beth Avery, escapes from the posh Santa Barbara mental health center where she has been treated for 17 years. Her wealthy father, Richard, is soon to make a run for the Presidency of the United States. Richard Avery’s messy background --- Beth was born out of wedlock --- must be kept secret if he hopes to win. A contract is put out to eliminate her, but Beth fights off her attacker and runs from the hospital, disappearing into the woods nearby.
Miles away in Atlanta, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan wakes from a ghastly nightmare in which she runs from a big individual intent on killing her. In a cold sweat, she remembers that the man had attempted to inject her with a deadly drug. Her lover and soul mate, Detective Joe Quinn, cradles her and calms her hysteria. Less than a year removed from the discovery of her missing daughter’s body, Eve is still fragile from the horror of Bonnie’s disappearance.
"SLEEP NO MORE falls into Johansen’s tradition of rapid-fire action, emotional drama, and well-written love scenes between Eve Duncan and Joe Quinn... The mixture of crooked psychiatrists, powerful politicians and teenage lust make for a suspenseful and riveting story."
Eve’s mother, Sandra, telephones and asks for Joe’s help in locating her friend’s missing daughter in California. Little does Eve know that Sandra’s revelation about Beth will turn her own life upside down. Eve, Joe, and an old friend, Kendra Michaels, travel to the coast and embark on the search for Beth. The novel contains two equally strong female characters, an unusual twist for this series. Kendra provides the emotional stability that Eve will need when the mysteries begin to unfold.
Gripping suspense and emotional turmoil stream across the pages of SLEEP NO MORE. Johansen slips in the contemporary CSI modus operandi with the insertion of the profiler, Kendra. The team discovers that a former military man, now employed as an intern at the private hospital, had nursed Beth back to near-normal mental health and convinced her that escape is possible. Eve, Joe and Kendra link with Billy to guard Beth from the villains hunting her. But having been held prisoner in a mental institution for years, Beth’s confidence in her protectors is minimal.
Mother-daughter and sibling relationships are explored throughout the book. Eve reveals a new side when she reflects on her own childhood and her relationship with the aloof woman who is her mother, while Sandra’s concern for the runaway mental patient seems to go outside the normal boundaries of friendship.
SLEEP NO MORE falls into Johansen’s tradition of rapid-fire action, emotional drama, and well-written love scenes between Eve Duncan and Joe Quinn; their mutual respect and love for one another leap off the page. The mixture of crooked psychiatrists, powerful politicians and teenage lust make for a suspenseful and riveting story. This is a compelling must-read novel for Eve Duncan lovers and those new to the series, who will certainly become Johansen fans.
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on November 21, 2012