“Sleep No More
A hired assassin paid to eliminate a mental patient because she is in the way. A killer quietly steals down the corridor of a mental institution, the nurse on duty on a break and the coverage nurse has not arrived. Unguarded, no security in sight, yet this is a high maximum facility, private nurses round the clock for special patients and yet no one sees this man. Creeping into Beth Avery’s room with the sole purpose of killing her and completing the job he was being paid to do. Bed plumped, body supposedly beneath the covers, imagine his surprise when she was not there. Hiding in a corner and quite agile she springs at him. The silent killer has no idea who or what he is up against being told that she was kept sedated and heavily drugged. Beth Avery proved to be quite an adversary. With the help of someone in the hospital and following his guidance and instructions Beth flees to freedom. But, now she is alone.
Enter Eve Duncan and her mother Sandra who has an unusual request for both Joe. But, first Eve has a nightmare that takes her deep into the forest where Beth is running for her life and the nightmare mirrors the events that are taking place. As she recounts some of the nightmare to Joe they discuss the possible causes and her fears. We return to the killer and we meet more players that have a lot to lose if she is not found. Beth is not returned to the hospital but somehow those in charge have to make it look like she was.
Rationalizing that she is not capable of fending for herself and trying to understand why Nelda Avery wanted her dead, his job is to find her, take her out and inflict pain and revenge on her for escaping. No one to trust at this hospital and no one on the outside to help her. Wherever you turn all they want is to put them to sleep: some soundly and others permanently: Sleep No More: Iris Johansen.
As Sandra, Eve’s mother enters the picture and arrives at the Lake Cottage the events that happen will change Eve’s life forever. Sandra requests Joe’s help in finding Beth. You won’t believe the reason why and what she reveals as the link to this young woman on the run. An accident that caused her to incur brain damage and someone that wants her silenced. So, why does Sandra need their help? Why is she so bent on finding her? What makes both Eve and Joe suspicious of the conditions surrounding Beth’s accident? Sleep No More: Not if the pills wear off and Beth never gets caught. Iris Johansen at her best in this first rate novel but there is much more to come.
Nelda Avery is vicious, devious and smart. Anyone standing in her way will be blown away in a puff of smoke. Nelda is concerned about only one thing, her son Ricky’s run for President. As long as her husband George funds the campaign he is useful. Foolish to think he matters to her and naïve to think she would keep him if he denied her what she wants.
Thinking about Beth and planning to meet Joe to enlist the help of Kendra Michaels Bonnie appears. As Eve talks with Bonnie she learns more about Beth, why she is being drawn to her and her need to connect with her. Knowing where Bonnie is and that she was finally brought home does not make it any easier for her nor does she miss her less. But, Bonnie wants her to connect with Beth and helping Sandra seems to be the answer. When Joe goes to the mental hospital to see Beth he is stonewalled. Checking the person in the room he realizes that it is a decoy and not Beth.
Kendra Michaels is devoted to her students and her mission is to help kids that are autistic and do music therapy. So, how was Eve going to convince her to help find Beth? Confrontations are interesting when Eve and Kendra come up against each other and Eve presents her own doubts as to whether she can help or not. As Kendra gets her back up against the wall and let’s Eve know that her tactics are old and used before. Then, Kendra relates to Eve more about her own life in the few minutes since meeting her that changes her perspective. Asking Kendra how she not only knew about Bonnie, her job and where they were staying and gives her an assessment of Joe that literally floors her.
The discussion interesting and the end result quite remarkable as Kendra agrees to help them learn more about the mental hospital, what might really be going on and how she was able to manipulate her way in. As things progress Eve and Kendra learn more about each other and at times you cannot tell who is ahead. Kendra sees things in both Joe and Eve that they neither one notices or wants to admit. Eve sees through much of Kendra too. Going to the mental hospital should prove interesting and learn the truth behind Beth’s accident has not been revealed.
When Joe, Eve and Kendra team up they find Beth and now the danger really begins? What are the plans to finally rid the world of this woman? Just how far will Drogan to complete the job he was being paid to do? What is Nelda’s real mission?
As we hear the transcript from the doctor working with Beth and making sure that her memory is fogged and the facts remain twisted in her mind, what happens will definitely let you know that she is smart, not weak and will not allow him to overtake her again. What happens to Stella the nurse working with Pierce and what is Pierce’s final fate? Just how many are killed in order to do Nelda’s bidding? Will she pay the price?
Betrayals, deceits, lies and cover ups all make up this outstanding novel as one woman’s life hangs in the balance and one woman tries to manipulate to end result. As you read pages 294-295 you hear the voice of Dr. Gelber trying to manipulate the subject meaning Beth with interjections by both Joe and Eve understanding what this man was doing and why he was considered a great hypnotist. Then, the accident is revealed in the transcript, the truth about Rick and his follies in black and white and the end result about Beth’s accident is finally revealed. Nelda Avery is a dangerous, evil and conniving woman who is not only rich but also thinks her power is so strong she is untouchable.
As Kendra and Eve make their way through the mental hospital pretending to want to fund some money into it for music therapy, they become more attuned to what is going on there and hoping to find Beth. With the help of Sam Zackoff they hope to break into the hospitals records and find Beth.
When the end is almost near both Beth and Eve are taken by this sadistic killer and what he intends to do to them will make your skin crawl. Just what he plans you have to read for yourself and how Bonnie comes to Eve’s aid will surprise not only Eve but the reader too. What is Rick’s fate? What finally happens to Beth? Why did they put Beth away? What does Rick finally reveal and will he be the next victim? Why did Rick allow Beth to be placed falsely in a mental institution? Why didn’t he fight his mother? What exactly did Drogan have planned? How far will Joe go to protect Eve? What is the final outcome? What is the fate of the hospital? When Kendra reveals that Beth was being poisoned, hiding her pills in her mattress and assesses her hospital room will the end be the same for Beth? Read Sleep No More and find out what happens when one forensic sculptor, one detective and one astute music therapist team up to find some that does not want to Sleep No More. Once again Iris Johansen has written a five star novel filled with suspense, twists, turns and definitely a surprise ending. What is next for Eve? Will she and Kendra team up again? Only the author knows the answer to that question and I guess we will have to wait for her next release?
Fran Lewis: reviewer