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Book Club Kits: The Sleeping Doll

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

Jeffery Deaver is back with a dark and multilayered psychological thriller about a vicious killer’s escape from a California super-prison and the mysterious and deadly quest he embarks on once he’s free.

Making her first appearance in The Cold Moon (2006), special agent Kathryn Dance—a brilliant interrogator and body language expert—stars in The Sleeping Doll, where she and her partners at the California Bureau of Investigation hunt down escaped killer Daniel Pell, a self-styled Charles Manson.

Deaver’s most frightening villain to date, Pell is a master of control, who mesmerizes, seduces, and exploits people for his own murderous ends. To track down Pell before he destroys more lives, Kathryn Dance must enlist the help of people from the killer’s past: the three women who lived under his sadistic sway in the cult he once headed, as well as the young girl known as the Sleeping Doll, the only survivor of her family’s slaughter at Pell’s hand.

Filled with masterful plot twists: Jeffery Deaver creates plots with so many twists and turns they could “hide behind a spiral staircase” (People), and The Sleeping Doll has Deaver’s trademark twists in spades. It is guaranteed to keep readers guessing right up to the breathless end.

Read an excerpt from the novel.

Discussion Questions

  • Does kinesics have the same interest for readers as forensics?
  • Dance is almost too good to be true - she doesn't have a major character flaw - discuss

  • Would you agree this is more a 'why-dunnit' rather than a 'who-dunnit'? What exactly is there to figure out?

  • 'The Sleeping Doll' was a hook to draw the reader in. That plot line was practically irrelevant to the story - discuss

  • Does Kathryn Dance provide a refreshingly new heroine for further books?

  • Did Pell die too easily? Was there enough tension surrounding his death or was it an anti-climax? 

  • Was Kellog's character thoroughly explained or did his involvement feel thrown in by Deaver to add another plot twist?

  • Was it disappointing that Jenny handed herself in? Should she have tried to kill Dance?

  • Did the book cover fit the content or did the cover give the impression that the book would be much more sinister?

  • How effective was Lincoln Rhyme's appearance mid-way through the book and was this appearance really necessary?

  • Was Rebecca's involvement predictable or were Lydia and Samantha more obvious suspects?