Friday, September 3, 2010

While in Hong Kong, photojournalist Jordan Glass wanders into an exhibit of paintings called "The Sleeping Women," and is unable to imagine why her presence is causing such a stir among the patrons and staff of the museum. The paintings alone are unsettling, because it appears to her trained eye that the women are not merely sleeping but are, in fact, dead. And then Jordan gets the shock of her life when she sees her own mirror image staring lifelessly back at her from one of the paintings.

More than a year ago, Jordan's twin sister, Jane, was kidnapped near her home in New Orleans, one of a string of women to be abducted in the city. None of the women, Jane included, has ever been seen again and now the victims have surfaced in this series of paintings, which are selling for upwards of a million dollars apiece. But who is the artist, and what has become of the women he has abducted and used as his models?

Jordan's discovery is the first major break in the case, and the FBI suggests that they might use Jordan to bait the killer into revealing himself. Haunted by the memory of her lost sister, Jordan readily agrees and soon finds herself at the center of a complex and absorbing investigation.

This is, really, a first-rate, complex, psychological thriller that grabs you from the opening chapter and keeps you enthralled through the final sentence. The characters are well-imagined and expertly fleshed out. The plot is taut and gripping and the action is well staged. It's hard to imagine that any fan of crime fiction would not be immediately seduced by this book.

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