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Sleeping Beauty    by Phillip Margolin Amazon.com order for
Sleeping Beauty
by Phillip Margolin
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Sleeping Beauty is Phillip Margolin's tenth novel, the latest in his string of successful, suspenseful thrillers that keep the reader on edge to the last page. Teenager Ashley Spencer's father is brutally killed. Her mother is later stabbed to death, apparently by the same killer, and Ashley is in fear of her own life. A novel detailing events of these killings surfaces at the same time as Ashley meets the author. Could this man have perpetrated the crimes?

Margolin is a past master at keeping the suspense rolling from page to page, to the extent that I had some trouble at the beginning of this thriller with events that moved too fast, giving no time to digest happenings and clues depicted. Soon though I moved with the flow. The action bounces back and forth between the back-story and the present, which presents no problems, because it is well done with no doubt of the time frame being used. Not all the characters are finely drawn. Some of them seemed a little murky to me, but they filled their spots in the plot admirably.

I anticipated a surprise ending from having read The Ties That Bind (the author's previous novel which ended in a big bang). Though Sleeping Beauty's climax is convoluted, even a bit contrived, it works and provides the final twist looked for in this shocking thriller.

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