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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Using the dark and secretive bayous of Louisiana as a backdrop, bestselling author Charles Wilson (Game Plan, Extinct, Embryo, and Donor) spins a tale of mind control and murder in his taut new thriller, Deep Sleep.
After moving to a small parish just outside New Orleans to become the chief deputy, Detective Mark French feels he might slowly be recovering from the nightmares that have been haunting him. Five years ago, a mistake he made during a hostage situation resulted in the deaths of three innocent people. Guilt-ridden, he hopes that law enforcement in a more rural setting will help him get rid of the last of his demons. But there is something sinister and deadly lurking in the parish, and he is drawn into a web of dark magic, deception, and murder shortly after he arrives.
The parish is also the home of the South Louisiana Sleep Disorders Institute. Directed by psychoanalyst Dr. Shasha Dominique, the institute offers clients the ability to live out their fantasies while they sleep -- to experience them so strongly that they can’t tell the difference between the fantasies and real memories. Dr. Dominique claims that these lucid dreams are used only as a form of therapy -- a harmless way to help people experience their fantasies and defeat their nightmares. But there may be more to the Sleep Institute and its director than meets the eye.
When Mark French is called to the institute to investigate the death of a young female client, the case seems pretty cut-and-dried. The evidence strongly points to another client, Henry Womack. He came to the institute to live out his fantasies of domination, and his fingerprints are clearly imprinted on the woman’s neck. But questions arise when only hours later the police discover the bodies of the elderly parents of a deformed hermit who lives in the swamps. Is it possible that the hermit could be responsible for the murders?
With the help of psychologist Kelly Dalton and his fellow police officers, Mark begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the murders as his suspicions center more and more around the institute and its unorthodox services. He must uncover whether the institute is a legitimate facility whose mission is to help people or a place where hypnotism and mind control are used for much more devious purposes.
With Deep Sleep, Charles Wilson deftly brings the atmospheric beauty and dark magic of the bayous of southern Louisiana to life and crafts a stunning thriller filled with suspense and intrigue worthy of Dean Koontz.