The Barnes & Noble Review
Passion, murder, and the mysteries of the unconscious are coiled tighter than a double helix in this romantic thriller from bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz. Two highly trained loners -- Isabel Wright, a dream analyst, and Ellis Cutler, a top government agent -- meet professionally and anonymously. Isabel has a talent for analyzing even the most obscure symbols in dreams, though it seems to turn her social life into a wasteland. Cutler is one of Isabel's two anonymous clients, and his Level Five lucid dreams secretly capture her imagination. Then a mysterious death brings them face to face.
Isabel and Ellis team up to investigate the murder of Isabel's boss, Dr. Belvedere, and they soon begin a passionate affair. But when the clues begin to point to Isabel's other anonymous client, the already thin line between dreaming and reality becomes perilously blurred. A chilling finale at a deserted amusement park is genuinely and cinematically exciting. Ginger Curwen
Isabel Wright, a Belvedere Center for Sleep Research analyst and Level Five lucid dreamer, meets the man of her dreams in bestseller Krentz's (Truth or Dare, etc.) romantic thriller. When Isabel's boss, Martin Belvedere, is found dead in his study, his son, Randolph, who was always scornful of his father's belief in dreamers capable of uncovering secrets, takes over the business. He fires Isabel before he realizes that her crime-solving through dreams pays most of the center's bills. Isabel trains to be a motivational speaker while falling into the arms of fellow lucid dreamer Ellis Cutler (aka "Dream Man"), whose dreams she had been decoding and who has likewise been dreaming of her (he thinks of her as "Tango Dancer"). Isabel's former co-workers at the Belvedere Center and Ellis's colleagues from his secret government agency provide a rich assortment of suspects and victims who must be sorted out by the lover-detectives as they wrestle good guys from the dark side, repair troubled marriages and fix ailing businesses. Though her New Age imagination sometimes runs into overdrive, Krentz holds her readers' attention with attractive, appealing protagonists, flawed but sympathetic secondary characters and winningly self-mocking humor. Her unflagging positive energy proves so overwhelming that the reader will happily make her way through a story that defies logic, based on psychology that defies reason, to a happy ending that defies description. Agent, Stephen Axelrod. (Nov.) Forecast: Krentz grinds 'em out like sausage, and this one is spicier than most. It should sell fantastically well-it's a featured selection of several book clubs-even though it gives new meaning to the term "suspension of disbelief." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Isabel Wright, a dream analyst and lucid dreamer, is employed at the Belvedere Center for Sleep Research until the owner dies and his son fires her. As an alternative, she begins training to be a motivational speaker. Soon she meets up with Ellis Cutler, who works for a secret government agency with an interest in dream research and who was one of her clients at the dream center. She's been decoding his dreams, some of which have been about her. One of the workers at the agency was killed, and Ellis believes he has some responsibility, because he should have been able to see the murder in his dreams. After a second murder, Ellis brings Isabel into the search for the killer. Laural Merlington is a competent reader and does a good job distinguishing one character from another in Krentz's latest. Recommended for public libraries.-Mary Knapp, Madison P.L., WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Extreme dreams. More formula fiction from the bestselling Krentz (Truth or Dare, 2004, etc), this featuring an undercover op in sexy sunglasses and a beautiful dreamer with a bad-tempered cat. When his former colleague turns up dead, Ellis Cutler just has to take off those "obsidian-tinted" shades and check out the Belvedere Center for Sleep Research-not to mention Isabel Wright, a researcher of Level 5 Lucid Dreaming. Seems like there could be a connection to Frey-Salter, the corporate front for the hush-hush government agency where he and Katherine Ralston used to work. Ellis's intuition (never mind clues, never mind evidence) tells him that his quarry, bad guy Vincent Scargill, killed Katherine. Ellis, however, doesn't understand why he didn't see it coming. He's a Level 5 Lucid Dreamer himself, and it seems that Isabel is too. In fact, she's been hanging around inside his subconscious for quite a while, under an assumed name (Tango Dancer). Isabel, a former phone psychic, has finally, with no apparent qualifications whatsoever, obtained "a professional-level position with excellent salary and benefits" plus a lackluster alternative love interest in Ken Payne, fellow researcher. Should she risk all that for a sexy loner like Ellis? Hell, yes. This is a Jayne Ann Krentz novel. So, back to the plot: Isabel fills Cutler in on the dark doings that have shadowed Belvedere research. Is Dr. Maureen Sage really someone else who used to work at Frey-Salter, and why haven't any of these supposedly psychic characters recognized her? Are the villains trying to get their hands on a top-secret drug that intensifies dreaming? Better pop a No-Doz, because this ho-hum thriller is padded with a lot oftedious analysis of dreams, tarted up in pseudo-shrinkese. What is the significance of the red tsunami? And how about that rollercoaster? What does it all mean?For the fans. Literary Guild/Mystery Guild/Doubleday Book Club featured selection. Agent: Steven Axelrod/The Axelrod Agency
Read an Excerpt
Ellis knew he was dreaming. There was nothing unusual about that. He was a Level Five lucid dreamer, after all. He even recognized this particular dreamscape. But there was something different about it tonight.
He stands in the center of the circular room. The ceiling is transparent. He can see the night sky through it. High, gothic-style entrances to dozens of darkened halls ring the space.
Tango Dancer comes toward him from one of the many corridors. He wants to make love to her more than he has ever wanted anything in his adult life. But he is afraid that afterward she will walk away from him and vanish into one of the mysterious halls.
She glides into the circular room, smiling a feminine invitation that makes him ache with desire. She stops in the shadows. Raising one hand, she beckons him with a graceful curl of her fingertips.
He does not move. He knows that if he stays where he is she cannot see him clearly. It is better that way.
"Are you afraid of me?" she asks.
"No," he says. "I'm afraid of wanting you this much."
"I don't know," he lies.
"Yes you do. You think that I will leave you."
"Will you let that stop you from touching me?"
"No." But a great despair and anger well up inside him because he knows what will happen. She will demand more than he can risk giving her. She will want to see him, really see him. She will want to get very close and he cannot allow that. He has a rule about letting people get close. He put that rule in place a long time ago, when he was twelve.
She reaches out to him with both hands. "Come with me."
He starts toward her because, in spite of everything, he cannot resist her.
But when he gets close enough for her to see his face, she turns and runs away, disappearing into one of the dark gothic passages . . .
The harsh jangle of the phone jarred him awake.
He sat up quickly, trying to ignore his erection and the tight, heavy sensation in the lower part of his body. The phone rang again.
He swung his legs out from under the covers, planted both feet on the floor and looked at the face of the radio alarm. Twelve fifty-three. It was the room phone. Not Lawson. Lawson always called him on his personal phone.
That left Isabel. At this hour? Adrenaline spiked. His pulse pounded.
He grabbed the phone. "This is Cutler."
"Ellis?" Isabela hesitated. "I'm sorry to disturb you. I know it's late, but -- "
"What's wrong?" He cut in before she could get out another word.
"Well, I want to ask you a hypothetical question."
He glanced at the face of the bedside alarm clock again. "It's almost one o'clock in the morning so I'm going to assume this question is more than hypothetical. What is it?"
"It's a little complicated."
"Isabel -- "
"All right, here's the question. Do you think there are any serious laws against an honest citizen buying or selling e-mail addresses, at least one of which was created specifically for a government agency that doesn't officially exist?"
Copyright © 2004 by Jayne Ann Krentz.