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Before I Wake

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  4,284 Ratings  ·  222 Reviews
The sheriff of Justice, Illinois, is hunting a killer. Women visiting town are being murdered, tourists in nice hotels, money still in their billfolds, jewelry still on the dresser. Quiet kills-they go to sleep and never awaken. The sheriff is not pleased to find the new detective in town, Rae Gabriella, working the case on behalf of one of the families. She's staying in t ...more
Paperback, 396 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published September 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Laura
Sep 12, 2009 Laura rated it did not like it
I'm embarrassed to even admit that I read this book. I've liked Dee Henderson's books in the past, saw this one at the library, decided my tired brain needed a break and so checked it out. Thank goodness I didn't spend any money on it. I'm just going to tell you how it ends - IT DOESN'T. You don't find out who the murderer is and you don't find out which guy the girl is going to choose. So why did I waste my time reading over 300 pages of this? Good question. Don't waste your time on it too.
Caroline
Aug 14, 2012 Caroline rated it liked it
I do enjoy Dee Henderson's books but this one left me wanting... a lot more! The main plot was left unresolved and I could not really appreciate the main character, Rae. She left me hoping some new girl would move into town for Nathan to become interested in. Bruce just seemed rather wistful that he had let Rae go eleven years ago, but couldn't commit to reopening their relationship. She seemed to play both men for attention/affection. Not a great heroine. I was bothered by the dangling ending, ...more
Sally
Feb 01, 2011 Sally rated it did not like it
How dare she do that?! I really feel that when you put the time in to read 300+ pages there should be a beginning, a middle and an end. This book had no closure, and I mean no closure. When I read a murder mystery, I think it makes sense to tell "whodunit" at the end. The characters were flat and stereotypical. I was supposed to think the main character, the woman (it's telling that I can't even remember her name)was so exceptional that two men would fall all over her. I didn't get that. She was ...more
Sara
Feb 17, 2010 Sara rated it liked it
Though I liked this book, it wasn't the best Dee Henderson novel that I've read. I liked the plot and overall found it to be suspenseful and detailed. As with other reviews though, I felt the conclusion was a little "open-ended." It's definitely set up for a sequel; however, Dee hasn't published a book in about 4 years...so here's hoping one is in the works.

The romance aspect of the story is lacking a bit and I found that very un-Henderson like. Rae's former boyfriend and new business parter, Br
...more
Olivia
Apr 25, 2016 Olivia rated it it was ok
To be honest, I was warned that a certain thing at the end was rather frustrating, but although my rating is low it isn't because of that. There was nothing wrong, wrong, and some it might be more my personal preference....

What I liked:

-Mystery's ARE fascinating. And this one was at times :)
-I did rather like Bruce and Nate and their care for Rae (LOVE that name :)).
-I liked how little of romance there was. I mean...and this is a shock, I could have actually used some more :D

What I didn't like:
...more
Jeanne
The story was pretty interesting. Rae's quit the FBI after an undercover case went very badly. She's returning home to work with a friend and former cop, Bruce, in his private investigation business in the town of Justice. The sheriff, Nathan Justice, is having a bad few weeks. There's a strike going on at one of the bigger companies in town. Things are going from bad to worse as the two sides can't come to terms. And three women are found dead in their beds. Rae and Bruce help out as Nathan str ...more
Rebecca
Sep 19, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
Second time I've read this book, but I forgot I didn't want to read it again :)
It was not up to par with the O'Malley series, a bit slower at times.
It ended with the bad guys not caught, the good guys up in the air about their futures...and I need things wrapped up nice and neatly to give a book more stars. It needed the sequel (which I would totally read...if she had written it).
Rumor has it that she had issues with her publisher and was prevented from publishing the sequel...
Kame
Dec 28, 2012 Kame rated it really liked it
I bought this book because I love Irene Hannon's work and when you read the back of one of her thriller books it says if you like Dee Henderson you will like Irene Hannon - so I did some reverse logic.

If you read some of the reviews here on GoodReads there are alot of them complaining this book did not END. I maintain everything was wrapped up in a way that allows for a sequel if written or clean enough it can stand on its own. Please don't let it deter you - give it a try.

Rae is a newly retired
...more
Melissa
Nov 06, 2011 Melissa rated it it was ok
Rae Gabriella leaves the FBI after her last undercover investigation goes wrong and agrees to work with her ex-boyfriend, Bruce, in his private investigater's office in the small town of Justice. Once there she meets Sherriff Nathan Justice and the story goes from there...

I didn't quite know what to make of this story, Rae seems to be building a romantic relationship with both Nathan and Bruce while getting involved in everything that is going on with the police department.

Both Bruce and Nathan
...more
Ellen
Jul 25, 2011 Ellen rated it did not like it
Ok, so normally I am a HUGE fan of Dee Henderson, but this book was the most confusing introduction to a new series that I have ever read. I was THREE HOURS into the audiobook before I knew whether or not the Luke Granger or Sam Chapell referred to in The Witness were the same characters here. Actually, I'm still not sure about those since they mention another town rather than Silverton. Is Gage the same reporter from the O'Malley series? Who knows? Plus, the main character's name is Rae. Now, I ...more
Teri
Jul 17, 2014 Teri rated it really liked it
It's been a long time since I have read a Dee Henderson book. As I remembered, she is a great author at keeping things suspenseful. In the town of Justice, the tile plant is about to close down and the workers are striking which is causing problems for the sheriff, Luke. Then women start dying of natural causes, but is it really natural causes when three women die in such a small town. Is it in any way related to the tile plant? Private investigators Bruce and Rae help Luke try to figure it all ...more
Victoria
The plot intrigued me when I read the back of the book. Rae gets out of the FBI. Her ex talks her into working with him as a PI in a small town where her first case turns into something big when a couple of women die in their sleep.

But overall I couldn't get into the book it took me over a week to motivate myself to read it. It was very slow paced and lacked a highlight where they seemed to bring the case together. I don't know if this is suppose to have a sequel but overall I was a bit disappo
...more
Pauline
Jan 17, 2013 Pauline rated it liked it
As are all Dee Henderson's books, this one was well written, interesting, and full of action. She is such a good writer. I enjoyed reading the story of this female cop turned investigator. Dee told me it was written as the start of a series. That seems evident and I hope she continues the series. It left me with many more questions than I like to have at the end of a book--like: who really is behind the crimes? which guy will the protagonist choose or will she settle with neither one? and why do ...more
Heidi Smith
May 21, 2014 Heidi Smith rated it it was ok
I really, Really tried to read this book. But alas I couldn't finish it. It was so dry that halfway through, I felt like I hadn't gotten anywhere in the story, and didn't feel like I was going to get anywhere else. I normally finish a book no matter what, but I just couldn't bring muskeg to even touch it. My husband finally convinced me not to waste my time on it. I've got another Dee Henderson book waiting, and I'm hoping my opinion of this one doesn't ruin my anticipation for it.

Really, thoug
...more
Becki
Feb 11, 2015 Becki added it
Shelves: book-collector
Includes excerpts from: Danger in the shadows and The negotiator.\n\nAnother disappointment from a stand alone Henderson novel. Why couldn't she have continued writing like she did with the O'Malley series? Now that was fabulous.\nGranted, this story was MUCH more engaging than her other stand alones. However, it ended with no clear conclusion and lots of loose ends. Granted, it lends itself to a sequel (kind of) but will the second book come?
Karijean31
Sep 11, 2012 Karijean31 rated it liked it
It kept my attention but it was disappointing in that Rae has a friend relationship with two guys and you know she's interested in both and they are both interested in her but there are no sparks and the story doesn't take the relationships anywhere. They are just all friends, no jealousy just solving the mystery together. Plus the book ends very abruptly and the bad guys escape and never get caught. I was looking for the sequel and there wasn't one.
Dorothy
Sep 16, 2016 Dorothy rated it it was amazing
This is a great mystery for all lovers of mystery. One small town sheriff, two ex-FBI agents who are are PIs have moved to this small town in Illinois from the DC areaare involved in solving this. People are striking at a tile manufacturing plant, the main source of employment in this town. Things get ugly and keep the sheriff and his men busy. Then a young woman reporter is found dead in one of the hotels apparently of natural causes. Another young woman is found dead a week later in the other ...more
Susan
May 31, 2011 Susan rated it liked it
Becky... don't read this book!!! This could've been a better book and likely would've got 4 stars if it actually ended well! I was reading along, waiting to find out who all the bad guys were... and it ended! Just like that, not even a to be continued - or a first chapter to the next book - just a really lame end spot! Can't belive I wasted my time on this one!
Lois
Aug 29, 2016 Lois rated it it was ok
With two stars, I should probably give this book a negative rating. But, two stars says, "It was okay." So, there's nothing bad about the book: there's no sex, bad language or anything of that sort. It's labeled "inspirational" and there are a few references from the characters about God's role when bad things happen.

Aside from that, though, it was blah. I enjoyed reading it for awhile, but for some reason I lost interest near the end. The plot for me was disjointed, as were the characters.

The
...more
Andrea
Apr 08, 2009 Andrea rated it it was ok
Two stars for this book might be generous. The story DOES NOT END! I was enjoying it (except some of the details were a bit gruesome). The suspense was keeping me on my toes. And then it ended and you never found out "who done it".

If there is a sequel, I'd give it a higher rating. However, I haven't found anything about one.
JoAnn
Apr 16, 2015 JoAnn rated it it was ok
I have to say, I really don't like giving a Dee Henderson book only 2 stars, but truly, this book was not up to her caliber of writing. The story was an interesting one, but for me, just too much blood and gore. But some may like that. The hardest part for me was just like others have written, there was just no ending. Who was the main bad guy? What about the lack of ending with the romantic story lines? Honestly, I was hoping there was a book 2 out there giving a good closure to this book, but ...more
AlegnaB
I enjoyed this, even though it wasn't very suspenseful. Since I rarely read any reviews of a book if I'm familiar with other works by the author, I didn't realize that the ending would leave us hanging. It did have some resolution but not enough to satisfy. I wish a sequel had been published.
Rebekah Tooley
Mar 14, 2016 Rebekah Tooley rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Ok, this story had lots of good in it. There was a good mystery, BUT, Henderson doesn't let you in on the Culprit! She does not tell you who it is! That REALLY frustrated me!!! Why!? Lol. Not her best works, but a good story. (Minus the whole not telling you whodunit)
Shauna
Jun 22, 2011 Shauna rated it it was ok
What is up with that ending? Nothing gets resolved in all those pages?! Ugh! I really like her books but this was a bit disappointing. Is there going to be more? This was printed 5 years ago, but I couldn't find a sequel...
Melody
Dec 03, 2014 Melody rated it liked it
I am not as disappointed as some other reviewers that everything is not resolved in this book. It certainly does lend itself to the possibility that a sequel could be written. But I was ok with the plot and its twists and turns and intrigue. I do not think it is as well written as her other books. I enjoyed reading it, but there are many good authors available. I appreciate Henderson's ability to seamlessly intertwine her characters faith or journey of faith into their lives and it has led me to ...more
Jenni
Nov 22, 2008 Jenni rated it did not like it
I was really disappointed in this one. The story line had so much potential, but it just never came together properly. The biggest disappointment was the end - it just appeared out of nowhere and left you hanging.
Barbara
Jun 24, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it
A very tense, suspenseful story set in a small town that involves murders that appear to be from natural causes at first, union/management negotiations to keep open a major business in town, a strike, designer drugs, friendship, and romance. The ending was exciting, but we are left not knowing the identity of one of the major people involved and what happens next in the lives of Nathan, Rae, and Bruce. I think there was supposed to be a sequel that has never been written; I hope it eventually is ...more
Sarah
May 27, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
Engaging, but the end, while not altogether disappointing, was, well... unfulfilling. Do we know who the killer is? What choices Rae will make? How Justice's future is shaped after the tile plant closing, the crime upheavals, the shocking revelations? NO. I suppose one can't have everything...
What I enjoyed: the quotables. The intriguing crime development and investigation. The way the three main characters look out for eachother.
What I wonder: does anybody else feel that Dee Henderson gives her
...more
Jennifer
Nov 26, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I enjoy Dee Henderson's books, and this one is no exception.
Lois Hecksel
Aug 10, 2016 Lois Hecksel rated it really liked it
It's been some time since I read a Dee Henderson novel and I forgot how engaging one could be. Before I Wake is intriguing with a great plot twists and interesting characters. Several of the other reviewers on GoodReads expressed dissatisfaction with the ending because everything was not neatly brought to a close but everything was concluded in a way that is clear enough to stand on its own or allows for a sequel. Not everything in life is brought to a close with all the loose ends tied. This is ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA's RITA Award, the Christy Awa
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“They talked in the shorthand of old friends and shared memories.” 9 likes
“I think I'm honored. Or speechless. Maybe something in between there.” 2 likes
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