Sleeping Beauty
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Sleeping Beauty

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,725 ratings  ·  128 reviews

Author Miles Van Meter is on a book tour to promote his sensational bestseller Sleeping Beauty, a true-crime account of a deeply personal subject: the attack by a serial killer that left his twin sister, Casey, in a coma. Tonight the audience waits to hear Miles discuss recent developments in his sister's case -- unaware that pieces of this complex puzzle of violence, unkn

Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published (first published March 23rd 2004)
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This is the first Phillip Margolin book i have ever read, chosen quite randomly from the bookstore shelf. I must say that I was truly impressed by his writing style in this particular book. He jumped back-and-forth from the present to the past without creating any confusion on my part as the reader. You could create a number of endings as you proceed with the book, and I must say that I was pretty pleased with how the story progressed and presented itself. I was easily absorbed in the story line...more
Tenth thriller's plot almost too twisty to believe...

We have read and generally enjoyed all nine of Margolin's previous outings, and find that this lawyer turned writer can craft a suspenseful story line along with the best of them. The books that have left us a little cold were ones where the author overpopulates with so many events and characters, doing justice to few of them, that hardly a reader can keep it all straight. Fortunately, in "Beauty", we have a cast of just a few main players to...more
A serial killer breaks into a family home in the middle of the night. He kills the father by repeatedly stabbing him, assaults, rapes and kills a girl spending the night with their teen aged daughter who manages to escape from him. This is how the novel opens. The girl who escapes transfers to an elite school after her father's death. There, while running one evening, she hears screams and when investigating, sees her Mother's body and that of the school's Dean in the Boathouse. She also sees a...more
From a blog post I wrote in 2005:

I got hooked on Phillip Margolin when I read Gone, But Not Forgotten. Spoiler alert - the bad guy actually got away which made me crazy and nervous. I don't do well with serial killer books where the villian isn't dead or locked up at the end of the story. It just creeps me out but that's a problem with my imagination that tends to run wild.

Margolin's latest bad guy is a serial rapist/murderer who attacks a young high school girl and kills her father. Her mother...more
Ben Campbell
Phillip Margolin wrote us a simplistic murder mystery with a few plot twists as to who-done-it and why who-done-it. Mediocre characters, mediocre clues, mediocre staging, mediocre dialog, mediocre emotions, mediocre situations, am I sounding repetitive and pedestrian? It's all to prove my point. Sleeping Beauty is more like sleeping puddles, someone steps into a muddy puddle and a few seconds later the puddle settles into a lifeless sheen.

Oh yeah, there are murders and a rape, arrests and escape...more
While the plot of Sleeping Beauty was intriguing the writing was flat. I could get lost in the plot but when I stepped back and really looked at the prose, it was just so...simple, I guess. The sentences were short and basic. The character development was bland and narrated instead of demonstrated. Again, the plot was interesting and moved it along. A true crime novel about a solved murder sparks a new investigation and more horrors against the heroine who survived the murders the first time. I...more
Mary JL
May 27, 2009 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Recommended to Mary JL by: Previous fan of author
Shelves: mystery-horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sleeping Beauty is gripping right at the start when, at 17, Ashley Spencer's life is changed. Her home is broken into and her father is brutaly murdered. Her best friend Tanya is raped and murdered also. Her mother who wasn't at home that night convinces Ashley months later to go to a private school where tragedy follows them.

This is not your average murder novel. There are lots of bad guys and disorder but the plot twists are fantastic. As usual, Phillip Margolin came up with a captivating stor...more
Love Margolin. He writes nuanced characters involved in complex mysteries that often have surprise twists. I had a hunch about the perp early on, but still worth the read to find out for sure. Teenager Ashley Spencer survives a home invasion whereby her father is murdered and her best friend who is staying the night is raped and murdered. Ashley escapes her bondage when the killer takes a snack break in the kitchen before returning to Ashley’s room to rape and kill her. Ashley goes out a window...more
Nice plot, good pacing, decent character development. And an unexpected ending. I only wish he didn't have such a fascination with the word "which."
Shannon Jaros
Sleeping Beauty, written by Phillip Margolin, focuses around the devastatingly, traumatic events in teenage Ashley Spencer's life and the rippling effects that follow. While the story is told from a third person’s point of view, it mainly follows the daily life of Ashley. The only other major character introduced first off the bat is Miles Van Meter who helps guide the plot of the book that jumps from action of the past to present. More important characters are woven in as the pages progress. T...more
Jan 27, 2008 Dan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a fast paced, page turning mystery
This is a book review about pleasant surprises, cherished longtime friends, and new genres. See, a couple weeks ago, I got together with one of my oldest good friends, Leah Beil. Leah and I went to high school together and I could write a book, let alone a blog entry, on our friendship and the concept that we’ve known each other for two decades.

After some cheerful catch-up chat, a -great- movie enjoyed together, and a stop at Barnes and Noble, where Leah used to work, she made me an interesting...more
High school junior Ashley Spencer has invited her best friend to sleep over. Neither girl can foresee the horrific events that will take place that night. A masked killer enters the home, viciously murdering Ashley's father and friend, but Ashley herself manages to get away. She and her mother try to pick up the pieces, but her mother is also killed. When a suspect is arrested, Ashley finally feels safe, but upon his escape at his preliminary hearing, she flees to Europe, where she lives for fiv...more
This is an average mystery novel. The plot was interesting and certainly kept me turning pages, but it was overall predictable... I liked the characters and found them to be sympathetic as well. The real downside of this novel was the writing style. It has been probably 8 years since I last read a Margolin novel, and I did not remember the style being so simplistic, with errors in verb tense. While the short sentences did set the book at a faster pace, sometimes it completely pulled me out of th...more
Dana Nielsen
One of my absolute favorite books. I read this particular Phillip Margolin book within one sitting (a massive sunburn was the result). I just honestly couldn't put it down and didn't want too.
It had a few slow parts but the overall story is fantastic. I highly suggest this book to anybody. Or any of his books really.
Apr 08, 2014 Ravin added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who is tired of predictable books
I chose this because of its pretty cover. But the title, this is not what I expected. This book was then best horror novel I have ever read. It scared me and made me question at every turn. I also feel like the characters are my friends. So unpredictable and sparked my heart and mind. Wow.
I had never read another book by Phillip Margolin, but after reading Sleeping Beauty, I certainly hope I find more of his work. This managed to stay in my collection despite the fact that it was from a "read it and get rid of it" phase, courtesy of living in a very small apartment.

Maybe I'm not the brightest reader, but I totally did not see the ending coming. It was a really cool surprise to read up to. The layer of mysteries in this book were fantastic and I wanted to keep reading. If I rememb...more
This is the first book I have read by the author. Thoroughly kept my interest; started reading yesterday morning and just finished. Will definitely read more of Phillip Margolin's work. I had this sitting in a basket of books; don't know why I didn't read it earlier.
A Brillant Book!
I couldn't sleep, I couldn't put this book down. It was riveting right from the beginning!!
Ashley's life is horribly changed when at 17 her home is broken into her father is brutaly murdered. Her best friend Tanya is raped and murdered. And Ashley barely escapes with her life after climbing out a window and running to a neighbor. Her mother who wasn't at home that night but was at work convinces Ashley months later to go to a elite private school where tragedy follows them.
The De...more
This was my first Phillip Margolin book and the way it started out in the beginning with a murder and rape kept me captivated in this who done it mystery. Looking forward to reading more of his books!
I made it to page 200 before quitting this book, after almost quitting a time or two earlier on. It wasn't horrible - I pushed through it because the plot was good, I liked the settings, and there were a handful of creepy/suspenseful moments that I enjoyed. The writing style, however, really annoyed me from the beginning. Many of the words, thoughts, and actions of the characters felt unrealistic to me... definitely not behavior you would expect after losing loved ones to the hands of a serial k...more
I wish I could give this 3.5 stars or even 3.75. It's better than other books I've rated as 3 stars, but it's not quite a 4. The story was interesting and unpredictable to the very end.
Jill Manske
I hadn't read a Phillip Margolin book in a long time and happened to pick this one up while perusing the local library. I had forgotten how good he is. Sleeping Beauty is a very complex thriller/mystery with a unique plot and intriguing characters. It is extremely well-written; the dialog is frighteningly realistic and each scene is described in such a way that you feel you're actually peeking into the room. I'm a sucker for plot twists and turns, and this one keeps you guessing till the very en...more
Feb 20, 2014 Matt marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Bryan Davis
A "run of the mill" murder/suspense story with not so shocking revelations and twists. It's good, easy to read, and entertaining, but not much makes it stand out from other murder/suspense works.
A stand-alone thriller from prolific author Phillip Margolin. Unfamiliar with Margolin, I read this 2004 thriller at random. There was sufficient suspense and surprising plot points to make it an enjoyable experience.

Thriller - Ashley Spencer and a friend had just gone to bed when an intruder slaughters Ashley's father and her friend. Ashley escapes. She transfers to a prep school where her mother takes a writing class with best-selling author Joshua Maxfield. His novel appears based on the Spen...more
This was a great book! Full of suspense! I was interested from the first page!
Feb 21, 2012 JQ rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
If this is the caliber of writing that constitutes a NYT bestseller, then be on the lookout for my first book which I will write next week & have published & on the NYT bestseller list the week after that. Or wait, maybe this was intended to be written at a 4th-grade reading level? About halfway through I gave up reading this for anything other than the hilarity factor as it was truly laughable the way this book was written. Talk about the dumbing-down of America. Is this what the NYT be...more
I am not a fan of serial killer books. They tend to become repetitive and tedious after a while. Or the writer drowns us in gore simply for shock value.

This book, while it is about a serial killer, does not focus on the killer but on a woman who escaped his clutches. It started off slow but picked up as it progressed.

There were several twists throughout the story that kept it interesting, but I saw most of them coming and figured out the real killer about halfway through the book.
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