Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)'s Reviews > Dreams of the Dead

Dreams of the Dead by Perri O'Shaughnessy
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's review
Jun 28, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: galley, galley-grab, reviewed, thriller
Read on July 11, 2011

This review first appeared on my blog: http://www.knittingandsundries.com/20...

In Lake Tahoe, the body of a killer is dumped from a boat into the water.

Nina Reilly, a 38 year old criminal defense attorney, receives a visit from the father of the man who killed her husband. Philip Strong owns the Paradise Ski Resort, and his son Jim has been missing and presumed dead for over two years, having disappeared shortly after killing his wife, his brother, and Nina's husband.

Philip is now trying to sell the property, having gone into the hole when a large amount of money was embezzled prior to Jim's disappearance, but a letter has arrived from Brazil that can put a stop to the sale, leaving the remaining family bankrupt and unable to pay off the debts of the resort. The letter is from Jim, stating that he does not approve of the sale, and demanding his share of any proceeds.

Now Nina is being asked to investigate the letter, and to do what she can in court to allow the sale, which has a tight deadline, to go through. Her friend Paul, who is also a private investigator, had assured both her and her son Bob that Jim had been taken care of, and now there's a letter from this supposedly dead man showing up, a man who, for obvious reasons (arrest warrants), can't come up from Brazil in person to prove his existence?

Meanwhile, one woman ends up dead in a hotel room, and the housekeeper who saw her killer finds herself in danger as well.

If Jim is still alive, how? If he isn't, who is impersonating him? Who stands to gain from having the proceeds of the sale go to an escrow account? Who in the family was the actual embezzler? Who is the new killer"

I haven't read the prior Nina Reilly books (but I will now), and I'm happy to say that this one works well as a standalone novel - the author gives you enough background into prior history to keep you from being lost.

Nina is extremely likeable and believable, with a love of expensive high heels and a wonderful assistant named Sandy Whitefeather who keeps everything in the office running smoothly.

There is wonderful character development, romantic love interests, mystery and suspense. There are many mysteries to unravel, and what appears to be more than one bad guy (or gal). I was surprised at who ended up being the villain or villains, and equally as surprised at who ended up being NOT a villain. If you like a well-turned, suspenseful story with touches of humor and romance, this is the one for you.

First Sentence (from a galley; may be different in final copy):

The dreams of the dead are unimportant to the living.

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