Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Ashley Patterson is a computer graphics designer, her father an internationally known heart surgeon. Ashley seems to be living a comfortable life, but she is convinced that someone is following her. She finds her house ransacked and cigarettes around the house yet she doesn't smoke. Then suddenly she finds herself at the center of a murderous crime spree where five men are savagely stabbed and dismembered. How does she fit into this mystery and will the perpetrator come after her next? This tape starts out almost painfully slowly, but by the second tape listeners will be hanging on every word. Reader Morgan Fairchild also starts out slowly but eventually hits her stride, doing a fine job of keeping up with the characters and providing emotion in the appropriate places. Sheldon (The Stars Shine Down, Audio Reviews, LJ 11/1/92) fans will love this story as will those who like mysteries and psychological thrillers. For all public libraries.Danna Bell-Russel, Natl. Equal Justice Lib., American Univ., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Perennial bestseller Sheldon (The Best Laid Plans) doesn't get under the reader's skin here as he does at his best, even though he weaves together many of his time-tested elementschildhood horror and its consequences; lust and murder as bedfellows; a pretty, hapless heroine; good men in the legal and medical professions trying to undo the wrongs done by others. Despite gory crime scene depictions, the old master, uncharacteristically, has left out the suspense and the layers of feeling. We finger the serial murderer all too quickly, just as we know before we know that Ashley's creepy physician father, Steven, abused her as a child. We never doubt that goodhearted lawyer David Singer will convince hostile judge Tessa Williams that, yes, multiple personality disorder happens, and that, morally and legally, it separates the doer from the deed. Nor is it any surprise that psychiatrist Gilbert Keller, spurred on by personal as well as professional longings, takes Allison apart and puts her back together the right wayor does he? A prefatory sentence says the novel is based on real cases. Maybe so, but one wishes that the authentic details had been told with genuine passion. Literary Guild main selection. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
In Sheldon's latest novel, three beautiful young women are suspected of committing a series of brutal murders. The police investigation and eventual arrest reveal that it was not three different women, but rather one woman with multiple personality disorder. The suspect, Ashley Patterson, has no memory of the particularly vicious murders she has committed, and because there is plenty of evidence to place her at the crime scenes, including physical proof and eyewitnesses, the young attorney who represents her faces the difficult task of convincing the jury of her innocence. Here lies the meat of the story, as the attorney attempts to save Patterson's life with the "she didn't do it, her alter personality did" defense, and Sheldon details the conclusion of the trial and the woman's eventual incarceration in a mental health facility. Based on actual events, this is an interesting tale, and Sheldon's legions of fans will be asking for it. --Kathleen Hughes
Kirkus Book Review
The poster boy for schlock (The Best Laid Plans, 1997, etc.) calls on the cops, the courts, and the shrinks for his latest soaper, this one based on an actual murder trial. Meet Ashley Patterson, a typical Sheldon nice girl: slim figure, patrician features, and ``a quiet elegance about her.'' Only a curmudgeon could dislike Ashley. Is the fact that she lacks spark, style, wit, warmth, warts, edge, or any other at all interesting aspect of personality her fault? Of course not. The fault is Sheldon's, who never came up with a character he couldn't turn into cardboard. Still, theres a problem: If no one actually dislikes Ashley, then how to explain the scary stalking of Ms. Bland Perfection? The lipsticked hate message scrawled abruptly on her mirror? The mysterious nastiness atwirl on her computer screen? And then, when all of the appropriate men get murdered and mutilated, why would anyone want to frame the estimable Ashley? To the cops that answer is obviousno one would. They claim the evidence against her is overwhelming. Most others agree, including Judge Williams, scheduled to preside at Ashley's trial. She summons David Singer, Ashley's lawyer, to her chambers and all but orders him to ``plead your client to life without parole.'' If he refuses, he'll be sorry. What's behind this remarkable intervention from the bench? Nothing more nefarious, Sheldon gives us to understand, than good citizenship in action: Judge Williams simply wants to save taxpayers the expense of a lengthy and unnecessary trial. (No stickler for the Constitution, that judge.) Both sides assemble their shrinks: dueling lawyers, dueling psychiatrists, a grueling trial. The verdict is predictable, butto give Sheldon his duethe denouement is not. Primer-ish prose and flat characters à la Sheldon. Still, whatever it is that's worked before will here almost certainly work again. (Literary Guild main selection; TV satellite tour)