Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: October 25, 2005
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.
The Belvedere Center for Sleep Research caters to the demands of two mysterious clients with the ability of lucid dreaming - the state where the dreamer knows he/she is dreaming and can alter the dreamscape to their own wishes.
Isabel Wright, herself a Level Five (the highest level of lucid dreaming) is the one in charge of interpreting their dreams. She is so intrigued by the Client Number Two that the man eventually starts appearing in her dreams. She dubs him Dream Man.
Enter Ellis Cutler, Client Number Two a.k.a. Dream Man. A Level Five lucid dreamer who uses his dreaming ability to solve crimes, and who‘s been having fantasies of his own regarding his dream analyst, Tango Dancer.
After so many books, with other authors I'd say "been there, done that, have the bookshelf to prove it", but that is never the case with Jayne Ann Krentz (or her alter ego Amanda Quick). Though the plots might be similar, there is always a different twist to the storyline to make it interesting. And believable.
Falling Awake is no exception. It's her usual cocktail of suspense, action, and romance that will keep you at the edge of your seat and turning page after page, because you have to know just what happens next. Though the "technical" descriptions did slow the pace down.
What I like most about her contemporaries is the fact she never gives a detailed visual description of the male lead, leaving the better part to the reader's imagination.
P.S. In this case, the dark sunglasses Ellis Cutler can't seem to take off just add to the mystery, intrigue, and his appeal.