When you have a favorite author, you also have a certain level of expectation - you like what they do and come back for more. Occasionally you are disappointed, but you stand by them. For me Perri O’Shaughnessy (a pseudonym for two sisters), and her (their) latest title, Dreams of the Dead, just came onto my reading radar. I had no expectations whatsoever, and that turned out to be a huge blessing. Sometimes, books are described as “page turners” or “un-put-downable.” I’ll just say that this was an absolutely fantastic book that hooked from the first word and was unturnoffable and kept my ears finely tuned to the speakers.
Dreams of the Dead opens with the body of a killer being dumped into the deepest waters of Lake Tahoe. Then we shift to the main character. Nina Reilly is a criminal defense attorney who gets a visit from Phillip Strong; the father of the man (Jim) who killed Nina’s husband and who also happened to kill his adulterous wife and his brother. Soon after this incident, Jim went missing and was presumed dead.
Phillip wants to sell his Lake Tahoe ski resort; the property is in debt and the costs of keeping it prohibits Phillip from opening it up for business. There is another reason why he visited Nina. Phillip received a letter of dubious origin – Brazil - from Jim. He thinks that’s it’s genuinely Jim, while Nina is sure that he’s dead. The letter is blocking the sale of the resort, and Jim wants his share of the proceeds. This kicks Nina into high gear. She works hard to help push the sale through in court and investigate the mysterious letter. She calls on her friend Paul, a private investigator who also assured Nina that Jim was dead, to help in the quest.
The unabridged version of Dreams of the Dead is roughly ten and a half hours long on nine discs. The audio production is excellent all the way through. Narrator January Lavoy, who’s made appearances on Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, does a superb job with the material. All around, Dreams of the Dead is simply a great audiobook.