August 13, 2001 12:00 PM

By Greg lies

Beach book of the week

Jordan Glass, a combat photographer, has seen her share of horror. But nothing prepares her for the sharp chill she feels at an exhibition of paintings in Hong Kong. The paintings are all of women who might be asleep. Or they might be dead. Most disturbing, one of the women looks just like Jordan.

It’s a stunning opening to a complex thriller. Jordan is engaging and fully realized, sympathetic but as tough as Clarice Starling. Her search leads to the shady streets of New Orleans, where she and a handsome detective join the police investigation—when they’re not busy investigating each other. Following a trail that leads through the international art market and America’s Vietnam legacy, lass finds the key not only o the paintings, but also to her family’s buried secrets. The ending may resort to a few of thrillerdom’s tired conventions, but readers of Dead Sleep won’t be getting much. (Putnam, $19.95)

Bottom Line: Cancel bedtime

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