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Sink Deep into the Soul-Deadening Illusions and Hates of a Hit Man
on 26 June 2007
Before deciding to read Sleeping with Strangers, be sure you realize that the book ends in a series of cliffhangers that will draw you into reading Waking with Enemies which will be available in August 2007: You're taking on a two-book commitment with a potential delay in between. If you want to skip the delay between books, put off reading Sleeping with Strangers until August. That's what I would have done if I'd realized that the two books share the same story line.
How does someone become a hit man? How do you become good at it? Why do you stick with it? What does it do to your personal life? What are the compensations? Who can you trust? How do you retire? If you're curious about any of those questions, Eric Jerome Dickey's story will intrigue you. Through a series of deft flashbacks, you'll find some startling answers. To make the perspective sharper, Mr. Dickey provides you with two hit men to compare and contrast.
Otherwise, the story has more psychological development than action. Those who are looking for a fast-paced story may be disappointed. After all, a book about hit men suggests at least the potential for lots of action.
If you look beyond the context of hit men, you'll find that the book is considerably more universal in its exploration of how we built up feelings and illusions that draw us into places and actions that aren't so good for us. You'll probably see yourself in the mirror before the book is over.
Naturally, Mr. Dickey has arranged to provide some of the provocative sexual interludes that are his trademark. If you like aspect of his books, you'll probably wish there were two or three more.
To me, the best part of the book came in the way that Mr. Dickey gently developed mysteries concerning the relationships among the characters and delayed revealing all of the backgrounds and motives as long as possible. As a result, you'll always feel a little off balance.