#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen returns with a new suspense thriller guaranteed to keep readers turning pages all night long-an adrenaline-laced shocker that pits a mother and son against a killer who's the stuff of nightmares. If you close your eyes, he'll get you. Sophie Dunston knows all too well how dreams can kill. As one of the nation's top sleep therapists, she specializes in the life-threatening night terrors that her ten-year-old son, Michael, suffers from. But she is also an expert in another kind of terror-the kind that can turn a dream life into a living nightmare in the blink of an eye. Someone is watching. He's a shadowy figure from out of her darkest fears and he hasn't forgotten her. In one shocking moment of violence, he'd shattered Sophie's world forever and left her with only one thing to live for: her son. But the nightmare isn't over for Sophie Dunston. It's just begun. He's been waiting.
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August 28, 2007
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Excerpt from Killer Dreams by Iris Johansen
Two years later
Fentway University Hospital
What's going on? You're not supposed to be here.
Sophie Dunston looked up from the chart to see Kathy VanBoskirk, the head night nurse, standing in the doorway. An overnight apnea study.
You worked all day and now youýre monitoring an overnighter? Kathy came into the room and glanced at the bed on the other side of the double glass panel. Ah, an infant. The light dawns.
Not so much an infant any longer. Elspethýs fourteen months, Sophie said. She'd stopped having incidents three months ago and now they're back. She just stops breathing in the middle of the night and her doctor can't find any reason for it. Her mother is worried sick.
"Then where is she?"
"She works nights."
"So do you. Days and nights." Kathy gazed at the sleeping baby. "Lord, she's beautiful. Makes my biological clock start ticking. My kid is fifteen now and there's nothing lovable about him. I'm hoping he'll turn back into a human being in another six years. Think I have a chance?"
"Don is just your typical teenager. He'll get there." Sophie rubbed her eyes. They felt as if they had sand in them. It was almost five and the sleep study would be over soon. Then she'd run the errand that was on the top of her list before getting to bed and grabbing a few hours of shut-eye before she had to get back for her first one o'clock session with the Cartwright child. -And he offered to clean my car last week when you had him at the office.-
"He probably wanted a chance to swipe it." Kathy grimaced. "Or maybe he wanted the chance to score with an older woman. He thinks youýre cool-looking."
"Yeah, sure." Right now, Sophie felt older than her years, frumpy, and ugly as sin. She turned back the chart and checked Elspeth's case history. She'd had an apnea episode about 1:00 a.m. and nothing since. There might be something there that would help her pin down
"Thereýs a message for you at the nurses- station," Kathy said.
Sophie stiffened. "Home?"