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Sleeping Beauty Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Sleeping Beauty



HarperCollins, May 2004, 25.95, 329 pp.
ISBN: 0060083263

Writer Miles van Meter is on tour promoting his best selling true crime story Sleeping Beauty. The successful book fascinates the public as it provides an account of convicted killer Joshua Maxfield's murders and collateral damage that includes the author's sister.

Miles states that in Portland, Oregon, Joshua killed Norman Spencer in the latter's home and raped and murdered high school student Tanya Jones, a friend of Spencer's daughter Ashley, who managed to escape safely. Ashley's mother, reporter Terri fortunately was away at the time of the crime. The killer also got away.

Terri encourages her daughter to move on by coaxing her into going to the Oregon Academy where she takes a creative writing workshop taught by Joshua Maxfield. When the instructor reads a murder tale to the class, Ashley recognizes what she hears as too close to home and informs the Dean, who happens to be Mile's sister Casey van Meter. Not long afterward, Ashley finds Miles holding a bloody knife over Terri's still body with an unconscious Casey nearby. Joshua is arrested, but escapes, putting the fear for her life in Ashley.


Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of Sleeping Beauty

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Special suspect?    -   investigator him/herself Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Pacific NW

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Phillip Margolin Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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