Title: Sleep with the Lights On
Author: Maggie Shayne
Series: Brown and De Luca, book 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Source: Review copy from publisher
“Through the eyes of a killer
Rachel de Luca has found incredible success writing self-help books. But her own blindness and the fact that her troubled brother has gone missing have convinced her that positive thinking is nothing but bull. Her cynicism wavers when a cornea transplant restores her sight. The new eyes seem to give her new life, until they prove too good to be true and she starts seeing terrifying visions of brutal murders crimes she soon learns are all too real.
Detective Mason Brown's own brother recently died, leaving behind a horrific secret. In atonement, Mason donated his brother's organs, though he's kept the fact quiet. Now he wants to help Rachel find her brother, but when he discovers the shocking connection between her visions and his own brother, he suddenly has to do everything in his power to save her from a predator who is somehow still hunting from beyond the grave.”
Sleep with the Lights On is the first book in the new Brown and De Luca series by Maggie Shayne.
Rachel de Luca lost her sight when she was only twelve years old. Instead of complain about what life dealt her she decided to be whatever she wanted to be. Her determination and strength let her to become a successful self-help writer.
Rachel is snarky and fun, but out in public she has to pretend to be/live the spiritual crap she writes about. Keeping the self-guru persona is not as easy as it may sound, especially when she’s under emotional stress. Her drug addict brother has gone missing and the police are not doing anything about it. Rachel knows her brother and she’s sure something has happened to him.
Leaving the police station in one of her moods Rachel is not careful and dives into traffic. Detective Mason Brown didn’t have time to react and ran her over with his car. Rachel accepts to go to the hospital just to use the accident to guilt-press Mason to help her investigate her brother’s disappearance.
While Mason is dealing with the aftermath of the accident he receives a suspicious message from his brother who stayed with him the night before. Mason knows something is not right with Eric and leaves immediately for his house, just to arrive at the same moment Eric was taking his life.
Dealing with the suicide of his brother is the least of Mason’s problems. Eric has left a suicide note and a dozen of driver licenses. In the note Eric explains he was a serial killer and the driver licenses belong to the people he has killed.
The police and ambulance are on the way; with not much time to react Mason hides all the evidence his brother has left behind.
The EMT finds a pulse in Eric and he’s taken to the hospital where he’s declared brain-dead. Trying to atone for Eric’s sins Mason convinces his sister in law to donate Eric’s organs. The only stipulation he makes is that the corneas are donated to Rachel who is still in the hospital under observation.
Rachel is a bit reluctant about having the transplant, she doesn’t want to go through another fail surgery and have her hopes crush all over again. After her doctor explains the new technic they will use in the surgery Rachel accepts.
The surgery was a success and after so many years of being blind Rachel is seeing again. Everyday brings something new to discover, but Rachel’s happiness doesn’t last long, days after the surgery she starts to have very vivid nightmares of gruesome murders. She also knows that her nightmares are somehow connected with her new eyes. After some investigating she learns of Mason involvement and seeks him out.
Mason knows Rachel is onto something, but the last thing he wants is for Rachel to learn about Eric’s “practices”; especially now that he is almost sure that Eric killed Rachel’s brother.
Mason doesn’t understand why now that his brother is dead identical murders are still happening. A copycat is on the loose or there is something else going on? Maybe Rachel is onto something and Eric’s organs have something to do with it and if that is the case more than 50 people (organ recipients) can be getting affected by them, and one of those is Rachel.
Rachel is one of the strongest and best-written heroines I have read in a long time. She is one of those persons that when life gives her lemons she makes margaritas. She is strong, smart, sassy and all around a delight to read.
Seeing her discover everything for the first time after recovering her sight was inspiring and funny. I also loved her interactions with her assistant, her sister and nieces.
One of the things I liked about Rachel is that she’s tenacious and will stop at nothing to learn what she needs to learn and do what she needs to do.
She’s a very strong character with a soft heart. She showed us that when she adopted Myrtle, a blind dog that becomes Rachel permanent companion.
Mason is dreamy, caring and all around a great guy. He’s dealing not only his brother’s suicide, but also with hiding his secret from the authorities and his family. He does that to protect his young nephews and pregnant sister in law. He walks a tight line between ethics and morals and even though some of the things he did were illegal it was easy to see and understand why he was doing it.
Mason is also dealing with the moral guilt of having given Rachel her brother’s killer’s eyes.
Mason and Rachel attraction is slow going but very present. It doesn’t play an important part in the story but it’s enough to leave romance fans satisfied.
After reading the blurb and seeing the beautiful cover I was very intrigued about this book, and I can tell you Mrs. Shayne didn’t disappoint me. She knows how to write mystery and how to keep us guessing about the whodunit. Sleep with the Lights On is a very compelling story that had me glued to its pages from beginning to end.
I’m looking forward to the release of next book in the series, Wake to Darkness, to be release on November 26th. I can’t wait to see what Mrs. Shayne has in store for Rachel and Mason in this next installment.
Sleep with the Lights On is one book I recommend you all to read.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
Sleep with the Lights On
Dream of Danger (Novella)
Wake to Darkness (November 26th)
Other reviews Goodreads