Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Funny, Warm, Suspenseful--Dream Child by J.J. DiBenedetto


Dr. Sara Alderson can deal with eighty-hour workweeks as a resident at Children’s Hospital. Dealing with crises in the Emergency Room or the OR is second nature to her. But now she faces a challenge that all of her training and experience hasn’t prepared her for: Lizzie, her four-year-old daughter, has inherited her ability to see other people’s dreams.

After Lizzie befriends a young boy on a trip to Washington, DC, and then wakes up in a panic that night because of a “bad funny dream,” Sara knows exactly what it means: her daughter is visiting the boy’s dreams. Complicating matters is the fact that the boy’s father is a Congressman, and he’s dreaming about a “scary man in a big black car” threatening his Daddy.

Unraveling a case of political corruption and blackmail would be hard enough for Sara under the best of circumstances. But when she has to view everything through the eyes of a toddler, it may be an impossible task.

Review by Rochelle Weber:

Dream Child is the third book in J.J. DiBenedetto’s Dream Series, and I feel as though Sara and her family are old friends—except for the newer additions, Lizzie and the twins. Sara, her mother-in-law Helen, and Lizzie are en-route to Washington, DC, for a medical conference when Lizzie meets five year-old Billy Hanratty. In an hilarious passage, Lizzie cleans and bandages a wound Billy sustains on a sharp piece of metal when the train zigs and the children zag. She uses soap and toilet paper, and insists Billy needs “a inna-veeny.” It takes Sara a moment to realize Lizzie means an intravenous solution, which she lets Lizzie explain to the fascinated passengers listening in. After “checking” Lizzie’s work and allowing her to cleanse the wound with an alcohol swab and dress it with a real bandage, Sara introduces herself to Billy’s mom and learns they are the family of the Congressman who represents her district in DC. That night, Lizzie starts visiting Billy’s dreams about his Daddy and a scary man in a big, black car, and Sara, her husband Paul, and best friend Beth have to unravel a mystery interpreted by a four year-old.

Again, Mr. DiBenedetto has written a terrific stand-alone thriller wrapped in the warmth of family, and fueled by other people’s dreams. This time, however, the dreams come from a pair of little kids, with only occasional “first-hand” glimpses when Sara visits Lizzie’s dreams while she’s seeing Billy’s. Talk about keeping a series fresh! As usual, Dream Child engaged me at the very beginning, especially with Lizzie’s account of her ministrations to Billy. The whole book is worth buying just to read that passage. And it kept me reading to the very end. There was even a day when I was at my volunteer job at the VA and decided not to open my computer and edit because I couldn’t put down my Kindle. Yes, Mr. DiBenedetto—you caused me to play hooky! Download a copy, get the paperback, or listen to the Audible version and maybe play a little hooky with Dream Child yourself.

Length:  278 Pages
Print:  $10.24
Digital:  $3.99
Audible:  $21.83

Thanks for visiting. Rose, Julie, Donna, & Rochelle

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