Ashley Patterson is a graphic designer working for a large company. She is introverted and likes to be alone. Her colleagues, Toni Prescott, a British lady who loves singing and dancing, does not understand her, and neither does Italian Alette Peters, an artist. However, the three aren’t friends. Ashley is terrified because she is certain that she is being stalked, and has no one that she can talk to, and does not want to sound paranoid. She has a strange relationship with her father, Dr Patterson, who is a very successful doctor, but who has a temper and is incredibly protective of her.
Prior to leaving for a business trip in Canada, Ashley learns that her high school boyfriend had been brutally murdered, and Ashley is terrified that her father may have been responsible. Multiple murders are being picked up by the police where men have been stabbed and castrated, and it looks like the men have ties to Ashley, who is afraid that her father may be involved, and does everything she can to protect him. While in Canada, another man is murdered in much the same fashion, and just so happens to be the man that Toni Prescott was falling in love with. Returning to the States, Ashley requests Deputy Sam Blake to stay with her one night after someone writes a threatening message on her mirror. The next morning she is woken by screams and discovers that he has been murdered. Ashley is arrested in her home when her prints and DNA match all the other brutal crime scenes.
Dr Patterson contacts lawyer David Singer, a young man who had once begged Dr Patterson to save his mother’s life, and who respected the man immensely. David’s life is just about perfect. His wife, Sandra, is pregnant, he is about to make partner at the prestigious firm he works for, and the young couple has just bought a beautiful penthouse. David hears Dr Patterson out, says he will meet with Ashley, but that he would recommend that Dr Patterson get a criminal attorney. After much fighting, David takes the case when he learns that Ashley, Toni, and Alette are all the same person, much to the chagrin of his employers, who are weary as to what will happen with such a public case. Ashley Patterson is the villain, and the defence that she has Multiple Personality Disorder is weak and embarrassing for them. David is intent on being morally correct, and attempts to help Ashley out, though he has never fought a case like this.
Will David be able to get Ashley off? Will the trial go in their favour, even with a judge who so openly dislikes David? Does Ashley suffer from MPD, or is that just the defence that David is going with? What trauma split up Ashley to have birthed other personalities? Is she able to be cured if she does, in actual fact, suffer from MPD?
I read this book when I was younger and I remember the whole concept of multiple personalities fascinated me endlessly. This novel was set out relatively well, too. Very typical Sheldon style in the sense that it flows, it is an exceptionally fast read, the sections are short, so nothing too much to absorb at any given moment, and typically the characters are there to convey the story more than anything else. It was funny to read about the whole computer section to me, it seems to have been a relatively new thing then, as well as the internet. I understand the time that it was written in and all, just strange to see it all referred to in such unfamiliar terms, and with so much explanation, when it is almost so commonplace now. One thing that Sheldon did again in here (and he does it in so many of his other books) is writing in another language, with no translation, or any reply to indicate what was said. I absolutely hate it when authors write like that. It is very frustrating, and as I said, Sheldon is very prone to it. It’s almost as though the author is flaunting their prowess of another language and damn you if you can’t keep yup with them. I really don’t like it. Tell Me Your Dreams is quite an interesting read, and is sure to keep you stuck to it, if only to see how it turns out. The start of the book is a little rocky, as though he were struggling for purchase of where to start, but it all came together in the end. I was very happy to read through the courtroom drama bit, I find that to be captivating. If you are not into courtroom dramas, do not worry, it is not too intense, you will fly through the few chapters dedicated to it, it is not in depth, and comprises a relatively small section of the book (about a third). If you have never read a Sidney Sheldon novel before, this is one that I could highly recommend.