JAK has been one of my favourite writers for nearly two decades. Even in her earliest works you see the diamond brilliance that has put her at the top. However, I was disappointed in some of her recent works. Then she came powering back with the marvellous "Summer in Eclipse Bay" and was SO perfect!! So when "Smoke and Mirrors" came...I went hum....so so but could have been better - much beter. Worse, was her Amanda Quick's "Don't Look Back" so dreadfully dull, that I wanted to howl. Swore I would stop buying her in hardback! And immediately turned around and could not resist buying "Light in Shadow". It just sounded so good....and it IS!!
JAK is back in top form providing a warm, humourous, loving mystery that I just could not put down!! It is billed as "A Whispering Springs Novel" so we can except two more I am presuming, and I shall be first in line for the sequels.
In this mystery, JAK gives us a Zoe Luce an interior decorator with a special touch: she can "feel emotions" within a room. Currently, she is decorating a house for a new ex-husband, who claims he wants a redo after his wife left him. However, the instant Zoe steps into the bedroom and see the missing bed and shower curtains in the bathroom, she knows he killed his wife. What to do. Zoe cannot go to the police for two reasons: 1) she is on the run from a high-price mental institution and 2) would the police really believe her? Most people would let it go, but Zoe cannot. She has to do something, so she finds the add for Ethan Truax, a private detective in the town. Sam Spade he is not. He is just coming off his bad third marriage, a failed business and rebuilding his life and career. But because of monetary concerns, Zoe hires him any.
Naturally, they create sparks off each other, but there are SO many things standing between a relationship. He hates psychics, considers them a fraud, and here is Zoe the psychic interior decorator. He had three failed marriages. She is running from the men in white coats - along with her fellow escapee - and various other people wanting to use her or hide her away from the world.
You learn being a psychic does not mean she is unbalanced. She just happens to be standing in the way of her dead husband's cousin's multimillionaire business deal. She believes the cousin killed her husband, but had no proof, and when she kept pressing the claims, the cousin paid a small fortune to have her
quietly committed while the business deal goes through.
Truax does what Zoe hires him to do, find the missing wife - dead or alive - but that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are the men in white coats with needles trying to catch her, there is the former security chief of the institution who thinks a little blackmail would be more profitable, there is her cousin-in-law and his wife who want her tucked away on the nice sedate clinic, there is the doctor of the clinic who wants his cash-cow back and a strange doctor/profiler who wants to use Zoe's talents - and not as an interior decorator. And the only thing standing in their way is Ethan Truax.
It's typical JAK yeah, but its JAK at her best, so her fans will dance with job as another of her memorial gems!!
Bring on more Whispering Springs novel....Zoe and Ethan steal your heart!!