on 24 November 2002
Jayne Ann Krentz has been an "automatic" buy for many years for me - her novels are original, quirky and have in the past had just the right blend of romance and suspense to make a great read. However, as of late - Eclipse Bay series in particular - I have been disappointed in both the depth of the mystery and the characters/romance.
I did enjoy Smoke in Mirrors - the story ambled along quite well at a sedate pace, but I never felt "gripped" by the storyline to the extent that I could'nt put it down. For me the main characters Thomas and Leonora were a bit flat, as was the "romance" side of the book and at times the amount of time dedicated to the ensemble quirky cast got slightly annoying.
Having said all that, the book was still a great improvement, for me, on her most recent works and is worth reading for that.
Don't get me wrong, I adore JAK. She is one of the few writers I will buy in hardback...but I am beginning to rethink this. Smoke and Mirrors was fun if you are a JAK fan, if not...you might be sorely disappointed in the hardback price and paperback read.
She is a sharp as ever in technique and style, she has polished JAK trademark of wilful ladies and stubborn men to a hard gloss. Maybe too much polishing and too hard of a gloss?? She lacks the snap and fire of her earlier works, going the same as many of the Romance Writers ( Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell) are - once they get into 'mainstream' they are taking off the romance banner and maybe alienating fans in the process.
It's a fun read, but the story is weak and the ending weaker. She has no real mystery going other than why did she not have a better mystery!!! You see who the obvious murderer is by the early part of the book, if you don't, you will known by the end for there is NO OTHER person it can be, and the reason she has been a murderer for 30 years and killed several people - to pad and protect her retirement account??? OH PLEASE, JAK, thinking cap time!!
I love the lead characters. She is the half sister of murdered women, he is the brother-in-law of a murdered woman and they form an alliance that is warm, witty and charming. Especially love his dog!!!
But on the balance, the plot is thread bear, the mystery weak as they get.
Sorry, I advise waiting for paperback, then the disappointment won't sting as much.
JAK is one of my favourite writers, I am let down by the one on the whole.