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4.2 out of 5 stars
Light in Shadow
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2003
Your view on this book will depend on whether you are buying Jayne Ann Krentz - romance writer or Jayne Ann Krentz - thriller writer.
Its, in my opinion, a really good thriller. You have the two main characters caught up in a three part plot and as each part of the mystery is resolved another comes to the fore to keep the pages turning to the end.The repartee between the two central characters I found very amusing and topical, and the general assortment of wacky background characters that Krentz is renowned for were all present and correct.
For me, who has always bought Krentz for her romances,I found this part of the novel disapointing. The relationship was lacking in something and you did'nt get that sense of closeness between Zoe and Ethan.Not enough time was devoted to building up the relationship between the two and so it was sadly lacking.
So, I give four stars for the thriller and two for the romance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2005
Usually, in a JAK story, the family pulls together, and accepts the outsider into its midst. Here, the family is the enemy. Our heroine, Zoe, doesn't really exist. She's on the run, and has adopted the identity of "Zoe Luce" and gone into hiding at Whispering Springs. Here, she works as an interior decorator and keeps her head down.
Zoe has a form of second sight - she can detect in the walls of a room all the emotions of people who have been there. We see this in a very dramatic start to the book when she enters a room she's decorating for a client and feels the walls screaming at her. The client, she is sure, has murdered his wife. She hires Ethan Truax, a private investigator, to prove this. She manages to convince Ethan that a murder has taken place, without revealing the secret of her psychic gift and together they bring a murderer to justice. But the publicity has undesirable consequences for Zoe.
Her psychic gift is the reason that Zoe is on the run. Her husband was killed, apparently by a random burglar, and control of his shares in the family firm passed to her. She is convinced her husband was murdered by someone close to him, because when she visited the cabin where he died, the walls had screamed at her. To prevent this outsider affecting the future of the company, the family labelled Zoe's vocal accusations and psychic experiences as "insanity". The family quietly locked away in a private mental institution and threw away the key.
As if that wasn't bad enough, this institution was badly managed. The doctors conducted illicit experiments on the patients and one of them not only believed Zoe's experiences might be real but even tried to use her as a "psychic investigator" as part of her "research". Worse, the employees assault and even rape the patients. Zoe had some dreadful experiences at Candlelake Manor before she escaped. Now she lives in hiding, afraid of anyone discovering her psychic gift and afraid of people finding she has been placed in a mental institution. She also has reason to fear that there's a killer in her late husband's family.
Unfortunately for Zoe, just when she thinks she might be settling down and even starting a relationship with Ethan, the publicity about the murder in Whisperring Springs starts a ball rolling that eventually blows her cover. Ethan saves Zoe by marrying her and removing her from the control of her late husband's family, but as their investigations into the murder of Zoe's first husband start to show results, can he save her from the killer?
This is the darkest book JAK has ever written. The hero and heroine start a relationship, depend on one another, and finally fall in love, so that makes it a romance. But the world the hero and heroine inhabit is a dark and threatening place. If you like your romantic suspence dark and deadly, you'll enjoy this book.
Personally, I missed the light heartedness and fun of JAK's earlier books and hope that her future books return there.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2004
This is hard. This is very,very hard. I enjoyed the book, but there were moments when I couldn't wait for it to end. Like when you are sitting in a cinema, excited about a movie, which had some good scenes but as time went on, it got a little flaky and your popcorn is finished and all you want to do is leave but you can't cause you are already too deep into it ...that was how I felt. Zoe's unique gift appealed to me- hey- she is so attuned to spaces that she can feel the cries of anguish in a room. That's cool. As the plot accelerates to its inevitable twist, Krentz managed to maintain a seductive atmosphere. The discovery of the whodunit of one murder will surprise us (I certainly did not see it coming!) The interplay of the book's sub-characters keeps the plot perking along ( and woo hoo, it doesn't take a four year old to know that Bonnie and Arcadia will end up with Singleton and Stagg respectively. How convenient.Imagine all those Saturday night triple dates!!!)
Krentz is a master story teller, weaving together all the pieces, including a parallel story from a century ago (the throw in of an age old murder was intriguing and the bubblegum pink Nightwinds sounds adorable!) The motive for the main homicide seemed crazy ( then again the killer is crazy) but fans might still appreciate it. It's got everything, suspense, romance and a little bit of the paranormal and yet....it ended up being just a run of the mill to me. Something was a bit off.....but that's my opinion. Still worth a read, though. Will come back for more of Krentz.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2004
Krentz was a new discovery for me but I was intrigued by the story idea on the back cover.
I wasn't disappointed - this has great characters, suspense, romance and lots of action. A real page-turner. I've since bought TRUTH OR DARE which is the sequel to this - and so far, so fabulous!
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on 7 April 2008
I'd highly recommend this for a very enjoyable, fast, slightly dark, contemporary romantic thriller. The main characters work well: Ethan, a three-times divorced, broke PI, butting against Zoe, the woman who can feel past violent and strong emotions in a room and has escaped from a private mental hospital. Intriguing, plenty of twists, and romantic without being gooey and lovey dovey.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2003
JAK has had mixed reviews of late, but this novel shows that she is back on form! Heroine Zoe Luce is working as a decorator, living under an assumed identity and is on the run, when she employs the services of Ethan Truax, a private investigator. The two of them get cought up in a web of mystery, murder and, of course, romance. A very enjoyable yarn.
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on 21 April 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Didn't want to put it down. Jayne Ann Krentz is an excellent story teller and I would recommend this book.
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on 4 September 2014
Another great story by Jayne Ann Kentz
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on 5 September 2014
Great writer great read
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