Published by berkley on December 8, 2015
Genres: Contemporary RS
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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No one does romantic suspense better than Jayne Ann Krentz. Now, the New York Times bestselling author of Trust No One andRiver Road delivers a novel that twists and turns into a read that will leave you breathless.
Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.
They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother's hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn't be bothering them anymore...ever. Still their lives would never be the same.
Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother's mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.
Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts...and wants.
Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack's brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth....
I really love Jayne Ann Krentz’s paranormal series that she writes as Jayne Castle, but a lot of her stand-alones and romantic suspenses fall flat for me. It’s not that I don’t like them. I think it’s more along the lines as I just don’t love them.
This one has an interesting suspense plot, and some parts I didn’t see coming, but Madeline really bothered me.
The beginning shows us what happened to Madeline and Daphne when they were younger, it’s bad. And it causes Madeline and her grandmother to move away from the island they lived on, and it caused Daphne and her mom to move away as well.
But a phone call brings them back to the island, and back together. Their dark secret has kept them apart, but it’s time to find out exactly what’s going on, and why it’s all coming up now.
Quick version, they are brought back because the caretaker of the old hotel Madeline’s grandmother owned has called. While she’s there, someone kills him, attacks her, and leaves her worried for Daphne. She calls in Jack, the owner of her company’s security firm, so at least she isn’t stupid. And the two of them begin to worry that this is bigger than they’d thought, and perhaps her grandmother’s death hadn’t been an accident either.
I can’t say why I didn’t love this, other than it seemed unrealistic. Not at first, the beginning and the first half were both interesting, and intriguing. But, with the hero being a former FBI profiler who started his own security business, his backstory seemed unnecessary and the fact that he left Madeline and Daphne with his parents but assumed the bad guys were gone seemed to be amateur hour.
The ending really killed it for me. Instead of finding the twist and turn exciting, I found myself annoyed. Like, seriously? That’s where you went with that? It was too convoluted to make sense. I am absolutely willing to suspend belief for romance novels, but this was just ridiculous. This person is the bad guy, oh wait, he’s not. Well, he was a bad guy, but not the main one. But that person over there? He’s also the bad guy, and so is she…it was like Oprah.
You get to be a bad guy, You get to be a bad guy, everybody gets to be the bad guy!
It wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t great is all. I liked it, but I think the pyromaniac sociopathic brother was a great villain, and way too conveniently dealt with. I think the actual villain(s) made the book less than it could have been.
***ARC courtesy of Berkley