I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sleep No More by Jayne Ann Krentz
Published by berkley on January 3, 2023
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New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz returns with the first novel of the Lost Night Files, an exciting new romantic suspense trilogy about a night that changed three women forever—but that none of them can remember.
Seven months ago, Pallas Llewellyn, Talia March, and Amelia Rivers were strangers, until their fateful stay at the Lucent Springs Hotel. An earthquake and a fire partially destroyed the hotel, but the women have no memory of their time there. Now close friends, the three women co-host a podcast called the Lost Night Files, where they investigate cold cases and hope to connect with others who may have had a similar experience to theirs—an experience that has somehow enhanced the psychic abilities already present in each woman.
After receiving a tip for their podcast, Pallas travels to the small college town of Carnelian, California, to explore an abandoned asylum. Shaken by the dark energy she feels in the building, she is rushing out when she’s stopped by a dark figure—who turns out to be the women's mysterious tipster.
Ambrose Drake is certain he’s a witness to a murder, but without a body, everyone thinks he’s having delusions caused by extreme sleep deprivation. But Ambrose is positive something terrible happened at the Carnelian Sleep Institute the night he was there. Unable to find proof on his own, he approaches Pallas for help, only for her to realize that Ambrose, too, has a lost night that he can’t remember—one that may be connected to Pallas. Pallas and Ambrose conduct their investigation using the podcast as a cover, and while the townsfolk are eager to share what they know, it turns out there are others who are not so happy about their questions—and someone is willing to kill to keep the truth from coming out.
This is the first book in a new paranormal series by Jayne Ann Krentz and I’m really loving the idea of this series. The main arc surrounds a lost night. Several strangers somehow find each other, and find that they all share a lost night.
The book opens with Ambrose Drake in the middle of a sleep study, and something awakens him. He stumbles out of his room, and he is 100% sure he’s just witnessed a murder, or at least the body being carted away. But he’s not fully awake, the doctor has him convinced he’s sleepwalking again, and that he needs to climb back into bed. The problem is that the next morning, he’s only maybe kind 90% sure someone was killed. Or maybe he’s only 80% sure? One thing he knows is that something is very wrong.
Pallas runs a podcast with her two new friends Amelia and Talia. The three of them had never met…until that night. They woke up in the infirmary of an abandoned hotel and the hotel was on fire. Because the hotel burned down, they have no proof, no evidence, of anything that happened. And they can’t really trust their memories, because like Ambrose, nothing adds up. The only thing all 4 people are certain of is that something happened, and it has increased their psychic powers.
All of them had already had a minor psychic talent. Pallas was an amazing interior designer. She was able to slip into a “free drawing” state and draw what was wrong with a room. Then she would alter some small things and the rooms always felt better after. She bumbled around college until she went to a guidance counselor who (I think was from her Arcane series-cute cameo there, Ms. Krentz!), and this person recommended Pallas go into interior design. Pallas for her part rolled her eyes. At first. Then she made a successful career out of it. Until she didn’t. Now her talent shows her the monsters in the room. She just has to figure out who they all are.
At the beginning of this book, she’s investigating an abandoned building based on a tip sent in to her podcast, The Lost Night Files. This is where she meets Ambrose. He’s her tipster, and she’s officially freaked out. But the two of them make a good team, and she learns about his Lost Night. And why he called her in. He wants her to slip into her free drawing state and draw the room. Maybe she can find something that he can’t. She does, but she needs more information to interpret her dream drawing. And Ambrose has a plan.
The two of them dig deeper into the sleep clinic that Ambrose stayed in, which just so happens to be in the same town as the abandoned building where he thinks a murder occurred. Too many things don’t add up, and too many coincidences between their experiences begin pointing to some person who has an interest in finding people with either latent psychic talents, or mild psychic abilities, and is looking to enhance them. With or without their permission. And with that idea rattling around in their heads, the two amateur sleuths realize this is big. or rather BIG. As in all capital letters BIG. Of course that brings with it, big danger.
All of the characters are connected by their amnesia, and all of them want answers. Their normal lives are no longer normal, and any investigation into what happened that night leads nowhere. So when Ambrose and Pallas are able to find out any scraps of information, this leads them to believe that there are others out there, like them. With a missing night and new powers. Can their podcast help them find the others? Or will something else bring them together?
One thing I love about a Jayne Ann Krentz novel is that you always have a strong heroine and a satisfying ending. This book was no different and I look forward to the other characters, and I can’t wait to read more in this series. I love how relatable her characters are, and how it’s not always the same Billionaire hero with a down on her luck heroine (no shade, I enjoy those too!). Krentz crafts characters who are unique and feel like someone I could know in real life. It adds a little something to the story, and makes it easier to slip into the world. This series has the makings of another hit for Krentz, and I absolutely recommend it.
***ARC courtesy of the Berkley Publishing via Netgalley