I received this book for free from Advance Reader Copy, NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Night Island by Jayne Ann KrentzThe Night Island by Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: The Lost Night Files #2
Published by berkley on January 9, 2024
Genres: Contemporary RS, PNR
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Advance Reader Copy, NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

The disappearance of a mysterious informant leads two people desperate for answers to an island of deadly deception in this new novel in the Lost Night Files trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz.

Talia March, Pallas Llewellyn, and Amelia Rivers, bonded by a night they all have no memory of, are dedicated to uncovering the mystery of what really happened to them months ago—an experience that brought out innate psychic abilities in each of them. The women suspect they were test subjects years earlier, and that there are more people like them—all they have to do is find the list. When Talia follows up on a lead from Phoebe, a fan of the trio’s podcast, she discovers that the informant has vanished.

Talia isn’t the only one looking for Phoebe, however. Luke Rand, a hunted and haunted man who is chasing the same list that Talia is after, also shows up at the meeting place. It’s clear he has his own agenda, and they are instantly suspicious of each other. But when a killer begins to stalk them, they realize they have to join forces to find Phoebe and the list.

The rocky investigation leads Talia and Luke to a rustic, remote retreat on Night Island in the Pacific Northwest. The retreat promises to rejuvenate guests with the Unplugged Experience. Upon their arrival, Talia and Luke discover guests are quite literally cut off from the outside world because none of their high-tech devices work on the island. It soon becomes clear that Phoebe is not the first person to disappear into the strange gardens that surround the Unplugged Experience retreat. And then the first mysterious death occurs…

This is the second book in her new series about 3 women who have a lost night. They had never met before that night. And they wound up with psychic abilities afterwards. Each ability is different, and in their quest to find out what happened to them that night, they find that they aren’t the only people who have lost a night and wound up with some new talent.

This book is about Talia. She’s looking for clues to not just her missing night, but the reasoning behind it. She and her friends have potentially discovered the trigger: a psych eval that all of the people missing a night were given. This list is now up for sale on the Dark Web. When she goes to meet the person to buy it, she also meets Luke. Turns out, he’s also a “missing nighter.” The two of them are there for the same thing, but neither trusts each other. Going into the house, Talia’s ability allows her to find things. She finds something leading to their missing informant. The two of the band together to find her. This leads them to the Night Island.

This island was previously used by the government for some biological weaponry in the form of plants. The entire island is covered by them. Someone bought the island and turned it into a mindfulness retreat. So Talia and Luke book themselves a little retreat. The main draw is it’s a place to disconnect from everything. However, the reason it’s so easy to do that is because there’s zero cellular coverage and no wifi. There’s an old house, and several cabins or cottages. It looks like someone put the bare minimum into it. Except for the food. The food is amazing. Enough for guests to put up with the weirdness of the island.

Luke’s talent is he can calm people down. He can literally change their mood. He used it as a hostage negotiator, and he thinks he can actually kill with his talent. He said he’d always been able to do that on a smaller scale, but after his “missing night,” it’s so amped up that he can manipulate moods. His memory is missing parts, and what he does remember from that night involve a scalpel and a dead body. But he can’t be sure he’s the one who killed the person from his memory. Or if it’s even a real memory.

This series is really intriguing. We have random people who all have a missing night, all in different locations, and who all may have had a small bit of psychic power, but after that fateful night, their psychic gifts are bigger and stronger. They seem to find each other as they try to find out what happened to them. And it seems that the conspiracy theorists have gotten hold of the mystery and are now involved. Everyone with a murder/mystery podcast has started digging. I have a feeling this book will be a trilogy, but I think there’s enough here to make it longer. I will say, though, that this book was slower than the first. It didn’t have the same sense of urgency the first book had, and I didn’t feel we got enough backstory on Luke. What we did get felt rushed. That being said, I enjoyed the book, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Oh, and for the Jayne Castle fangroup, I got Harmony cross-over vibes. I’m just saying 😉

***ARC courtesy of Berkley via Netgalley