By: Jayne Ann Krentz
Publication Date: December 2015
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: October 9, 2015
Jayne Ann Krentz professes: ‘...it all started with a title...’ and her vision of her latest book, Secret Sisters,’ unfolded!
In the wake of her grandmother’s untimely death and the gap of eighteen years between the departure from Cooper Island, Washington and current day Phoenix, Arizona, Madeline Chase realizes it is time to go back and face her daemons. She hasn’t seen her Secret Sister Daphne in eighteen years. As she sits with her therapist attempting to untangle the spaghetti ball of occurrences from then to now, Madeline knows her quest for closure is in that place she left so long ago. Madeline is a successful business woman. She is the CEO and President of a successful chain of boutique hotels. Thanks to the constant support and guidance from her grandmother, Sanctuary Creek Inns were a solid and oft-frequented chain. Yet, it all started at Aurora Point on the pristine island off the coast of Washington. It was time long-kept secrets be exposed...
With more than a handful of failed relationships, Madeline refused to connect that fateful night so many years ago with her avoidance toward intimacy with her therapist. She was only twelve when that man attempted his brutal attack on her. Thankfully, Daphne Knight was there—her bestie, her ‘secret sister.’ Nobody ever knew what happened to that man—nobody except her grandmother and Aurora Point’s caretaker, Tom Lomax. Madeline knew. When she returned to Aurora Point, she stood before the gazebo allowing the horrible memories of that night to flood her mind once more. She trusted no one, but had no choice but to bring Sanctuary Creek’s resident investigator, Jack Rayner along for the journey. Jack was different—trustworthy and this was something Madeline couldn’t grasp. When Madeline enters the long-since abandoned hotel to meet with Tom, she is horrified to see him at the foot of the grand staircase in a pool of blood. She is not alone and has mere minutes to seek refuge before she too becomes a statistic. Perhaps this was a sign that Madeline should have paid closer attention to. Maybe the secrets of the past should have remained as such, but it was too late to turn back now.
Jane Ann Krentz’s library of titles spans a full two pages in the preface to this latest title, Secret Sisters. I have not read any previous titles by this author, but must say she has put together a terrific formula when it comes to producing a fast-paced, enjoyable mystery. Her characters are credible and the plot is engaging. She takes the reader on a journey back to fill in the blanks of the past and connects them with the present; answering the void of unanswered questions in between. The length is perfect in that the story doesn’t stall with too much prose, nor bog down with nonsensical pontification of pointless dialogue. Ms. Krentz’ style portrays an author who has confidence and discipline through succinct delivery getting the story down and establishing pace with constant movement forward throughout the read. This story has a nice balance of romance and suspense and wills the reader to continue his/her job of turning the page to determine not only ‘who done it,’ but does the guy get the girl in the end? Well done Ms. Krentz. I must go back and read some of your earlier titles!
Quill says: Secret Sisters is a cozy read that is the perfect match with a lazy do nothing, Saturday afternoon.