Sunday, January 5, 2020

Review: The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz

The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: Fogg Lake, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Romantic Suspense with Paranormal Elements
ISBN: 9781984806437
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Decades ago in the small town of Fogg Lake, The Incident occurred: an explosion in the cave system that released unknown gases. The residents slept for two days. When they woke up they discovered that things had changed—they had changed. Some started having visions. Others heard ominous voices. And then, scientists from a mysterious government agency arrived. Determined not to become research subjects of strange experiments, the residents of Fogg Lake blamed their “hallucinations” on food poisoning, and the story worked. But now it has become apparent that the eerie effects of The Incident are showing up in the descendants of Fogg Lake…

Catalina Lark and Olivia LeClair, best friends and co-owners of an investigation firm in Seattle, use what they call their “other sight” to help solve cases. When Olivia suddenly vanishes one night, Cat frantically begins the search for her friend. No one takes the disappearance seriously except Slater Arganbright, an agent from a shadowy organization known only as the Foundation, who shows up at her firm with a cryptic warning.

A ruthless killer is hunting the only witnesses to a murder that occurred in the Fogg Lake caves fifteen years ago—Catalina and Olivia. And someone intends to make both women vanish.

Murder, mystery, psychics, auras, and a hint of romance make for a great combination in The Vanishing. Jayne Ann Krentz has kicked off her Fogg Lake series with a fast-paced, engaging story.

Decades ago, “The Incident” happened in Fogg Lake; an explosion in the caves that released gases and gave the residents and their decedents certain paranormal abilities. Catalina Lark grew up in Fogg Lake, but she and her best friend, Olivia, make their living as investigators in Seattle. When Olivia goes missing, Catalina learns that it’s due to a murder both witnessed in Fogg Lake when they were teenagers. The only person Catalina can trust to help her find her friend is Slater Arganbright, an agent from the secretive Foundation. Catalina and Slater have an instant connection and it doesn’t just come from them both having supernatural skills. They clicked perfectly, making it easy to fall into the rhythm of the story as they hunt kidnappers, killers, and unraveled a mystery that began before they were born.

The Vanishing moves at a quick clip and because it’s the first book in the series, Ms. Krentz throws out a lot of information. I won’t spoil the story by revealing anything, but there are mysterious organizations, multiple players with competing agendas, and quite a few point of view shifts, some of which will likely be important down the line in the series. Because of this, there’s a lot of exposition and I wish there had been more show than tell, especially near the end so the developments felt more organic. The world building and mystery are enough to keep the story going strong and Catalina and Slater are great central characters, so it also would have been nice to see their relationship develop over the course of the series. Instead the romance felt almost shoehorned in and was so rushed that it wasn’t quite believable at the end. This isn’t to say I didn’t like the book – I actually really enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to what happens next – but it was missing much-needed depth in some areas that would have made the story shine.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.