dinsdag 11 januari 2011

Jayne Ann Krentz – In too deep

The first book in the Arcane Society: Looking Glass Trilogy series, published December 2010.

In too deep

Jayne Ann Krentz follows up her highly successful Dreamlight Trilogy - written in collaboration with her two alter egos, Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle - with a brand-new story arc that begins in a secluded coastal town in northern California.

Scargill Cove is the perfect place for Fallon Jones, confirmed recluse and investigator of the paranormal. It's a hot spot, a convergence point for unusually strong currents of energy, which might explain why the town attracts misfits and drifters like moths to a flame. Now someone else has been drawn to the Cove - Isabella Valdez, on the run from some very dangerous men.

When she starts working as Fallon's assistant, Isabella impresses him by organizing his pathologically chaotic office - and doesn't bat an eye at the psychic element of his job. She's a kindred spirit, a sanctuary from a world that considers his talents a form of madness. But after a routine case unearths an antique clock infused with dark energy, Fallon and Isabella are dragged into the secret history of Scargill Cove and forced to fight for their lives, as they unravel a cutthroat conspiracy with roots in the Jones family business and Isabella's family tree.

Fallon Jones runs the psychic detective agency of J&J, a firm that has been in the family for 400 years. They solve cases, but also police the psychics. After all, the normal police doesn’t even acknowledge psychic crimes, let alone have the ability to arrest or detain a high level psychic. Fallon himself is an off-the-scale chaos talent, he sees patterns were other people see nothing, which makes them think he just sees conspiracies behind every tree. But all of his theories are based on facts, and he is getting tired of explaining himself, or denying that everyone thinks he will go mad, just like his ancestors with this particular talent.
Especially after his terminated engagement three years ago, Fallon has been alone. But now he has finally hired an office assistant, and she sure knows how to manage his office, and himself for that matter. Sure, she has secrets of her own, he knows she is running from something or some one, but he is patient and will give her time to trust him with the truth.

Isabella has some powerful talents of her own: she is a finder, she finds things and people. And most often things she doesn’t really want to find, like dead bodies. She was very happy in her last job, feeling appreciated for her talents, until she found out she was targeted as a scapegoat for a paranormal arms dealer. Someone in the firm was dealing in psychic weapons, and they were trying to blame it all on her. The Arcane Society has very strict rules when it comes to dealing with those things, and she does not want to be targeted by them.
So she runs, after all, she has only been working there for six months, and her boss, the one who is framing her, for years and years. Her word would mean nothing to these people. And when some thugs try to grab her in Phoenix, another part of her talent comes in handy as well: she can “suggest” things to a person when he is touching her, and she tells those men to ”get lost”, but only to cross over at crossroads when the light is green … she does not want to be responsible for some unexplained deaths.
When she told her grandmother all about this, she was told to go to Scargill Cove and find Fallon Jones. He would be able to help her. Her grandmother is a real conspiracy artist, and she would go underground. She would pretend to be death, and Isabella was to stay away. But when time went on, Isabella was very much afraid they found her grandmother, and the death was not faked after all.

After a few weeks at the agency, Isabella wants to become an investigator herself, and she accepts a client, a real estate agent, who wants them to declare a house she has been unable to sell, as being ghost free. But upon entering the house, Isabella finds some much darker things, and calls Fallon for backup. A psychic serial killer is using the house as his killing place, using an antique psychic weapon to help him. Of course he is not match for Fallon, and when he discloses there are more of those weapons around, they have a bigger problem on their hands. Luckily, the townspeople trust Fallon, and tell him were to look. They have been guarding those weapons, whom they believe are alien or from a black ops government operation for 22 years, ever since they came to the town. So Fallon arranges to have them taken to the Arcane labs, where they will be dismantled.

Then Zack Jones and his wife turn up, the currant Master of Arcane. And he wants Fallon to come to the yearly meeting this year, to back him up. There are rumors they want Fallon out as head of J&J, and for Arcane to break up with J&J. Of course, the next step would be to elect someone else Master of Arcane. So an united front would be appreciated. Fallon dreads the thing, as his former fiancée and her parents will surely be their. They blame him for killing their son/brother, when he was defending his own life. So he gets the notion to take Isabella with him, as his assistant.

Lots of things start happening, a lot of action, ancient secrets unravelled. And I totally loved the book. A few of the twists I saw coming, but a few were nice surprises. I loved the little visit to Eclipse Bay in the end. Both Fallon and Isabella are great characters. Both have been so very lonely, only for different reasons, and they just accept each other. Of course, they are a perfect match according to the aunt who runs Arcane Matchmakers. A few little love scenes, but a lot of action, and humor and psychic adventures.

A great book, a great series, a great author.

9 stars.

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