Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

No one does romantic suspense better than Jayne Ann Krentz. Now, the New York Times bestselling author of Trust No One and River Road delivers a novel that twists and turns into a read that will leave you breathless.

Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.

They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother's hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn't be bothering them anymore...ever. Still their lives would never be the same.

Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother's mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.

Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts...and wants.

Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack's brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth....

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

When I saw this book was available on NetGalley I requested it just for kicks because I didn’t really expect to get approved for it. Color me surprised when my request was approved and having just finished reading it, I am so glad I took the chance to request it because it was awesome. It has been years since I’ve read this author’s work, so for me, Secret Sisters was like reuniting with an old friend. Considering the way in which the book plays out, it’s a rather appropriate sentiment as a series of events lead to the reunion between Madeline and Daphne after eighteen years apart.

As Secret Sisters is a romantic suspense novel, I will do my best to avoid revealing spoilers – at least the major ones. This, of course, means that my review will be rather vague as this is one of the best whodunits I have read in a while – and I read a fair amount of them. The first chapter of the book provided me just enough info on that fateful night eighteen years earlier that I was hooked immediately. Krentz doles out the details of that night very carefully over the course of the novel and in doing so paints a picture that gives the reader several suspects for the murder of one of Madeline’s employees. But as occurs in any good whodunit, with each question that is answered, even more questions arise. There is an obvious suspect who is so obvious that I found myself going back and forth thinking it couldn’t be him because it was too easy versus thinking it’s probably him because the author wants me to think it can’t be him because it’s too obvious. Worse than overthinking that was the sheer magnitude of possible suspects should it turn out that the obvious choice was indeed not the guy. This is what made Secret Sisters so enjoyable that I devoured it in less than eight hours – that as each person was eliminated as a “suspect,” their true character was revealed and I was constantly surprised by what they had done or were willing to do to bury their secrets and keep them buried. As the majority of the most viable suspects share the same last name, we discover there are a LOT of secrets that don’t stay buried. And the final reveal proved that I have no business being a detective because I did not see that coming.

Aside from the mystery itself, the action, suspense, and relationships within Secret Sisters kept me invested in the story. There are some seriously close and not-so-close calls as Jack, Madeline, Daphne, and Abe investigate the caretaker’s murder and how it circles back to the events eighteen years earlier. Due to their troubled pasts, Jack and Madeline understand one another well, in ways that most people can’t. This, along with their off-the-charts chemistry, makes for a rather interesting relationship dynamic that certainly kept me on my toes. I loved that the bond between Madeline and Daphne was so strong that they found comfort in one another’s presence rather than torment as a reminder of that night. They certainly helped to ground one another, as well as provide a smattering of humor when things got too intense. Secret Sisters is full of twists, turns, detours, U-turns, speedbumps, and sociopaths, and I loved every page of it. I so enjoyed rediscovering a much loved author and being reminded of why I enjoyed her writing so much.

The author of a string of New York Times bestsellers, Jayne Ann Krentz uses three different pen names for each of her three “worlds.” As Jayne Ann Krentz (her married name) she writes contemporary romantic-suspense. She uses Amanda Quick for her novels of historical romantic-suspense. Jayne Castle (her birth name) is reserved these days for her stories of futuristic/paranormal romantic-suspense.

“I am often asked why I use a variety of pen names,” she says. “The answer is that this way readers always know which of my three worlds they will be entering when they pick up one of my books.”

In addition to her fiction writing, she is the editor of, and a contributor to, a non-fiction essay collection, DANGEROUS MEN AND ADVENTUROUS WOMEN: ROMANCE WRITERS ON THE APPEAL OF THE ROMANCE published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.  Her commitment to her chosen genre has been strong from the very beginning of her career.  Each year at the annual convention of the Romance Writers of America she participates in a special day-long workshop for librarians and speaks on the importance of the romance genre.

“The romance genre is the only genre where readers are guaranteed novels that place the heroine at the heart of the story,” Jayne says.  “These are books that celebrate women’s heroic virtues and values:  courage, honor, determination and a belief in the healing power of love.”

She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California.  Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.

She is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.

Connect with Jayne

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz to read and review.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed SECRET SISTERS and I'm so glad we've been reunited, lol! Best of the holiday season to you.


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