Friday, January 17, 2020

The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz

From New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz comes a gripping new romantic suspense trilogy fraught with danger and enigma.

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.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Here goes my woefully ineloquent review… I flipping LOVED this book!!! I read The Vanishing in one day, finishing it four days ago and still can’t quite figure out what to say. I’ll start by saying I went into the book kinda blind. I recall skimming the description several months ago when requesting a review copy, but I didn’t reread it before starting the book this past weekend and I’m glad I didn’t because now that I’ve read the description again, I think the suspense factor was upped significantly since I didn’t know what to expect at all.  

To start, I grew up with a grandfather who had a strong belief in the supernatural, especially psychic phenomena. So for me, the residents of Fogg Lake quickly became “real” people. I was invested in their lives, curious as to how The Incident had forced the small town of Fogg Lake to become so insular, and I needed to know whether their paranoia was baseless or well earned. After all, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean no one’s out to get you. And in Olivia and Catalina’s case, they had even more reason to be paranoid than they realized. What they didn’t know was who they could trust. And that’s the crux of the story… who can Catalina turn to when her best friend Olivia is kidnapped? The government? The Foundation? The Vortex? The residents of Fogg Lake? Her own memories and gift? How do you keep your friends close and your enemies closer when you’re not sure who is who? Add to that a love interest who not only understands and accepts her gift but also possesses a few secrets of his own, and Catalina finds herself not only fighting for her life and Olivia’s but also for a future she stopped hoping for years ago.

Oddly enough – and this is going to sound like a complaint – it seemed as though the book just would not end. I don’t mean that the story kept dragging on, but rather that Krentz passed up several potential stopping points that could have been cliffhangers in order to wrap up unresolved threads from the storyline. I’d get to the end of a storyline, assume answers to the remaining questions would be revealed in the next novel, only to turn the page and embark upon a series of events that would tie up another thread. It was a reader’s dream. The only part that didn’t feel organic was the final look at Catalina and Slater’s relationship. That actually felt like an editor insisted that readers deserved to see more development and so Krentz indulged the editor. As much as I enjoyed seeing their next step, I would have happily waited for book two to get a glimpse into their relationship progression. Of course, that assumes future installments will provide continued updates on the couple. Either way, I’ll be over here patiently awaiting book two’s release, hopefully by this time next year.

It is easy to tell that The Vanishing is the first book because there are times when this is just an information dump. A lot of time is spent giving us parts of the history of Fogg lake, the characters and organisations involved in their lives. As someone who is not a big reader of paranormal stories, I actually appreciated the information dump because it helped me get a grasp on what was going on.

The story mystery-wise was really good. Catalina’s best friend and business partner, Olivia, is kidnapped and with the help of Slater, from the paranormal organisation called the Foundation, they work together to find Olivia which inevitably leads back to Catalina’s hometown of Fogg Lake. The mystery was definitely my favourite part of the story and Fogg Lake is an interesting place.

Catalina and Slater spend an intense few days together and romance develops. I’m happy that there was romance, and I liked it even though it isn’t particularly well developed. The romance is pretty straight forward.

I found The Vanishing entertaining and a good start to a new series. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for future books from the Fogg Lake series.

Jayne Ann Krentz is the author of fifty New York Times bestsellers. She has written contemporary romantic suspense novels under that name, as well as futuristic and historical romance novels under the pseudonyms Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick, respectively. She lives in Seattle.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Vanishing (Fogg Lake #1) by Jayne Ann Krentz to read and review.

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