Sizzle and Burn

Jayne Ann Krentz, Author
Jayne Ann Krentz, Author . Putnam $24.95 (359p) ISBN 978-0-399-15445-4
Reviewed on: 11/19/2007
Release date: 02/01/2008
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At the opening of Krentz's disappointing latest featuring the Arcane Society—a covert organization devoted to paranormal research—costume shop owner Raine Tallentyre hears voices: in her deceased aunt's home in Shelbyville, Wash., she discovers and rescues a potential serial killer victim, and locks in on the disturbed killer's vibes. Raine's aunt also heard voices, but was also known as the town nut; Raine thus hesitates in going public. Meanwhile, Zack Jones is a PI hired by the Arcane Society: he gets a visceral sense of crimes with visions, but tracks Raine because of the secret research her father was doing on a special formula that enhances paranormal powers. Raine, meanwhile, has always believed that her father was killed by a member of the Society—one of Zack's relatives in fact—and is wary of Zack's motives. Krentz, who wrote the Arcane Society novel Second Sight as Amanda Quick, knows how to make sparks fly among the gifted, but this outing feels comparatively flat. The paranormal elements don't coalesce with the boy-meets-girl story. A repetitious dwelling on Raine's past, whereby potential partners were creeped out by her abilities, is a less serious flaw than the way the denouement makes use of them. (Jan.)