Review and Excerpt – The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz

About the Book:

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

Forty years ago in the small town of Fogg Lake, “The Incident” occurred: an explosion in the cave system that released unknown gases, causing peculiar effects on its residents, such as strange visions and ominous voices. Not wanting the government to get involved, they chalked it up to the hallucinogenic effects of mushrooms. Little did they know these effects would linger through the generations….

Residents Catalina Lark and Olivia Dayton have been best friends for years and own an investigation firm together, using what they call the “other sight” to help with their business. When Olivia goes missing, Cat frantically begins the search for her alone when the town does nothing about it. When scientist Slater Arganbright shows up, she has no choice but to accept his help even though there’s something about him she just can’t trust. The duo discovers someone is hunting the two witnesses of a murder in Fogg Lake fourteen years ago—the very one Cat and Olivia witnessed as teens, one that they couldn’t prove happened. Cat and Slate’s search for Olivia takes them down a rabbit hole that is far more dangerous and mysterious than they ever expected, and with a killer in their midst, neither of them can foresee who will come out alive.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                The Vanishing (Fogg Lake Book 1)

Read an Excerpt:

By the time Catalina reached the lobby of the office building that housed Lark & LeClair, she was a little winded, tense with anger and vibrating with anxiety.

Daniel was already behind his desk. He took one look at her when she came through the door and got to his feet.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

“I’m fine. Has there been any word from Olivia?”

“No.” Daniel frowned. “Should there be some word from her?”

Catalina glanced at the clock. “In another five minutes she’ll be late. She’s never late.”

Daniel raised his brows. “The hot date, remember? She’s probably having a late breakfast with Mr. Perfect.”

“Probably,” Catalina said.

Daniel exhaled slowly. “You think something’s wrong, don’t you?”

“Olivia knows I would be worried about her by now,” Catalina said. “She should have checked in. She’s not answering her phone. I’m going to call Ferris.”

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” Daniel said.

“I can apologize later.”

Emerson Ferris answered on the fourth ring. He sounded groggy; maybe hungover. Maybe angry. Whatever the case, it was clear from his first words that he was not in a good mood—certainly not in the mood one would expect from a man who had spent the night with a lover.

“No, Olivia isn’t here,” he growled. “Who the hell is this?”

“Catalina Lark, her friend and business partner. We’ve met a few times, remember?”

“Oh, yeah, I remember you. Well, you can tell your friend and business partner that I got the message. But, shit, she could have texted me to say it’s over. She didn’t have to ghost me. I spent half the day on that meal and she didn’t even bother to let me know that she wasn’t going to make it. I thought she cared. I was so wrong about her.”

Catalina stopped breathing. She clutched the phone so tightly it was a wonder the device didn’t shatter.

“Are you saying Olivia didn’t show up at all last night?” she whispered.

“Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying.” Emerson paused. “Why? Do you know something I don’t know?”

“No,” Catalina said. “I don’t, and that’s got me scared half to death.”

“What the hell?” Sudden alarm erased the growl in Emerson’s voice. “Where’s Olivia?”

“I have no idea,” Catalina said. “Why do you think I called you? I’m going to hang up now and make some other phone calls.”

“Holy shit, do you mean you’re going to start calling the hospitals? Do you really think something happened to her?”

“I just told you, I don’t know,” Catalina said. “But something is very wrong. I’ve got to go now. Give me your word that you’ll call me if you hear from her.”

“Yeah, sure.” Emerson’s voice sharpened. “I’ll get in touch right away. What about her car? Is it gone?”

“Her car is still in the apartment garage. She said she was going to use a ride-hailing app to go to your place.”

“Maybe the car service can tell you when they picked her up and where they took her.”

“Trust me, I’m going to start there.”

“Let me know what you find out, okay? Call me immediately. Now you’ve got me worried, too.”

“I’ll be in touch,” Catalina said.

She hung up the phone and looked at Daniel. “Olivia never showed up at Emerson Ferris’s condo.”

Daniel reached for his own phone.

“I’ll call the hospitals,” he said. “You deal with the ride-hailing company.”

Twenty minutes later they both put down their phones. Catalina had to fight to suppress the raw panic that was eating her up inside.

“The car service guy says Olivia canceled the pickup,” she managed, trying to maintain a semblance of calm. “I called all of her other friends. No one saw her last night.”

“The hospitals have no record of admitting anyone by that name,” Daniel reported. “What in the world is going on? It’s not like Olivia to just up and vanish.”

“No, it’s not,” Catalina said. She grabbed her coat and handbag and headed for the door. “You stay here and start going through the morning news reports. You’re looking for anything that happened in the Seattle downtown area last night. Car accidents. Fires. Shootings. Robberies. Kidnappings. Anything.

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Catalina Lark and her childhood friend, Olivia, have become business partners in an investigative firm.  The friends have a unique bond – they’re both from the town of Fogg Lake, they both have psychic powers, and they witnessed a murder when they were teenagers.  Their home town became victim of some psychic experimentation decades ago, leaving the residents with various and varying degrees of psychic abilities.

Slater Arganbright is a member of the somewhat notorious family who runs what is known as The Foundation, which is actually a sort of policing organization for criminals who are beyond the capabilities of normal law enforcement.  He recently was exposed to an emission which caused nightmares and hallucinations, and lead to his own family keeping him sedated under lock and key, until he began to heal.  Slater is still not fully cognizant of how his own psychic abilities have been affected – he only knows that he feels different.  Slater’s uncle has determined that it’s time for Slater to return to work, as several suspicious murders have come to the attention of The Foundation.

When Olivia is kidnapped, the Foundation believes it may be linked to the recent murders.  Slater contacts Catalina, who is leery of the mysterious organization, and its dubious reputation.  She’s also desperate enough to know that she can use Slater’s talents in finding her friend before it’s too late.  At their first meeting, which is literally their slamming into each other, sparks fly.  They both feel a strong sensation, something unlike anything they’ve felt before.

As they investigate together, a path that leads back to Fogg Lake, they discover deception, murder, secret labs, conspiracies, and more!  Their attraction continues to build, until finally, they explore the passion between them.  Catalina is finally free to not hold back, and it seems that Slater is the perfect match for her.  The two outsiders can feel normal with each other, something neither has felt in a long time.  Catalina can also somewhat “read” Slater, and she realizes his uncertainty and panic over his evolving abilities.  She assures him that he’s not becoming the monster he fears.

THE VANISHING is a fast paced thriller with plenty of action, villains, and twists to go along with the satisfyingly steamy romance.  I truly liked both Catalina and Slater, sympathizing with their feelings of being abnormal, trying to fit in to the “outside” world.  I love how they found a sense of home, and a place of belonging together.  They undoubtedly had some clashes, but never disrespected the other, and always managed to think intelligently about the situation.  This book ends in a way I enjoyed, and it gives a hint that there are more villains hiding under the radar, and that there is more to the story of Fogg Lake.  I recommend this story to fans of romantic suspense, particularly those who enjoy a touch of the paranormal to add to their reading pleasure.    ~Rose

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