Thursday, March 19, 2020

Review: The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz

It's been way too long since I read a book by this fabulous author. The Vanishing was wonderful, iconic Krentz and I can't wait for book #2.

Publisher: The Penguin Group

Release Date: 01-07-2020

 Netgalley for review



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.

Read an excerpt:

Fogg Lake, fifteen years earlier . . .

Catalina Lark saw the murder take place about four seconds before it happened. Maybe five seconds. She was still getting used to the ominous visions. They always caught her off guard.
She'd had flashes of bizarre scenes for the past couple of years, but a few months ago, shortly after her sixteenth birthday, they had started occurring more frequently. She was trying to convince herself that the visions were merely hallucinations. Tonight, at least, she had a reasonable explanation for the murky vision. She and her best friend, Olivia LeClair, were deep inside the vast cave system surrounding Fogg Lake. Everyone in town knew that those who went into the Fogg Lake caverns often experienced hallucinations and other inexplicable sensations. That was, of course, why every self-respecting teen in the small community made it a point to sneak out of the house and spend a night in the caves at least once before graduating from the one-room high school. The adults didn't approve, but Catalina had heard some of them refer to it as a local "rite of passage." Most of them had done the same thing when they were in their teens.
Tonight was the night that she and Olivia had decided to brave the caves. They had brought sleeping bags, a camp lantern and a couple of flashlights. Their day packs were crammed with bottled water and snacks. An underground river ran through the caves, surfacing in various caverns before it vanished again into the rocky depths. The water was clear and safe to drink, but it was dangerous to get too close to the edge. The wet, slippery rocks were treacherous and the current in the river was strong.
They had heard the two men arrive just as they were trying to decide where to set up camp.
The sounds of footsteps and low voices had echoed in the underground labyrinth. She and Olivia had turned off the camp lantern, grabbed their sleeping bags and rushed to hide in one of the many side tunnels.
They had been startled when the two men-strangers-showed up with a camp lantern and a large black case.
The small community of Fogg Lake didn't get a lot of visitors, nor did it welcome the few who did manage to find their way into town. Most kids are taught to be wary of strangers, but in Fogg Lake, parents took that instruction to extremes. Catalina and Olivia had been raised with a degree of caution that bordered on paranoia, which was why it did not occur to either of them to reveal their presence to the two men. Instead, acting on their ingrained training, they had retreated deeper into the narrow side tunnel. Once safely concealed in the darkness, they had gone very still, hardly daring to breathe. Like baby rabbits confronted by a snake, Catalina thought. The analogy was annoying.
The two men had not quarreled. There had been no demands, no violent threats; just some tense, muffled conversation. The shorter of the pair was middle-aged and a little overweight. He wore black-framed glasses and looked like an engineer or a scientist.
His companion was younger-midtwenties, Catalina decided-lean and fit. His head was shaved. He was the one who had carried the black case into the cavern.
Both men were dressed for a trek in the woods.
A short time ago the man with the glasses had opened the case and removed what appeared to be a sophisticated lab instrument. Catalina could have told him he was wasting his time. Computers, cell phones and other high-tech devices did not work well in the vicinity of Fogg Lake, if they worked at all.
The man with the glasses was clearly frustrated by whatever he saw on the screen of his fancy instrument. He leaned over the device to tap some keys. That was when Catalina got a dark vision of Shaved Head reaching into a zippered pocket on the side of his pack. She saw him take out a syringe, yank off the plastic cap and plunge the needle into the other man's neck.
Catalina was still struggling with the vision when reality struck, disorienting and shocking all her senses.
Shaved Head took the syringe out of his pack, removed the cap and stabbed the needle into his companion's neck.
The doomed man cried out and sank to his knees. His aura weakened rapidly. He gazed up at his assailant in disbelief and confusion.
"What?" he managed. Then understanding descended. "You stupid bastard. You don't understand how my invention works. It's tuned to my frequencies and only mine. I'm the only one who can activate it. You'll never find what you're looking for without me."
The killer waited. His aura did not blaze with rage or with the spikes that indicated mental instability. The energy around him was hot but all Catalina could detect was satisfaction and maybe a sense of anticipation. She wasn't sure of her reading, though. Olivia was better at interpreting auras.
The man who had set up the odd instrument grunted and collapsed on the floor of the cavern. Shaved Head crouched beside him and began to search the dying man's pockets.
"Why?" the victim managed in a voice that was thick with the effects of whatever had been in the syringe.
"You served your purpose," the killer said. "You're no longer needed."
"Stupid, stupid fool," the victim muttered.
In the next second his failing aura sputtered and died.
Catalina blinked a few times in a desperate attempt to suppress the images-she was getting better at it, even though the visions were becoming stronger-but the horrible scene did not disappear. The man who had fallen to the floor of the cavern was very real and very dead. His attacker casually checked for a pulse.
Catalina looked at Olivia, who was trying to shrink into the shadows on the opposite side of the narrow tunnel. Olivia's aura was ablaze with shock and panic. So much for the faint hope that what had just gone down in the cavern was nothing more than a particularly powerful hallucination. They had both witnessed a murder.
The sound of movement in the cavern made Catalina turn her attention to Shaved Head. He was on his feet now. The body of his companion was draped over one shoulder. He walked to the edge of the river and dropped his victim into the water.
He watched for a moment, probably making certain that the current carried off the evidence of his crime. When he was satisfied, he went back to the device the victim had set up and started to tap the keys.
He stopped suddenly, his attention caught by something he saw in the shadows of a nearby boulder. His aura flared.
A terrifying vision began to unfold but Catalina did not need it to warn her that she and Olivia were in mortal danger. Common sense was more than enough to kick off a wave of panic.
For a beat, an unnerving hush gripped the cavern. In the echoing stillness only the soft murmur of the underground river could be heard. Catalina held her breath. She knew Olivia was doing the same. She also knew they had both just realized that in their hurry to hide they had left the lantern behind.
Shaved Head saw the lantern, grabbed it and spun around on his heel, searching the shadows of the cavern. Catalina knew he couldn't see them from where he presently stood, but if he began a methodical search it was only a matter of time before he found them.
Shaved Head dropped the lantern and once again reached into his pack. This time he took out a gun.
With a flashlight gripped in one hand and the pistol in the other, he started to examine the side tunnels one by one. Catalina knew that if she and Olivia did not move, they would be doomed.
She looked at Olivia again and sensed that her friend had come to the same conclusion. They had no choice but to retreat deeper into the tunnel in which they were hiding.
The man with the gun continued to prowl the vast cavern, pausing to spear the beam of his flashlight into every side passage.
Catalina switched on her own flashlight. The killer would surely see the glare, but he was still on the far side of the cavern. It would take him a couple of minutes to cross the big chamber to the tunnel where she and Olivia were hiding because of the curve in the underground river. He would have to circle around it. If they moved fast they could be out of sight in seconds. He would hear their footsteps for some time because the cavern was an echo chamber, but it would take him a while to locate the right tunnel.
"Stop," Shaved Head shouted. "Police. I won't hurt you. I'm an undercover cop working for the Feds. I'm here to protect you. That man was a killer, a danger to your community. I was sent to stop him."
A couple of kids from a town on the outside might have bought that story, Catalina thought. But Shaved Head had picked the wrong teens to try to fool. Fogg Lake youth were raised to be suspicious of outsiders in general. It seemed like a good idea to double down on that concept when you had just watched one stranger kill another stranger.
They plunged deeper into the tunnel and rounded a corner, and suddenly the passageway was transformed into a hall of mirrors. At least, Catalina thought, thatÕs how I see them. She blinked hard but her vision didnÕt change. She did not know exactly how things appeared to Olivia, but judging from the way her friend clutched her hand, the visions were just as frightening.
"You'll get lost," the killer shouted. His voice echoed down the tunnel. "You'll die in there. Come out. I promise you'll be safe. Trust me. I'm a cop."
Catalina and Olivia kept going. They rounded another curve in the cramped passageway and scrambled to a halt at the sight of the storm of energy-intense swirls of light that Catalina could both sense and see-that barred their way.
"What is it?" Olivia whispered.
"I don't know," Catalina said. "But he's still coming. We've got no choice. We're going to have to go through it."
"You might as well come out," the killer said. "Just a matter of time before I find you."
His voice was more distant now but he had not given up the chase.
Catalina studied the strange storm. "It looks like one of those pictures of giant hurricanes taken from a satellite. There's sort of an eye in the center."
"We'll aim for that," Olivia said. "Ready?"
They tightened their grip on each other's hands and hurtled forward, straight into the core of the vortex of fierce energy. They dove through it.
Catalina struggled to deal with the onslaught of visions, but she was overwhelmed. She fell into the darkness.
She opened her eyes some time later to find herself sprawled on the floor of a cavern that was illuminated in an eerie ultraviolet radiance. Beside her, Olivia stirred and levered herself to a sitting position. She looked around, dazed.
"Where are we?" she whispered.
"I don't know."
Catalina sat up and surveyed their surroundings. Wonder and dread welled up inside her. She had never seen anything like the cavern chamber in which she and Olivia found themselves. She knew Olivia was just as mystified as she was.
The violent energy storm still seethed at the entrance. The chamber was filled with currents, too, but they were not nearly as violent as those that formed the gate. Hallucinations danced in the paranormal shadows, but they were manageable. Catalina could not entirely suppress them but they did not overwhelm her senses.
She listened closely. There was no sound from the tunnel on the other side. Either the killer had abandoned the hunt or else he had become disoriented and lost. For the moment, it seemed she and Olivia were safe.
The ultraviolet light seeping out of the cavern walls sparked and flashed on shards of some reflective material scattered around the chamber. Olivia picked up one of the jagged slivers and cautiously wiped off the grime.
"It looks like a piece of a mirror," she said.
Portions of the walls were paneled in the same material. Large rocky formations projected down from the ceiling and thrust up out of the floor.
"Stalactites and stalagmites," Catalina said.
She got to her feet and went to the nearest formation jutting upward from the mirrored floor. She wiped away a thick accumulation of dirt, exposing a small area of the crystal underneath. The gem-like stone sparked with the colors of dark fire.
"I think the creep with the gun gave up," Olivia whispered.
"He may have decided that he couldn't follow us, but what if he decides that all he has to do is go back to the main cavern and wait for us to come out?" Catalina said in the same low tones.
"In that case I guess we're stuck in here until morning," Olivia said.
"If he waits that long he'll be in for a shock, because if we're not home before breakfast, the whole town will be out searching for us. The caves are the first place they'll look."
"It's going to be a long night," Olivia said. "But I think we're safe in here. It's weird, though, isn't it? The rocky things hanging down from the ceiling look like crystal chandeliers that someone hasn't dusted in a very long time.
Catalina touched one of the broken mirrors on the walls. "Like a ballroom that was once lit up with paranormal light and music."
Olivia shuddered. "The devil's ballroom."
Their low-tech, old-fashioned mechanical watches were not affected by the energy in the atmosphere. The night seemed endless but eventually they realized that dawn had arrived.
"He'll be gone now," Catalina said. "The whole town will be out searching for us. He won't dare hang around. We have to go back the way we came, though. That means another trip through that miniature hurricane."
Olivia studied the energy gate with a thoughtful expression. Catalina knew that she was viewing it with her new senses.
"Hmm," Olivia said. She went forward cautiously. Her hair lifted in response to the energy in the atmosphere. "I don't think it's going to be as scary to get through from this side."
"Why not?"
"I don't know. It's as if it was made to keep people out but not lock them inside."
Olivia held out her hand. Catalina grabbed it. Together they hurled themselves into the storm-and emerged without incident on the other side.

Excerpted from The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz. Copyright © 2020 by Jayne Ann Krentz. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

My Review:

The Vanishing
Fogg Lake #1
Jayne Ann Krentz

The Vanishing book one in a brand new trilogy is a super supernaturally themed romantic suspense by Jayne Ann Krentz, Queen of the genre, featuring secret lost labs, a town shrouded in mystery and in a mysterious fog, murder mayhem and parapsychology. There’s just something about a lost lab and secret government agencies set in the era of Roswell’s Area 51 that hits all the checks for fans of the genre and this book has something for every one of them, a good dose of woo woo, psychic artifacts, romance, suspense a cryptic conundrum and a diabolical villain. It’s well written, fast paced full of great scenes and kooky costars plus the stars are well developed very likeable and seemingly all wrong for each other which is pleasantly all figured out during the telling. Plus there’s the added benefit of knowing there’s more to come and that makes this an unputdownable read!
BFFs Catalina Lark and Olivia Dayton grew up in Fogg Lake a rural town several hours from Seattle where forty years ago a mysterious explosion caused the residents to develop different sorts of psychic talents causing them to circle the wagons and protect each other from outsiders. Now adults Catalina and Olivia own a Seattle investigative agency using their special talents to solve their client’s cases. But when Olivia goes missing Catalina doesn’t have a clue why until a representative from the Foundation, a clandestine organization dealing in parapsychological dilemmas, comes calling.
Slater Arganbright until recently was locked up in isolation following a run in with a rather nasty dose of radiation during his last case and is happy to be back to work although he still wonders if that incident has changed his paranormal abilities in a dark way. But he’ll have to put that on the back burner because he’s got work to do and he needs Catalina Lark’s help to help solve the deaths of two paranormal artifact collectors that might be connected to the fabled lost Fogg lake lab. When he arrives he discovers Cat’s partner Olivia has been kidnapped and it seems the two cases just may be connected so they become temporary allies to help each other out.



Krentz (Untouchable) leads readers into an immersive, atmospheric world in the romantic suspense novel that opens her Fogg Lake trilogy. Following a mysterious occurrence known as “the Incident,” the inhabitants of the sleepy town of Fogg Lake developed psychic abilities. Childhood friends Catalina Lark and Olivia LeClair put their paranormal powers to use solving crimes as private investigators in Seattle. When Olivia disappears, Catalina fears that the unsolved murder they witnessed as children may have come back to haunt them. Around the same time, the Foundation, an organization devoted to studying the paranormal, investigates the murders of two collectors of otherworldly artifacts. Despite bad blood between Catalina and the Foundation, when the president of the Foundation’s nephew, Slater Arganbright, offers to collaborate on solving both mysteries, Catalina reluctantly agrees. As they search for the missing collectors’ items and follow leads to find Olivia, Slater and Catalina develop a deep connection on both a psychic and physical level. Krentz masterfully balances mystery, romance, and the paranormal. Readers are sure to be hooked on this new series. Agent: Steve Axelrod, Axelrod Agency. (Jan.)

Publishers Weekly

★ 01/01/2020

Teen best friends Catalina Lark and Olivia LeClair were witnesses to a murder in the caves of Fogg Lake, their hometown, but with no body to retrieve, the case was never solved. Fifteen years later, the young women, now using their extrasensory abilities to assist them in running a start-up private investigation agency in Seattle, believe the incident is in the past until Olivia gets kidnapped. All of the clues to her disappearance point to that fateful night so many years ago, and with an unlikely companion in Slater Arganbright, an investigator with the mysterious "Foundation," Catalina is determined to find her friend before it is too late. As the pair track down leads, it becomes apparent that Catalina is also in danger, and they must trust in their extrasensory abilities and each other if they are going to get to the bottom of Olivia's disappearance. VERDICT With romance, mystery, intrigue, and a host of paranormal elements, Krentz's (When All the Girls Have Gone) latest will hook fans across genres. The gratifying denouement leaves room for series potential as well.—Vicky M. Coffin, Salem Free P.L., CT

Library Journal

★ 2019-10-14
Two women who witnessed a murder in their hometown as teens are suddenly targets of an unknown enemy. As the danger rises, a mysterious investigator with ties to an organization devoted to the paranormal steps in to help.

Catalina Lark and Olivia LeClair were 16 when they were exploring the caves around the tiny Pacific Northwest town of Fogg Lake. Fifteen years before, an incident in the caves had led to a large percentage of the population's showing paranormal abilities. Fogg Lake residents became extremely wary of strangers, and the town's children were "raised with a degree of caution that bordered on paranoia." That watchfulness may have saved the girls' lives the night they witnessed a murder in the caves. Years later, Catalina and Olivia have left home to start a private investigation agency in Seattle, and while they don't advertise their psychic talents, they do use them in their cases. Then Olivia mysteriously disappears. Catalina is just beginning to search for her when Slater Arganbright arrives in the city. Catalina once worked with Slater's uncle, Victor, the head of an "enterprise dedicated to paranormal research," but it ended badly, so she's not thrilled to meet his nephew. However as the two gather information, it begins to look like Olivia's disappearance is connected to the murder the women witnessed as teens and may be tied to a frightening plot to weaponize paranormal power. Saving Olivia will depend on Catalina's and Slater's talents, and working together makes them realize what great partners they are. Krentz (Untouchable, 2019, etc.) shows her wizardry for worldbuilding and once again incorporates paranormal elements, which will thrill fans.

A smart, creative series start from a romance master who always entertains.Kirkus Reviews

Krentz expertly entwines high-stakes suspense, a paranormal-spiked plot, and a generous dollop of sexy romance with delightfully dry wit as she launches a thrilling and chilling new series…Krentz gets extra bonus points for continuing to recognize the coolness factor of librarians as well as inventing an ingenious new use for forks.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Krentz is a master at creating highly entertaining and immersive reads, and her latest doesn’t disappoint.”—BookPage

“Krentz leads readers into an immersive, atmospheric world…[and] masterfully balances mystery, romance, and the paranormal. Readers are sure to be hooked on this new series.”—Publishers Weekly

“Krentz shows her wizardry for worldbuilding and once again incorporates paranormal elements, which will thrill fans. A smart, creative series start from a romance master who always entertains.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“With romance, mystery, intrigue, and a host of paranormal elements, Krentz's latest will hook fans across genres.”—Library Journal (starred review)From the Publisher

About the author:
Jayne Ann Krentz (b. 1948) is an American author of romance novels, including the popular Arcane Society series. Krentz writes under a variety of additional pen names, including Jayne Castle and Amada Quick. She has published more than 120 books in the contemporary, historical, and paranormal romance genres, with tens of millions of copies in print.


  1. I really enjoyed this. Of course I love all her books (under all her names)

  2. I haven't read this one but I really enjoy her books.

  3. It does sound really good, with such variety in it. I like JAK and have read quite a few of hers in the past. This one has to go on my TBR.

  4. Yes! Book two! I loved all the woohoo psychic gifts and hidden government lab stuff, too.

  5. I have enjoyed what I have read by her in this genre