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FIRED UP by Jayne Ann Krentz

FIRED UP

By Jayne Ann Krentz

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-399-15596-3
Publisher: Putnam

A lost lamp is the MacGuffin in this dim, talky paranormal suspenser from Krentz (White Lies, 2007, etc.).

The thing about the so-called Burning Lamp is that it isn’t actually a lamp. Totally wickless, it was created by an infamous alchemist in the late 17th century. It stands about 18 inches high, is made of something that looks like gold but isn’t, and the only light it generates is of a very special kind. The Burning Lamp gives off “dreamlight,” which of course not everyone can perceive, but which explains why desperate Jack Winters has come knocking at the door of Harper Investigations. Not only can Chloe Harper read dreamlight, but, according to the best information available through the Arcane Society (don’t ask), she’s at least a level seven, possibly an eight, meaning she’s world class. At this point Jack can’t afford to settle for less. He believes he’s been cursed into impending madness, and that the source of his trouble is the Burning Lamp, missing for a good many years. Without immediate help he will soon be converted, Hyde-like, into some semblance of a slavering beast. Chloe must find the lost, strayed or stolen lamp and, top-notch dreamlight reader that she is, must also figure out how to “work” it, i.e., free Winters from its terrifying burden. A lot to ask, but challenge is the breath of life to Chloe—and besides, Jack is definitely hot. The game’s afoot, complicated by a throng of competing paranormals intent on bagging the Burning Lamp to satisfy a variety of objectives, few of them benign.

The fun here is the sexual tension between the protagonists; the rest is psychic-babble.