A wealthy family of Arizona paranormals wrestles with the murder of one of its favorite sons, in Krentz’s latest standardized romance-suspense hybrid (All Night Long, 2006, etc.).
The Glazebrooks are a family of psychics—each ranking higher or lower on the Jones Scale of the Arcane Society, an organization devoted to psychic and paranormal research. Six months ago, Clare Lancaster, the highest ranker on the Jones Scale, was sought out by her stepsister Elizabeth for help with her abusive marriage. Clare and Elizabeth, who share the same father, met for the first time—Clare’s mother had an affair with Arizona businessman Archer Lancaster more than 30 years ago, and Clare never knew him growing up. After the two met, Elizabeth’s princely husband, Archer’s colleague Bradley McAllister, was murdered, and Clare was roundly blamed because she meddled in his and Elizabeth’s marriage. Now it’s July, and Clare has been summoned by the patriarch to the Stone Canyon, Ariz., family estate to discuss her taking over a new charitable foundation Archer wants to establish. Soon, Clare meets Jake Salter, the seemingly plain but sharp-eyed private investigator for the Jones & Jones firm hired independently by Archer and the Arcane Society. In fact, the elusive Jones & Jones firm’s main task is to guard the founder’s psychic formula, which apparently transforms its users into “ruthless, psychically enhanced, highly unstable sociopaths.” While Clare, the human lie-detector, swoons over Jake, who has misrepresented his psychic abilities in order to work undercover, and the two delve deeper into Brad’s shadowy dealings, Clare is attacked by Brad’s deranged-by-grief, alcoholic mother, Valerie Shipley.
The psychic edge intrigues, but the effect is diffused in this small society of sameness.