When All The Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz
Jayne Ann Krentz, the New York Times bestselling author of Secret Sisters, delivers a thrilling novel of the deceptions we hide behind, the passions we surrender to, and the lengths we’ll go to for the truth...
When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her step-sister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished.
Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.
After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn’s closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…
When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn’s past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way...
Published by Berkley on November 29th 2016
Where to Find It: Amazon|B&N|Shop Indie|Goodreads|Shop Local
Genres: Mystery Suspense, Romantic Suspense
Source: Advance Reader Copy
FTC Disclosure: I received access to this book early through Advance Reader Copy (for free) in exchange for a review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Overall Review: This is an even-paced – but never boring – intense story with likable (or dislikable) characters you invest in.
Jayne Ann Krentz masterfully plays with the romantic suspense story genre rules to bring to life compelling characters and a mystery you absolutely want to solve. Very few writers are able to do romantic suspense in a real world setting like Jayne Ann Krentz. Even fewer make you want to turn right around and read the story again to see how you missed where she was going all along. If you’re looking for a good mystery with extremely likable characters – and a hero you totally want to help turn a fixer upper into a home- a motivating story arc and a happily ever-after worth getting to, I highly recommend this book.Jayne Ann Krentz masterfully plays with genre rules to bring to life compelling characters Click To Tweet
When it comes to certain genres, there are some authors who automatically come to mind. When that genre is romance, Jayne Ann Krentz’s name is near the top of the list. No matter your favorite “flavor” of romance – paranormal, historical, suspense – Krentz most likely writes stories falling under that umbrella. So, when given the opportunity to read When All the Girls Have Gone early, in exchange for a review; I jumped at the chance. (I can neither confirm nor deny that I body checked someone to keep this book in my possession). Full disclosure: I have more than one of this author’s titles on my “never getting rid of” reread shelf.
The story opens with a mystery party engaged in nefarious activity (because OF THEY ARE). While this is a tried and true romance/suspense trope, JAK’s delivery never feels canned or formulaic. The plot device is expected, the story-line and direction…not. The opening chapter grants insight into a key character in a way that tugs you down a merry path to a wrong conclusion, and a peek into the mind of someone obviously important to the story as well as setting up a great base for the coming whodunit.
We meet our heroine, Charlotte, at work surrounded by a convivial (read: sassy and opinionated) crowd of retirees discussing their memoirs. She seems nice enough, sweet enough if somewhat bland. Just ask her, she’ll tell you. We meet our hero, Max, standing in the middle of a crime scene listening to a client – he knows can’t afford him – plead for help finding out what happened to his recently deceased family member. And of course, he’s going to take the case because…questions. Theirs is not a typical meet cute but more a convergence of questionable actions (with bad consequences) by others. It seems Charlotte’s sister involved herself in a group that may or may not have been up to no good and caused the death Max sets out to investigate…
Charlotte swiftly moves from person of interest to partner and the race to figure out what her missing stepsister’s gotten herself mixed up in intensifies as more than one party turns their attention towards discouraging both from looking any deeper into the death, or the past. There are no wasted moments or throw-away scenes. Everything is a clue to something going on; you read along as secrets are dragged ever closer to the light and that feeling of time running out ends in a bang…for someone. Krentz crafts a story line with a timely feel. She handles the subject matter with care a creates a scenario equal parts believable and incredible. She has a way with writing a bad guy you really, really want to get caught or just die.
Max’s internal monologue is often both hilarious and highly relatable. There are entertaining (and necessary) secondary players and moments that keep the story lively, the romance building and the action moving along. Ultimately, Charlotte learns she’s anything but what she believed herself to be and you end up with a heroine you’re not only rooting to make it out alive but, definitely to get her man (not to mention get her own back once you meet her ex – trust me, we DO NOT like this guy). You’re also left slightly dumbfounded by what’s been left out of Ethel’s memoir…