Review: All the Colors of Night by Jayne Ann Krentz

Review: All the Colors of Night by Jayne Ann KrentzAll the Colors of Night (Fogg Lake #2) by Jayne Ann Krentz
Format: eARC
Source: supplied by publisher via Edelweiss
Formats available: hardcover, large print, ebook, audiobook
Genres: paranormal, romantic suspense
Series: Fogg Lake #2
Pages: 304
Published by Berkley on January 5, 2021
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBook Depository
Goodreads

Two psychics plunge into a dark world of deadly secrets in this second installment of the Fogg Lake trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz.
North Chastain possesses a paranormal talent that gives him the ability to track down the most dangerous psychic criminals. When his father suddenly falls into a coma, North is convinced it was caused by a deadly artifact traced back to the days of a secret government laboratory known only as the Bluestone Project. North knows his only hope of saving his father is to find the artifact. He is good when it comes to tracking down killers but to locate the relic, he's going to need help from a psychic who knows the shadowy world of obsessive collectors, deceptive dealers, and ruthless raiders…
With her reputation in ruins after a false accusation, antique expert Sierra Raines is looking for a fresh start. She turns to the murky backwaters of the paranormal artifacts trade, finding and transporting valuable objects with a psychic provenance. When North Chastain approaches her for help, Sierra takes him on as a client, though not without reservations. North represents the mysterious Foundation, the secretive organization established to police the underworld populated by psychic criminals and those, like Sierra, who make a living in the shadows of that world.
North and Sierra soon find themselves at the scene of The Incident that occurred decades ago in Fogg Lake. The town and its residents were forever changed by the disaster in the nearby Bluestone Project labs. The pair unearth shocking truths about what happened that fateful night, but they are playing with fire—someone in town knows what they’ve discovered and will do anything to make sure the secrets stay buried.

My Review:

A long time ago, and partly, come to think of it, in a galaxy far, far away, there were two books written by Jayne Ann Krentz under her various pseudonyms. Second Sight, written as Amanda Quick in 2006, was the very first book in her long-running and century spanning Arcane Society series featuring characters from the Victorian era up through the present day who were gifted – or cursed – or sometimes even both – with paranormal abilities..

But before that, in 2000, or long after in the internal chronology, there was After Dark, written as Jayne Castle, the first book in the Ghost Hunters/Harmony series. The ghost hunters were the people, Harmony was the planet, and it had been settled by refugees who all left Earth because they had, you guessed it, paranormal abilities.

Those series converged in Midnight Crystal in 2010, where the thing I had always guessed was finally revealed, that the Harmony settlers were the descendants of the Arcane Society.

The long arm of coincidence being very long, and the concept that two separate populations of people with psi powers had somehow developed on Earth being too weird to be coincidental, when the marvelous first book in the Fogg Lake series, The Vanishing came out this time last year I was enthralled with the story – and fully expected Fogg Lake to link up to the Arcane Society and Harmony sooner or later.

It’s sooner. But if you’ve never dipped into either of the other series, don’t let that stop you from plunging into Fogg Lake. Because the link is tangential. It’s a hint, not a deep dive into the Arcane Society. Just a couple of brief mentions to answer the curiosity of readers – but mostly to allay the professional snoopiness of The Foundation, the early-21st century organization that is currently organizing and policing the paranormal population.

Because The Foundation has brushed up against the Arcane Society before, and they definitely don’t believe in that long arm of coincidence at all. But the clear but subtle “back off” messages they receive from both Harmony Jones, the Oracle of Fogg Lake, and Ambrose Jones of the paranormal artifacts retrieval agency, The Vault, let them know that the Arcane Society was very, very real and that that’s ALL they’re going to EVER be told.

So not nearly enough to make a new reader desperate to dive back into the other series, but a lovely little tease to let new readers know that if they enjoy their visits to Fogg Lake and want more that there is a whole universe out there to binge read.

All the Colors of Night takes place in the wake of The Vanishing. Not in the sense that the characters continue from that book, but rather that as the series opener The Vanishing literally opens the door to the series as the investigators discover the reason that the residents of Fogg Lake ALL have paranormal power when they find the ruins of the defunct Bluestone Project’s Fogg Lake labs.

Just as the protagonists of that first book are the descendants of Fogg Lake, so too are North Chastain and Sierra Raines, the heroes of this entry in the series.

For both North and Sierra, that inheritance from the “Fogg Lake Incident” is very much of a mixed blessing. They both have strong paranormal powers, but to the point where pretending to be “normal” is beyond them. It’s just too big a secret to keep and keeping it has kept them out of close friendships and romantic entanglements.

Until they meet each other, not in a romantic setting but as business partners forced to work together against their own instincts. But they need each other, at first only in the professional sense, but as they team up to chase down the people who attacked North’s father, they discover that their senses resonate together in a way that can’t be denied.

If they survive.

Escape Rating A-: The story in All the Colors of Night was every bit as fascinating as The Vanishing. This was just one of those books that I couldn’t put down – so it was a good thing I was reading it on a day when I didn’t have to.

The fun of this series so far is the slow reveal of all of the creepy woo-woo secrets and the way that kicks off and inserts itself into the romance. The idea that the government was playing around with the possibilities of paranormal powers is not a surprise – nor is it a surprise that when the government backed out the coverup began.

It would not surprise me AT ALL to learn that the secret government agency in charge of the Bluestone Project, “tiny, woefully underfunded Agency for the Investigation of Atypical Phenomena, a one-desk operation (currently unstaffed), buried deep in the basement of a building somewhere in Washington, D.C.” isn’t the same agency that Mulder and Scully worked out of in the X-Files. Although we’ll probably never know for sure.

But back to this story. North and Sierra aren’t so much investigating as digging for buried treasure – with pirates and tomb robbers chasing them at every turn. North has not one but two personal stakes in this hunt. He’s searching for the men who attacked his father, and he’s hoping to find out the truth about his grandfather’s disappearance way back when Bluestone was shut down.

He finds way more than he bargained for, that the attack on his father wasn’t the first attack on his family. Someone is poisoning him with the intent to burn out his paranormal powers. He’s not sure whether he has one enemy or lots of them – only that Sierra seems to be the one person he can trust. After all, she’s the one who discovered the poisoning.

But the chase that North begins thinking it’s all something in the present really goes back to his grandfather, his grandfather’s research partner, and a long-lost cache of weapons that holds the secret – even if that isn’t what North has been told and the cache isn’t quite what everyone believes it to be.

The romance in this one is very much opposites attract, along with more than a bit of one of this author’s specialties, the damaged hero finding a partner who is far from perfect herself, but is absolutely perfect for him – even if he can’t see it when they meet.

Both North and Sierra are afraid to let anyone other than family get close to them, both because of the powers they have to keep hidden from “mundanes” and because they each feel like they’re missing something or waiting for something to happen. Along with North initially believing that he’s about to lose his powers and fearing what will follow. While North’s situation pushes him even deeper into his own serious and driven side, Sierra comes off as a bit of a flake, job-hopping while searching for her “calling”.

They shouldn’t match, but the way that they do works really well and adds just the perfect touch of Happy Ever After to what would otherwise be a rather dark and serious story. The mix of danger and romance is just right.

While this story is a standalone, it is also clear that there is plenty more to uncover and many more stories to tell in Fogg Lake – and I can’t wait to read them!

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