In Quick's (Jayne Ann Krentz's pseudonym) mediocre latest installment to the Arcane Society series, Leona Hewitt, a crystal reader, and Thaddeus Ware, a hypnotist, meet trying to steal the same relic-the aurora stone-from a private collection, but a murdered prostitute and a trap protecting the stone initially complicate their success. Thaddeus, hired by the Arcane Society to claim the stone, allows the plot's loudly grinding gears to ally him with Leona. Both Leona and Thaddeus are sensible and pragmatic, qualities that make for efficient sleuths but passionless lovers, and Quick has to try unusually hard to make their romance believable. The story fares better when it focuses on the crystal and its connections to secret societies, to the Midnight Monster (a hackneyed serial killer) and to Leona's personal history. When the plot threads finally pull taut and the villains' motives and schemes are completely (if clumsily) exposed, Leona is endangered in a suspenseful climax. This is unlikely to garner Quick any new fans, or even delight her devotees, but it will tide them over until the next episode. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Thrown together when they meet over a bloody corpse while hunting for the same elusive artifact, psychic crystal worker Leona Hewitt and powerful mesmerist Thaddeus Ware become uneasy, though mutually attracted, allies in their quest to retrieve the legendary aurora stone and keep it out of the dangerous hands of the Third Circle. A paranormal serial killer with deadly good looks and a ruthless, power-obsessed nobleman add to their troubles as Leona and Thaddeus struggle to complete their quest, reconcile their feelings, and stay alive. Before the end of the tale, bodies litter the streets, sinister secrets are revealed, and Leona's abilities are tested as never before. Fourth in the century-spanning "Arcane Society" novels written alternately as Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz depending on the time period, this fast-paced story resolves itself quite satisfactorily while adding to the ongoing story of the society and leaving the door open for the next installment. Quick (The River Knows) lives in the Seattle area.