Quick Review: The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz

The Vanishing Book CoverThe Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz came out in January 2020 and I finally got to it yesterday. I finished reading it this morning.

Fogg Lake, Book 1
Paranormal Mystery / Suspense and Romance

Here’s the book description.

Decades ago in the small town of Fogg Lake, The Incident occurred: an explosion in the cave system that released unknown gases. The residents slept for two days. When they woke up they discovered that things had changed—they had changed. Some started having visions. Others heard ominous voices. And then, scientists from a mysterious government agency arrived. Determined not to become research subjects of strange experiments, the residents of Fogg Lake blamed their “hallucinations” on food poisoning, and the story worked. But now it has become apparent that the eerie effects of The Incident are showing up in the descendants of Fogg Lake.…

Catalina Lark and Olivia LeClair, best friends and co-owners of an investigation firm in Seattle, use what they call their “other sight” to help solve cases. When Olivia suddenly vanishes one night, Cat frantically begins the search for her friend. No one takes the disappearance seriously except Slater Arganbright, an agent from a shadowy organization known only as the Foundation, who shows up at her firm with a cryptic warning.

A ruthless killer is hunting the only witnesses to a murder that occurred in the Fogg Lake caves fifteen years ago—Catalina and Olivia. And someone intends to make both women vanish.

First, I have to note that a big chunk of that description talks about stuff that actually isn’t in the book. So that was weird for me. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Krentz book with a description so far off the mark.

The book I expected wasn’t the book I got, in other words.

This one is a hard one for me to review in other ways, too.

The mystery was entertaining and pulled me through the pages quickly. But as I read, I kept feeling like I was missing something and it wasn’t until I got to the end and went searching that I knew what that was. The Vanishing introduces a new group, the Foundation, that deals with paranormal research, and brings back Vortex which is a shady organization that showed up in Jayne Ann Krentz’s Jayne Castle books set on Harmony.

The problem was that I kept wondering why no one in this book seemed to know about the Arcane Society, because so much of the stuff in the book was familiar in a way that only makes sense if this is happening in the same universe. If Arcane and Vortex coexist on Harmony, then Arcane must exist in the present in which The Vanishing takes place. And if this Foundation is as important as it seems, how can no one know about the Arcane Society?

The fact that it was never even hinted at just really threw me. I couldn’t seem to get past that while I read this story.

So in the end, the story was diminished by this missing link.

Another issue I had with this one is that there was almost no focus on the romance at all. I might as well have been reading a mystery novel.

Honestly, I know Krentz has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, but I’m just not feeling satisfied by her books as romance novels any longer. And although I like mystery novels, I don’t like them as much as I like romance, and when I’m in the mood for a romance novel, I want romance.

Unfortunately, I think this means that it might be time for me to start passing on Krentz’s books when I want a romance.

All that said, this was still a good book. If you don’t mind light romance and lots of mystery and some suspense, you should give it a shot. :-)