Monday, August 22, 2011

White Lies

White Lies by Jayne Ann Krentz

As a level 10 para-sensitive, Clare Lancaster can tell for certain when someone is telling the truth. So Clare knows that her half-sister, Elizabeth Glazebrook, isn't lying when she says her husband, Brad McAllister, is trying to kill her. But Brad is murdered instead, and as the first person to find his body, Clare becomes the Stone Canyon Police Department's favorite suspect. With no evidence to tie her to the crime, Clare is allowed to return to her old life in San Francisco. But six months later, her father, Archer, summons her back to Phoenix. Her unique gift tells her not only that there is more to her father's new business "consultant" Jake Salter than he would like her to believe but also that she is in grave danger.

--White Lies (The Arcane Society, Book 2)
by Jayne Ann Krentz
Copyright © 2008 by Jayne Ann Krentz
Published by The Putnam Group

My Review

Jayne Ann Krentz started the Arcane Society series with Second Sight, set in 1800’s London, and written under the pen name Amanda Quick. Book two in the series takes place in contemporary times in the town of Stone Canyon, Arizona.

Clare Lancaster is the illegitimate daughter of Archer Glazebrook, a wealthy real estate developer, the product of a one-night stand. Archer never knew about Clare, but Clare knew about Archer and chose not to interfere with his family. However, when she fears for the life of her half-sister, Elizabeth, she gets involved and Elizabeth’s husband winds up dead.

Six months later, Archer summons Clare back to Stone Canyon, unintentionally opening up a can of worms. Although Clare was cleared of suspicion in Brad’s death, there are many in town who believe she is guilty. Her presence in town is making a lot of people—people with secrets to keep—very nervous.

Jake Salter, Archer’s new business consultant, meets Clare and his assignment (as a Jones & Jones undercover operative) just got more interesting. He’s investigating the possibility that there’s a new organization counter to the Arcane Society, of which he, Clare and the Glazebrooks are all members. Very quickly, as several attempts are made on Clare’s life, it becomes obvious that these attempts, the murder of Elizabeth’s husband, and the formation of the new cabal are all tied together somehow. And if Jake’s going to get to the bottom of things, he’ll need to keep Clare safe. To do that, he’ll need to keep her close…very close, a position neither of them seem to have a problem with.

As the investigation progresses, the can of worms becomes a snake pit, and each viper they pull out is more dangerous than the one before. Can they survive long enough to uncover the whole truth or will they be the next victims of the cabal’s deadly conspiracy?

Growing up with a psychic ability that helps her discern lies from truth, Clare has a hard time trusting people because people lie all the time. That’s understandable, but sometimes, I just wanted to give her a shake and tell her it’s okay to trust some people even if you think they’re lying to you. It’s the degree of the lie that’s important, not the fact of the lie.

There was a lot of “info dumping” in this story, where the telling of the story was interrupted for narrative on the history of the Arcane Society and where each character fit in the Society. While important to give the reader a better understanding of the Society and its purpose, it did get boring and a little frustrating to have the narrative stopped so many times. I think the previous book in this series (Second Sight) did a much better job handling the history of the Arcane Society than this second book.

I liked the banter between Jake and Clare. They’re both very strong-willed people determined to get their own way, but at the same time, they work well together and they get results. Elizabeth strikes me as a bit of a wimp, Archer is a bit of a jerk and Myra (Archer’s wife) is a real bitch to Clare until the mystery is finally wrapped up (I understand Myra’s resentment of Clare, but really, you don’t blame the product of the affair, you blame the ones involved in the affair…and Myra already made Archer pay for his indiscretion, so get over it, woman!). These personality traits bothered me a little, but as they’re all secondary characters, I tried not to let them get to me.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and I’m looking forward to the next in the series, Sizzle and Burn.

I give this story THREE and a HALF STARS.

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