Jayne Ann Krentz Overcomes a Slow Beginning With WHEN ALL THE GIRLS HAVE GONE

Book Review - Jackie K Cooper

Jayne Ann Krentz is a woman who knows her way around a thrilling plot. She has shown us this with novel after novel. However in WHEN ALL THE GIRLS HAVE GONE she lays out a good plot premise but then lets it wander all over the place before she ties it all up. The first half is a slow slog and then the last half makes up for all the previous errors. So if you stick with it, it will end up being a good read.

Her story concerns Catherine Sawyer, a woman who was jilted only a few days before her wedding. She is slowly getting her wits back together when her stepsister's best friend dies of what the police call a drug overdose. Catherine doesn't believe it and neither does Max Cutler, the private investigator hired by the dead woman's cousin.

When this happens Jocelyn, Catherine's stepsister, is at a private retreat where no electronic communications/devices are allowed so she is incommunicado. Catherine can't seek information from her but she thinks the death of the friend means Joycelyn might also be in in danger. Plus Joycelyn was in an investment group with the dead woman and three others and all of them might also have been marked for elimination.

With so much death and mayhem surrounding Catherine and Max you might think you would fly through the pages, but not so. It isn't until the halfway point of the book that things pick up speed. By this time Catherine and Max have fallen into a romantic relationship and that has added a little spice to the tale.

Jayne Ann Krentz knows how to ignite the sparks in a relationship and she also knows how to create suspenseful situations. In this book there is not a lot of "will they or won't they fall in love" tension. It just happens. The same is true in a lot of the more suspenseful moments in the book. They are resolved quickly one way or the other

By the book's end readers will be thoroughly enjoying the romantic aspects of the story and the mystery becomes more defined. You have learned to care for these people and so you care about the way it all works out. Krentz has done it again; this story just took a little longer to weave its spell.

Krentz could have given a quicker pace to the beginning of her story but all's well that ends well. At the end of the book I was still a Jayne Ann Krentz fan and am ready for the next story she has in her bag of tricks. She is prolific as well as talented so I know I will not have to wait for long.

WHEN ALL THE GIRLS HAVE GONE is published by Berkley Books It contains 304 pages and sells for $27.00.

Jackie K Cooper