In Too Deep
If you have read the previous books in the series, then you know that Fallon Jones is the head of J & J, the psychical detective agency formed by his ancestors, Lucinda Bromley Jones & Caleb Jones. Fallon is uniquely qualified to head the organization because of his chaos theory talent. J & J has been fighting a war against Nightshade; A secret organization that is manufacturing Sylvester Jones’ formula in order to increase the strength of their psychic powers. Fallon has been at the forefront: connecting the dots on seemingly unrelated incidents and planning strategies. Friends and family are worried about him, as he narrows his focus down to just one thing: Nightshade. But after missing important connections, Fallon realizes that he can’t do the job alone; he needs an assistant.
Isabella Valdez is on the run, and there is only one safe place: Scargill Cove, California, the headquarters of J & J. Soon after arriving, she makes her move and convinces a baffled Fallon that she is the perfect job applicant for the assistant position. If only he could figure out why just being around her seems to create a sense of contentment, and allows him to think more clearly.
Once Isabella has organized the office, she ready to take on a new role as investigative agent. Certifying that a house is free of ghosts seems like the perfect first case. After convincing Fallon to let her work on this “lost dog & haunted house” case, it backfires on her when she finds something askew in the basement. Recognizing her limitations, she calls Fallon for help. Determining that this new menace used a 19th century clockwork curiosity infused with paranormal powers leads to the discovery of a secret kept by their Scargill Cove’s neighbors – involving bomb shelters, black op operations, communes, a twenty two year old skeleton and plenty of new conspiracy theories.
I am a long time reader of Jayne Ann Krentz’s books. There is so much I enjoy about them. Jayne writes appealing characters, quirky plots, and witty dialogue infused with her own sly humor. In this book the mystery is well crafted, the romance satisfying, and the book well written. Especially enjoyable is Isabella’s characterization since it seems that she should be the least likely match for Fallon. But they are a perfect fit. A eccentric character that I love from one of her non-Arcane books makes an appearance, which also tickled me.
That being said, I am tired of the connecting books. In Too Deep is a breath of fresh air in one aspect, because the Nightshade conspiracy is more on the back burner. Still, the book is about the Arcane society. With her writing Arcane stories under all three pseudonyms, I am quickly reaching overload. And with that overload, I have become more jaded about her storylines. I feel like I am in a “can’t see the forest for the trees” scenario; I notice the similarities of the plots, not how well written the book is. I notice that the hero and heroine always have some secret relating to their talent. I notice that the love scenes are similar. I want fresh material so I can regain the excitement I used to have for her books.
Fans of this series will be glad to see Fallon finally get his story. Readers who have gotten tired of sameness won’t find many difference in this book from the other Arcane books. Either way, this may work best as a comfort read.