by Jayne Krentz is the finale in the Cutler, Sutter, and Salinas
series. It intertwines a good mystery, suspense, and a little
romance while delving into the world of mind control through
lucid dreams and hypnosis.
Krentz noted, "This book delves into hypnosis and lucid
dreams. It is a blending of not being quite awake and being
in the world. It means you are in a dream that can be controlled
to some extent. Regarding hypnosis, it has been around for
hundreds of years but always has that woo-woo factor. In my
research, I found it impossible to conduct a double-blind
test because some people are not hypnotizable, and others
are susceptible to suggestions. In this story, I took both
to extremes. I also put in about sleepwalking, which is supposed
to be a childhood thing that people outgrow. I think it is
more of a trance-like state. I do know people who have done
it, and they are aware enough not to hurt themselves. I am
told they just wake up in another place."
The hero of the story, Jack Lancaster, has his mother killed
in the cult fire set by Quinton Zane when Jack was 12, and
since then he has been on a quest to find the murderer. His
profession is related to his obsession, becoming a professor,
author, and consultant on Cold Cases that have the victims
killed by fire. The lucid-dreams give him the ability to be
partially awake and able to manipulate them. This allows him
more clarity in solving the cases he's working on. But when
his fiery dreams begin to take a disturbing turn, Jack seeks
the help of Winter Meadows, his neighbor in Eclipse Bay on
the Oregon coast. She is a hypnotist billed as a meditation
instructor who is helping him control the dreams.
Fire seems like a character in the book. "As a writer,
it is a really exciting element to work with. It can be destructive
or useful. I like writing stories that have elements that
have a dark and light side Fire does this since we use it
to heat our homes, cook our food, and chase away the monsters
at night. Yet, it can tear down our shelter and can kill us.
In my book, fire is the tool that is mishandled by the bad
guy. In his hands, it becomes a weapon to clean up his dark
past. For him, fire is a cleansing element."
The initial bond formed between Winter and Jack comes from
the connection of losing their parents to tragedy. This escalates
after he saves Winter from a stalker who wants to kill her.
Convinced that this has something to do with Zane he enlists
the help of his father and brothers who also lost loved ones
to the fire. Jack and Winter's ensuing investigation becomes
a game of cat and mouse between themselves and a criminal
who always assumes he is the smartest in the room. With Winter's
assistance, Jack begins what he hopes will be his final quest
to capture Zane.
"In my stories, the hero and heroine see the same virtues
in each other. This attracts them to each other at first.
I think, before falling in love, they admire each other. This
is what their love is based upon. Winter and Jack understand
and accept each other and never see each other as flakes.
Both are gutsy, and have honor, courage, and integrity."
This story has a unique plot and likable main characters.
The investigation is fast-paced and compelling as the foster
family, assisted by the women they become romantically involved
with, attempt to find and bring down the cult leader before
he brings them down.
of other titles in this series
All The Girls Have Gone #1