Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz
Rating: 3 (sXe)
Grace Elland helped to catapult her boss, motivational speaker Sprague Witherspoon, into the national limelight. When Grace finds Witherspoon dead, she finds echoes of her harrowing past. As she retreats to her childhood home, she meets Julius Arkwright. Julius, a successful venture capitalist, also happens to be a former marine who understands Grace’s nightmares. As they try to discover who is trying to frame Grace for Witherspoon’s murder, and as more people in Grace’s life wind up dead, they realize that their awkward first date merely obscured their undeniable chemistry.
It took a little while to ease into this novel. Part of it was the shifting third person narrative. The first few pages are a dialogue between three co-workers and its difficult to get a sense of who is who. However, once Grace moves home, the novel seems to pick up pace while also settling into a rhythm. This is probably the first time, though, where the hero and heroine meet on a terrible blind date. Julius is actually there to see if he think Grace could be Witherspoon’s killer, and she seems to sense the right off. However, there isn’t much chemistry at this point, or at least, I wouldn’t know there was any chemistry except that I read a bit of what Julius is feeling. That is primarily why this novel is rated at a 3 instead of a 4. Most of the romance is built but insight into the character’s thought process, rather than built through a combination of dialogue and action.
All of that isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the novel. I was surprised by who the killer , always a nice thing in a romantic suspense. And I enjoyed Grace as a character. She is strong, with heavy scarring from a traumatic event. But at the core of her she is modest, smart and self-possessed—all qualities I admire in a woman. It’s just that, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t be able to remember this novel if I didn’t remind myself of it with a little plot summary. That’s not a good thing in my opinion. Plot is important, but it should be accompanied by a combination of character development, emotion, and life lessons in order to make it a good novel—romantic, suspense or otherwise.