Smoke In Mirrors
by Jayne Ann Krentz, contemporary (2002)
Jove, $7.99, ISBN 0-515-13399-X

Wa-hey, this book isn't bad at all. Dare I say that it's not as tired or formulaic as the author's recent books? Of course, $7.99 is still a cut throat price to pay for the author's not-too-stellar attempt at being a romantic suspense author. The word "borrow" isn't in the English vocabulary for no reason.

Leonora Hutton is a librarian who is coming to her half-sister Meredith Spooner's place to pick up late Meredith's things when she encounters Meredith's ex, Thomas Walker. Meredith's last stint has her embezzling a huge sum of money from a college endowment fund, and Thomas' brother Deke is carefully set-up to take the fall. Thomas isn't going to let that happen. At the same time, the cause of Meredith's death seemed to be more sinister than one intially suspected, and soon our twosome are hunting for clues in a huge Gothic house filled with mirrors.

It's a typical JAK novel, and there are times when I get flashbacks to Sharp Edges with all that big house of glass thing and all. At the same time Leonora and Thomas spend more time talking to each other than the characters in this author's last few novels, the romance isn't too perfunctory, and the villain doesn't talk too much when the villain is doing the obligatory holding off the twosome with a gun thing towards the end.

Smoke In Mirrors isn't a good book in my opinion - how could it be, when its good point is it being a little better than this author's previous lacklustre books? I don't even know why anyone should pay $7.99 for this book. Borrow, yes. One could do worse. But buy? Unless you're a member of the Krentzian cult that sacrifice sacks of coffee powder at midnight as an offering to your Holy Mistress and hence you are required to buy ten thousand copies of this book in an effort to out-Hubbard L Ron Hubbard, you really shouldn't waste $7.99 like that. Add a few dollars and go watch Moonlight Mile instead.

Rating: 78

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