Title: When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense, Romance
Length: 349 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Jayne Ann Krentz, the New York Times bestselling author of Secret Sisters, delivers a thrilling novel of the deceptions we hide behind, the passions we surrender to, and the lengths we’ll go to for the truth…
When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her stepsister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one of her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished.
Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.
After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn’s closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…
When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn’s past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way…
When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz is an intriguing mystery with quite a few unexpected twists and turns.
Hired to investigate Louise Flint’s death, private investigator Max Cutler is not as convinced as the police that Louise’s death was an accidental or deliberate overdose. The evidence he uncovers points to murder, but trying to find a motive for the crime proves somewhat daunting. After discovering some perplexing information about her activities immediately preceding her death, Max teams up with Charlotte Sawyer, whose stepsister Jocelyn Pruett was a close friend of Louise. Jocelyn is also currently missing which leaves Max and Charlotte wondering whether or not her disappearance is connected to Louise’s death. After learning that Jocelyn and Louise belong to a investment club with three other women, Max and Charlotte are rather puzzled by their reactions to the news of Louise’s death and Jocelyn’s disappearance. It quickly becomes apparent the remaining members of the investment group might be in danger, but Max and Charlotte are having trouble understanding why the women have been targeted by the killer.
Having recently relocated to Washington following his divorce and resignation from his job as a profiler, Max is struggling to get his private investigation business off the ground. Despite the circumstances that resulted in his career change, he is still an impeccable investigator with finely honed instincts. It does not take long for him to realize that Louise’s death was most likely foul play but his investigation hits a dead end almost immediately. While some of Max’s investigative techniques are a little unorthodox, he is a slow, methodical investigator who turns to good old fashioned detective work to help solve the case.
Fresh off a break up just days before her wedding, Charlotte does not exactly trust her instincts when she first meets Max. She is a little naive and trusting but she is a genuinely kindhearted person who takes people at face value. Charlotte is very concerned about Jocelyn’s suspected disappearance but she has complete faith that her stepsister has done nothing wrong. Convinced Jocelyn is in danger, she refuses to let Max shut her out of the investigation and she is surprisingly resourceful as they track down clues and follow up on leads.
Although the mystery aspect of the storyline is interesting, it is fairly easy to put the pieces of the puzzle together. There is little attempt to hide the identity of the villain but the motive for the crimes is obscured for much of the novel. A couple of secondary story arcs add suspense to the main storyline but how these threads fit into the original investigation is quite difficult to discern. The plot feels a little disjointed and slow-paced for the first half of the novel, but the second half of the story moves at a fairly brisk pace once the various arcs begin to intertwine. The novel hurtles to a fairly dramatic conclusion with plenty of plot twists that are impossible to predict.
When All the Girls Have Gone is an enjoyable mystery that will appeal to fans of the genre. The characters are vibrantly developed and easy to like. The romance element is understated but believable. While the investigation into Louise’s death and Jocelyn’s disappearance are fully resolved by the novel’s conclusion, the lack of closure for events from Max’s past seem to indicate When All the Girls Have Gone is the first installment in a new series from Jayne Ann Krentz.