Canyons of Night (Looking Glass #3) by Jayne Castle
Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Pages: 367 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
In the prologue to this story, set fifteen years earlier, three drunken non-residents of the island of Rainshadow threaten young Charlotte Enright near the mysterious Preserve. She is rescued by her long-time crush, orphaned teenager Slade Attridge, but their relationship never goes beyond that because he leaves the island the next day for the Federal Bureau of Psi Investigation academy.
At the start of the story, Charlotte has returned to the island to operate the shop, Looking Glass Antiques, which she inherited from her recently deceased Aunt Beatrix. Slade has also just returned to the island to take over the position of police chief. Their paths cross once again in the wake of violence when a man is murdered in Charlotte's shop.
I'm a big fan of Jayne Ann Krentz in general, but her futuristics written as Jayne Castle are my favorites. As in all her novels, there is primary suspense plot, with the heroine and hero working together to solve a mystery. In the case of this story, it is a murder mystery. As usual, Krentz has created a strong heroine who is more than a match for the forceful romantic hero. As manly as he is, he has an adorable little pet, a dust bunny named Rex. Every one of the Harmony books contains dust bunnies, and it is one of my favorite recurring themes for this series.
The fascinating world of Harmony was colonized hundreds of years ago by people from earth. The planet was empty of living, intelligent beings, but it soon became apparent it had been inhabited eons ago by a long-dead race of aliens. There is no written record of their culture, but the structures and artifacts they have left behind are filled with enormous power.
In each successive novel in this series, Krentz takes us to a new section of the planet. All the other Harmony novels I've read were centered within a city, but this book is set in a sparsely populated, essentially rural, village type locale. The core identity of the island of Rainshadow is the Preserve, a fenced-off area full of alien energy so dangerous, anyone daring to enter it either goes mad or dies.
Over the years, the island of Rainshadow has attracted many eccentric residents who, though friendly and close-knit, have made a point of not inquiring too closely into each other's often murky pasts. This community forms an important, and highly entertaining, portion of this novel.
This book is part of Krentz's Arcane Society series. In addition to the futuristic Harmony books, she has written novels in the series set in the past, using her historical romance pseudonym Amanda Quick. She has also written contemporary novels in the series under her real name Jayne Ann Krentz.
I purchased this book in a Kindle edition. It is well formatted and edited, making it easy to read.