The disappearance of a mysterious informant leads two people desperate for answers to an island of deadly deception in the second novel of the Lost Night Files trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz.
Talia March, Pallas Llewellyn, and Amelia Rivers, bonded by a night they all have no memory of, are dedicated to uncovering the mystery of what really happened to them months ago—an experience that brought out innate psychic abilities in each of them. The women suspect they were test subjects years earlier, and that there are more people like them—all they have to do is find the list. When Talia follows up on a lead from Phoebe, a fan of the trio’s podcast, she discovers that the informant has vanished. Talia isn’t the only one looking for Phoebe, however. Luke Rand, a hunted and haunted man who is chasing the same list that Talia is after, also shows up at the meeting place. It’s clear he has his own agenda, and they are instantly suspicious of each other. But when a killer begins to stalk them, they realize they have to join forces to find Phoebe and the list. The rocky investigation leads Talia and Luke to a rustic, remote retreat on Night Island in the Pacific Northwest. The retreat promises to rejuvenate guests with the Unplugged Experience. Upon their arrival, Talia and Luke discover guests are quite literally cut off from the outside world because none of their high-tech devices work on the island. It soon becomes clear that Phoebe is not the first person to disappear into the strange gardens that surround the Unplugged Experience retreat. And then the first mysterious death occurs. . . .
About the Author
Jayne Ann Krentz is the author of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers. She has written contemporary romantic suspense novels under that name and futuristic and historical romance novels under the pseudonyms Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick, respectively. Learn more online at www.jayneannkrentz.com.
There would be nightmares again tonight.
She'd always had a knack for finding misplaced keys, glasses, and pets. She was fine with that. But her new psychic ability for tracking down the bodies of those who had died by violence was not only depressing but frequently led to anxiety attacks and disturbing dreams.
Why couldn't it have been a talent for something more positive-like, say, picking winning lottery numbers? Why did it have to be dead bodies?
Talia March clenched the dead man's gold cuff link in one hand, gathered her nerve, and flattened her other hand against the metal side of the industrial-sized trash bin. She was braced mentally and physically, her core Pilates-tight; nevertheless, the jolt of psychic lightning rattled her nerves and her senses. In the past few months she had learned that the energy laid down by violence always came as a shock.
She had finally figured out that what she detected with her new ability was the psychic stain of the killer's emotions-or lack thereof-and the pain and fear of the victim. It made for a toxic brew that seeped into the crime scene and, to her, was as obvious as a pool of blood.
She was aware of a weak frisson emanating from the cuff link. The owner was dead but the item that he had worn frequently in life was still infused with the hollow echo of his vibe.
She could work with almost any object that had belonged to the missing or the deceased, but over the course of the past several months she had learned that some materials absorbed and reflected paranormal energy more efficiently than others. Gold was a particularly strong conductor, almost as good as crystal.
"Shit," she whispered. She took a quick step back. "He's in there."
Roger Gossard, the head of Gossard Consulting, a crime scene consulting company, studied the trash bin with a pained expression. "Are you sure?"
"You hired me for my best guess," she said. "This is it."
Roger grunted but he did not argue or demand more details. He knew better than to ask her to explain her conclusion. He looked at the unhappy man wearing a security guard uniform emblazoned with the logo of the company that controlled the loading dock.
"Okay if we take a look?" Roger said. "We need to find out for sure if there's a body inside before we call the police."
The security guard shrugged. "Boss says I'm supposed to cooperate but I'm telling you right now I'm not going into that bin to look for a dead body. You're on your own."
"Right." Roger switched his attention to the two members of his team who were waiting for instructions. "Bailey and Thomas, take a look. We need to make sure."
Grim but resigned, the pair pulled on heavy gloves, climbed into the bin, and went to work sorting through the trash generated by the several hundred office workers employed in the building.
Talia retreated to the front of the loading dock and contemplated the view of the alley. The rain was coming down in the steady way that was typical of Seattle in the late fall. The heavy skies indicated the weather was not going to change anytime soon. The Big Gray was just getting started.
In the past she had been comfortable with the drama of the city's dark season. But the night she had lost to amnesia had changed a lot of things. Now she was aware of a relentless sense of urgency simmering just beneath the surface, a sensation that was intensified by the late dawns and early twilights.
She tuned out the noise of the trash bin excavation process and opened her phone. There was no new text from her mysterious informant. She was starting to lose hope. Maybe she had been conned. It was a discouraging thought because the lead had appeared so promising.
"Looks like we found Clayton, boss," Bailey called. "Wrapped in plastic sheeting. Not a pretty sight."
Excerpted from The Night Island by Jayne Ann Krentz Copyright © 2024 by Jayne Ann Krentz. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.