The first time teenage Alexa Chambers laid eyes on John Laird Trask, she was terrified of him. The twenty-something Trask burst into her stepfathers house and accused him and his partner, Dean Guthrie, of complicity in the car accident which just killed his father. Although Trask eventually left the house and the state, Alexa always felt he would return with a vengeance.

Since then, Trask has built his own empire of luxury resort hotels and Alexa Chambers career as an expert in the Art Deco period suffered a severe setback when she was caught up in an art fraud scandal involving her former employer. Trying to restore her reputation, Alexa has worked behind the scenes gathering a spectacular collection for the grand opening of Trasks new hotel. But the duos second meeting is no better than the first, as Trask catches Alexa hiding a forged statue in a closet.

Despite their awkward beginnings, Alexa and Trask reach an understanding. Trask is going to uncover the events which led to his fathers untimely demise, and Alexa wants the opportunity to prove her stepfather had nothing to do with the death. Alexa and Trasks combined search is making someone very nervous. Another untimely death rattles the town as Trask and Alexa try to figure out the truth.

Skullduggery, new age mysticism and art fraud make an intriguing backdrop for the latest fun-filled and sensational tale by the incomparable Jayne Ann Krentz. Ms. Krentz is batting a thousand. (June, 345 pp., $24.00)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith