Reviewed by: E
When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her step-sister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one 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…
This blurb came from Goodreads.
BP Note: We hope you have enjoyed the Note from Jayne and entered the, US only, giveaway sponsored by Berkley. If you haven’t had a chance to enter yet take a look at today’s earlier post and good luck.
I have been enjoying Krentz’s work for more years then I care to admit because Lets say I didn’t ask permission to read her from any adult, I just started reading them. **grin**. Over time I have watched as her writing across the romance genre has shifted to include darker tones and with her last two contemporary works, her Krentz voice seems to have settled much more of the dark romantic suspense/murder mystery.
I wondered what Krentz would choose to follow up Secret Sisters and part of me was hoping she would return to that setting and flesh out the secondary romance. However, as I started to get to know the characters in When All the Girls Have Gone I became focused on their story and the hints of more to come from Max’s past. I will admit I struggled with Charlotte at the beginning because she appeared to be extremely naïve, sheltered, and insistent in seeing only good in people. I am glad I kept reading because Charlotte turned into a very interesting person who needed a push to become her own individual and not the person everyone else said she was. In contrast I found Cutler fascinating from the very beginning. A man haunted by nightmares, unable to forget the past, trying to start a second career as a hard bitten Private Investigator, PI, who really struggled with his softer side.
I enjoyed following along as Charlotte and Max started looking into a surprising death only to discover other things along the way. I got a kick out of how Max started subtly questioning Charlotte’s depictions about herself and demonstrated he expected more of her. Charlotte, used to pulling people out of their shells, surprised Max by skipping over the usual litany of superficial questions and instead focused on subjects, which caused him to think about his motivations. Together each helped the other gain greater clarity into who and what their self-motivation was so I was able to buy into their growing relationship.
On the mystery/suspense side it was fascinating to see how cold cases, deaths, disappearances, secret clubs, and old money in small towns all had influence on Charlotte and Max’s investigation. Like any mystery/suspense I read, I tried to pick out the clues Krentz revealed so I could determine “who done it” and why. While I did guess a few of the twists, other doublecrosses and reveals came as a surprise so I remained invested in the suspense and sense of urgency felt by the characters through the very end.
When All the Girls Have Gone was an intense enjoyable read. I don’t know if I will reread this as often as I have reread Krentz’s previous less dark contemporaries but I still found myself losing track of time as I read. Max and Charlotte were quiet characters whose unfolding personalities kept me as captivated as the mystery did. I do hope that Krentz follows up on what I took as a set-up to expand this particular world to involve two specific individuals who have an important place in Max’s life.
I give When All the Girls Have Gone a B.
P.S. Enjoy the personalities Charlotte worked with on a daily basis. They were a delight!