I have been a fan of Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick for years. I like her so much, I switched from paperbacks to hardbacks. I ordered this recently (from Amazon which has no parking problems) and it finally arrived. I stayed up all last night reading it which means I was not very productive at work today (please don't tell my manager).
Jayne Ann Krentz has frequently included a psychic element in her novels. She has written a whole series of futuristic novels where everyone on a strange planet, descendants of settlers from Earth, develops paranormal abilities. These are fun...if you like this novel, check them out.
The Arcane Society is a group of people (on Earth) with psychic or paranormal abilities. Her first Arcane Society novel was a historical romance involving the early Jones family members. This is her second and it takes place in current times.
Clare Lancaster lives in San Francisco. She was raised by her mother and her great-aunt. The outcome of a one-night stand, she never knew her father. Her mother is a member of the Arcane Society -- her psychic ability is with numbers. At the age of 13, Clare wakes up one morning and discovers that her psychic ability is detecting lies and she is way off the charts when the Arcane Society tests her. Most human lie detectors can't take the continual barrage of lies and end up as addicts, in insane asylums, or committing suicide. They have a bad stability reputation.
But with the early help of an Arcane Society therapist, Clare has learned to cope very well. She has become emotionally strong and offbeat and gutsy. She has developed an unusual philosophy about lying.
Everything was going pretty well for her. The only fly in her ointment was she could not get a desirable job at the prestigous Jones&Jones Arcane Society detective agency because the "Dumbass", Clare's name for the head of the agency, firmly believed psychics with the lie detector ability are unstable, but nevertheless she was doing enjoyable work at charitable foundations detecting [..] artists applying for funding.
Then 6 months ago, she received an email for help from her half-sister, Elizabeth. After helping Elizabeth escape from a bad marriage and stumbling over the dead body of Brad McAllister, Elizabeth's soon to be ex, Clare's life takes a downturn. She gets fired from her job and can't find another (someone is bad mouthing her); her fiance drops her like a hot potato; the police in Arizona (where Elizabeth lives with her very wealthy father -- who happens to be Clare's father too) suspect that Clare killed Brad and only the intervention of her powerful father, Archer Glazebrook, keeps her from being arrested.
Now she is back in Arizona, staying a cheap (but clean) motel, because her father has asked her to come back. He has been keeping track of her since he found out about her and knows she has not been able to find work. He has a proposal for her: he wants to make her the head of a charitable foundation he intends to set up. Clare's not too thrilled with this proposal and neither are other members of her half family.
At a party at Archer's house, Clare meets Jake Salter, a consultant working for Glazebrook. She knows he is lying about something but it's a white lie and not an ultraviolet lie, so she's not too worried about continuing the relationship -- there is instant mutual attaction between them.
Strange things related to the Arcane Society are happening in Stone Canyon, Arizona. Her first full day in Arizona, someone tries to run over Clare with an SUV in a parking lot. Her second day in Arizona, someone tries to bash in Clare's head with an 8 pound dumbbell at a spa. Clare decides to confront her suspect (Brad's mother) and instead finds another dead body (Brad's mother). The Arizona police have not forgotten that Clare found Brad's body.
Feisty Clare decides she is going to investigate Brad's unsolved murder because all her troubles started when she found his body. Jake decides he had better help her to keep her out of trouble. Naturally that also involves moving Clare from her cheap (but clean) motel into his expensive (but clean) home and his bed.
Jake is really a detective from J&J, a psychic hunter, investigating a new Arcane Society cabal. It soon becomes evident that Clare's case and his case are related.
I like the characters of both Jake and Clare. I am eagerly awaiting the next Arcane Society novel. I want to find out what happens, romantically, to the hermit-like Fallon Jones, head of J&J (aka Clare's Dumbass).